Bodden Town coalition celebrates ‘dump’ victory

Cautioning that the fight is not finished, the Coalition to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free has nevertheless declared victory after last week’s announcement that the George Town landfill will not relocate to the district. 

Capping more than two years of struggle against the Dart Realty-government ForCayman Investment Alliance proposal to site a waste-management facility in Bodden Town’s Midland Acres, leaders of the coalition said they had at last prevailed. 

“After a sustained and focused campaign waged for more than two-and-a half years, we’ve defeated the previous government’s shady agreement with Dart Reality to put a dump in Bodden Town, instead of solving the George Town dump problem where it is,” said coalition chairman Alain Beiner. 

“Many claimed that trying to fight government and Dart was hopeless,” he said. “But we’ve proven that the people can organise and defeat senseless and unjust decisions by government. We’ve shown that we can stand up against questionable deals negotiated behind the people’s back and against their interests.” 

In 22 May elections, incumbent Bodden Town lawmakers Mark Scotland and Dwayne Seymour, chief backers of the United Democratic Party’s waste-management proposal, were defeated in an opposition sweep of the four-member franchise for the district. 

On 4 June, Osbourne Bodden, second elected member for the district and newly appointed minister for health, youth, sports and culture, announced that while no decisions had been made about the George Town facility, Bodden Town was off the list. 

“We’re going to sit and talk to all the stakeholders … but I can say it’s not going in Bodden Town,” he said. 

Gregg Anderson, a coalition member, cautioned that the controversy was unlikely to be resolved by a single statement. 

“We have no illusions. Dart and its supporters won’t take defeat lying down. They’ll continue trying to scare us by throwing around fictitious figures of $100 million in capital costs and $25 million in annual operating costs, while citing reports, which no one has ever seen.” 

In 2007, Virginia-based solid waste consultants Gersham, Brickner and Bratton told the then-ruling People’s Progressive Movement government that building a waste-to-energy facility at the landfill would cost $100 million, requiring annual operating costs between $18 million and $23 million and producing $6.5 million of electricity. 

Insufficient space compounded the problem, which would take 20 years to remediate, the group reported. 

In 2011, as part of its ForCayman Investment Alliance partnership, Dart and the new UDP-led government proposed to clear the George Town landfill and build a $26.5 million, 110-acre waste-management facility in Midland Acres, east of Bodden Town, employing recycling, waste-to-energy conversion, separation of refuse, incineration and sealed disposal. 

The proposition drew immediate protest, spurring creation of the coalition, with 200 active supporters and several hundred sympathisers and contributors. Rallies, press releases and common cause with dissenters objecting to investment alliance activities in West Bay, raised the profile of the group. 

Although no formal agreement for the project has been signed, Dart Enterprises CEO Mark VanDevelde said in an earlier statement that the company “would welcome the chance to understand more about the new government’s wishes for waste management and looks forward to further details on their strategic plans.” 

During the May campaign, the coalition canvassed district candidates about the waste-management facility, asking them to vote “against any proposal in the LA, which involves establishing a waste management facility in Bodden Town”. 

“Both [Mr.] Bodden and Anthony Eden were strong and active supporters of the coalition from the beginning,” Mr. Beiner said. “Wayne Panton did speak publicly against the dump at the big PPM anti-dump meeting at the Bodden Town Civic Centre back in March 2012.” 

The four Bodden Town winners – first-elected member Mr. Eden, Mr. Bodden, third-elected member Mr. Panton and fourth-elected member Alva Suckoo – agreed to the canvass, as did independent Mr. Anderson, fellow independent and coalition leader and 2009 candidate Vincent Frederick and independents Arnold Berry and Charles Clifford. 

Mr. Scotland and Mr. Seymour finished seventh and eighth in a field of 13. 

Midland Acres resident and coalition member Arlene Whittaker congratulated Mr. Bodden for opposing the waste-management scheme, adding that she hoped “that this government will defend the interests of the people on the dump issue and consider our fragile environment, so that ordinary people like us are not forced to spend time, energy and money fighting to defend our homes, our district, and our island. 

“However,” she warned, “if promises are broken, we’ll be back in action. We expect social and environmental justice.”

Recently publishes articles relating to Bodden Town landfill

05 June 2013: Brent Fuller | No landfill for Bodden Town
Although the Dart group of companies has not commented on the project since the 22 May Cayman Islands general election, Cabinet ministers signalled in their first press briefing Tuesday that a landfill development project planned for Midland Acres would not be happening.

05 June 2013: Editorial | Campaigners’ promise is kept
It’s back to the drawing board on the emotive issue of the George Town Landfill and where a new dump will go. One thing’s for sure: The minister now in charge of the dump has vowed that the dump will not go in his home district of Bodden Town.

21 May 2013: Norma Connolly | Overcoming Mount Trashmore
The question of what should be done with the towering heap of garbage that is Mount Trashmore has plagued Cayman for decades. 

