A public meeting scheduled in Bodden Town on Thursday night (tonight) to update attendees on the government’s cruise port project negotiations will be picketed by a group seeking to keep a landfill from being built in Midland Acres.
“We’re not going to be speaking or anything of the sort, we’re just going to be showing our presence there,” said Gregg Anderson, one of the leaders of the Keep Bodden Town Dump Free movement.
Mr. Anderson said the members of the group would sit apart from other meeting attendees “to show how many people oppose this project”. He also said some signs with various slogans printed on them would be displayed.
The ruling United Democratic Party government has proposed to cap and remediate the landfill at its current location and put a new landfill in the Midland Acres area, located between Bodden Town and Breakers on Grand Cayman’s southern coast.
Both UDP representatives from Bodden Town have supported placing the new landfill in Bodden Town.
According to a letter Minister Mark Scotland and MLA Dwayne Seymour sent to the Caymanian Compass in January: “The implementation of a proper waste management facility will positively address this problem. As elected members and part of the present government, we have an obligation to our country to uphold and direct policy that will be in the best interest of the Caymanian people. The direction that this government has taken in relation to putting in place a solution for a proper waste management facility is the correct one.”
The meeting in Bodden Town is being held by the premier’s office as part of a series of informational meetings on the proposed port development project with China Harbour Engineering Company.
The previous two meetings, held in George Town and East End, have been politically charged, and other issues have come up including the landfill proposal and electioneering claims in East End.
During a previous public meeting, Premier McKeeva Bush promised that his government would deal with the landfill issue where the former People’s Progressive Movement administration had not.
“We are going to deal with this [West Bay] road problem and we are going to deal with the landfill,” Mr. Bush told East End residents last month. “They couldn’t get these problems dealt with, and they know that we will.”
Mr. Bush also disagreed that the George Town landfill was being moved to Bodden Town. He said the government intended to “deal with the problem right there” and remediate the current landfill in George Town. In other words, the trash from the George Town landfill would not be moved over to the new site in Midland Acres.
Mr. Anderson has said the community believed there was sufficient space where the landfill was located in George Town for the facility to be managed properly and a waste-to-energy programme to begin.
“All you’re doing is just carting the problem elsewhere,” Mr. Anderson said. “There is no … justifiable reason to relocate the dump to Bodden Town.”