Fire crews struggle to fight dump blaze

| 21/04/2011

(CNS):(Updated Monday)-Firefighters finally managed to contain a fierce blaze at the George Town landfill to the northwest corner on Thursday evening after a long battle. Fire Service officials said it had started in the very early hours of the morning (21 April) around 3:30am, and 25 crew members were still struggling to keep in under control in the area where household rubbish is kept. Hoping to have it doused by Friday Chief Fire Officer Dennom Bodden said it was deep-seated. He explained that putting out the blaze required excavators to lift up underlying burning rubbish and fire tankers to douse and dampen the flames. "This is a long process. There is still considerable smoke, but we expect to have it extinguished by this evening,” he said on the eve of the Easter break. (Photo Bina Mani)

Some 25 firefighters from Fire Services and DEH were staffing three fire tankers and a trailer pump, plus two excavators, to keep the fire contained.

Although fires are frequent at landfills they are difficult to fight and potentially very dangerous as a result of the methane and other gasses present. The fire comes at a time when government has gone silent regarding the long term plans to tackle Mount Trashmore, as the dump is known.


Just before Christmas the Central Tenders Committee awarded the contract to clean up and manage the dump to international waste-to-energy experts Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. Following that the premier made an announcement that the dump would be moved and the current site given to Dart.

Over the last few weeks CNS has contacted a number of government officials involved in the current negotiations but despite repeated efforts has received no information. It is understood, however, that Dart, which reportedly came seventh in the technical team’s evaluation of the bids, is currently negotiating with the contract bid winners over the plans to move the landfill, possibly to Bodden Town, and how they will work with Wheelabrator moving forward.

As a waste to energy firm, Wheelabrator had bid on the contract expecting to mine the existing dump and use the contents to burn for energy, which would be sold to CUC where. With Dart’s plan to cap and remediate the existing dump, Wheelabrator will under these circumstances lose access to a large part of what would have been its potential revenue.

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  1. B L Seebub says:

    Why don’t we move the dump to East End?  That district has to make some contribution to island’s needs.

    • Jesus an a Surfboard says:

      Because the top priority now is dredging the North Sound.  The dump is not in the current list of priorities.  The island’s needs are not important.  The top priority must be to dredge the North Sound.  None of the rest matters. Dredge the North Sound.  Dredge the North Sound…

  2. Caymanfisting says:

    Yeah put the new trash heap in Bodden Town the islands first capital….destroy all the historical value that place (the most rapid growing district of our island) has… put it right next to the best futbol pitch on the rock….right next to the turtles nest inn right by the best authentic undisturbed ocean view with 200ft of coral reef out….sounds like a great plan….maybe if you put it far enough out Premaddona errr Premier Bush candredge a whole new island near BTown & Shetty can build his hospital and have a port that reaches all the way around our island to let everyone on our rock without a reason to be here in….I love this place and will never sell but let’s get back to OUR ROOTS!!! 

  3. Truth Police says:

    And Nero fiddled as Rome burned….

    Surely Mac is fine musician 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    One of the few days when there are major numbers of Cruise ships in and the highest thing on the horizon is obscuring the view as it is on fire.

    I guess it was approaching the 100 foot mark again so it is overdue a ‘spontaneous combustion’.

  5. Anonymous says:

    the dump is a monument to the incompetence and failures of caymanian politicians

    • Anonymous says:

      we need a incinerator to burn the garbage and feed the power back in the grid

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with what you say. The thing that amazes and angers me is the total absence of any organised recycling on the Islands. Here we are in the 21st Century and we are still putting glass, tin cans, paper and cardboard INTO THE GROUND!!!!!!!!!!!. It’s obscene and yet the Government does nothing. On the Brac almost all the supplies come over by barge, they empty the barge and off it chugs back to Grand more or less empty. Scrap metal is fetching good money now, and yet there is a mountain of it on the dump and nothing is done. As with Trashmore on Grand, the Brac dump is a dreadful eyesore for visitors and residents alike.

  6. Anonymous says:

    And the headline might read  "Another "hot load" starts the dump fire". One wonders what burn value the dump currently has in it with all the previous fires. This seems to be slipping down on CIG’s most sexy project list. Problem is that these fires generate even nastier compounds than exist in the raw garbage alone and with the onset of the rainy season the toxics simply wash out into the groundwater and canals.

    No wonder CIG is delaying enactment of the Conservation Law as it would be the prime violator if it were in place. Too bad CIG did nothing of substance to address this catastophe in the past when the river of revenue was a torrent.

    The smell of greed, rotten politicians and complete lack of environmental responsibility is far worse than any odor coming from the dump!

    Premier, put your travels aside and get this sorted!

  7. Anonymous says:

    One cannot get away from the smell or the smoke – even driving through town it is bad and the Esterly Tibbets highway is terrible! What is this doing to all of us???

  8. Anonymous says:

    If I were a paying tourist off a cruise ship and was subjected to the horrible stink of the garbage dump smoke I would take numerous photos and tell everyone to avoid Cayman as it smells bad.

    When with people take this dump disaster seriously? When a country’s tourist product positions itself as high end and then has dump fires sending stink around the island what else can you say?

    Close the existing dump and open the new landfill with properly treated land preparation to service the country for many decades into the future.

    Those against are obstructionists and selfishly hurting the country.



    • Anonymous says:

       With a fire like this sure thing Poor Annas remains wil probally never be found, as this is where the Public believes that she is.