21 May 2013: Norma Connolly | Waste management a smelly hot topic for candidates
While there is a proposal to close the George Town dump and create a new one in the district of Bodden Town as part of a land swap deal between the Cayman Islands Government and Dart Realty, no deal has yet been signed or finalised. 

21 May 2013: James Whittaker | Protesters want dump to stay put
Campaigners against a waste management facility in the Bodden Town area maintain it is the wrong option for the Cayman Islands.

17 May 2013: Tad Stoner | Dump bid winner: We got scrapped
The company that originally won a multimillion dollar government contract for waste management at the George Town landfill is suing the Cayman Islands government, seeking to overturn a subsequent move to award the bid to another firm.


The future of the George Town landfill remains undecided. – PHOTO: FILE


  1. Dear Readers,
    I want to take care of the trash problem, It is what I do. I am familiar with your waste problems and very experienced at removing recycle matrial from the island. I could set up a waste to energy plant and recycling, composting at the landfill. Like I said it is what I do. It wont be pretty,it will be dirty but I will get the job done. At the right price.
    Please stop looking for outside solutions and contact me to do this.

  2. Fredsanford, Would you please outline for the people exactly how you would be doing this and what type of costs will be associated with it. Maybe if you share your plan with everyone people will support you with presenting it to the CIG.

    It would be great if you could answer for us things like, What will be done with the existing mountain of trash in GT, how will future loads of Trash coming in be handled, What type of Waste to Energy technology would you be implementing and how would you go about introducing an island wide recycling program..

  3. Why is it that people look at this like a battle against Dart and that they strategically planned to move the dump to BT just to get it out of GT. When they first started developing Camana Bay the CIG told them that they would be dealing with the GT dump issue that it would be remediated and transitioned into a state of the art waste management facility . They had no issue with a properly managed dump where it is and even with the offer of building one in BT then giving it to the CIG and dealing with Mt trashmore themselves the mountain of garbage would still be there for them to deal with. Yet through successive governments including the one currently in the driver’s seat the pile of trash keep growing and growing to the point where Dart opted to get involved in order to protect their investment into Cayman. I don’t doubt Dart would welcome the idea of the CIG taking care of this issue because they wouldn’t need to do themselves what the CIG has failed to do for years upon years. It’s the same talk all over again and the mountain of trash just gets higher and higher, I for one had more faith in the Dart dealing with it then I do with the CIG. But now it’s back in the hands of the CIG so I wish they would stop talking about it and actually do something, if it cost hundreds of millions of dollars to do, just thank the Coalition to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free maybe now that they have put a stop to it they will put just as much emphasis on making something positive happen in GT.

  4. I am sure the members of the CTKBTDF feel like they have fought the good fight and are sitting proud.

    What they do not realize is that Cayman will have to wait another 5-10 years at least, to get a proper waste management facility. Lets celebrate that. YAY Wo hoo.

    All the while their garbage is being sent to the substandard open unlined pit in GT daily without a second thought. Lets celebrate that. YAY Wo hoo.

    Somehow I am not getting a warm fuzzy feeling about THEIR so called victory.

  5. @nj2cay
    Glad you asked I sit on dump road all day and watch.
    Firstly rcycling is allready in place and metals are paid for by local recycle operators.
    That said all metals would be recycled. The trucks going into the landfill allrady dump the metals in a specific pile not with the Household Garbage.Those metals now dumped would be processed right away. That part is simple, I could add it to my regular operation in a moment.
    Secondly I see many landscape trucks going into the dump with just vegitative material, that material would be mulched right away. No big deal there is allready a tub grinder on site.
    Thirdly this is the most intresting Part of the operation Household waste would be dumped on a slab, sorted, run with a magnet and scooped up when deemed clean. It is then loaded into a bailer dried and then put into an Airburner with a genset attached to it. Power put back into the grid. I would use up to 10 of these airburners ,they can each process 60 tons per 10 hour day and generate 250ci worth of power per day per unit. Airburners are in use allover the world and not just for wood waste so dont bother saying it.
    This program would stop any material from being added to mt trash.
    As far as the mountain goes I would plant half of it right away with palm trees. While peeling away the other half of the mountain.
    It would not take long..
    I have been thinking long and hard about the job at hand. I would require about 10 million to buy the equipment and run it for 5 years. this would also pay my staff and myself well. I am sure I would have most of it gone by then. Funds could be borrowd and repaid.
    Lastly I do realise that messing with the mountain will give me and my staff some kind of cancer but that is the way it is, no big deal. We were paid no crying allowed.
    Finally after a year or two I would have each district have there own airburner and recycle centre and not move the trash all over the island. Some districts would be consolidated and other districts would have more than one recycle centre.
    My program will create a few jobs and modernise the system.
    I know I make it sound simple but to me it is.
    I am a junk man not a farmer, fisherman or doctor etc.

  6. FredSanford, sounds like you have a great deal on knowledge with this and a good idea of how to improve on what’s currently going on at the Dump. I hope you get a chance to take a crack at it. It would be nice if you could find a way to some avoid any major medical issues if you do.

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