Expert says keep dump in GT

| 06/02/2012

landfill (300x278).jpg(CNS): The local civil engineer who worked on the latest buildings erected at the George Town landfill has stated that government should not move the dump but address the problem on site. Sam Small, the consultant engineer who signed off on the sorting and recycling structures built at the George Town landfill during the previous administration, which have yet to be used, said there is sufficient room to create the envisioned modern waste management system on the current site. He explained that since the scrap metal was removed, there is now space to cap and remediate the existing dump while simultaneously setting up an eco-waste park at the same facility.

“The Mount Trashmore facility should have many more years in it now the scrap metal has been removed and it already has a recycling centre there as I was the engineer of record who signed off the buildings some years ago,” Small said, adding that the Dart Group could cap the existing landfill and remediate it where it is.

“Instead of moving, build on the adjacent free government land where the waste metal was stored a state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion plant and incinerator, which does not smell and could cope with the waste after recycling without destroying any more of Cayman’s environment,” the expert advised this week in the wake of a publicity campaign by the ForCayman Alliance regarding its proposals for opening a new waste management facility in Bodden Town.

Small, who is a resident of the district, says he backs the position of the Coalition to Keep BT Dump Free because the landfill issue should be addressed in George Town. “Mount Trashmore can best be solved where it is instead of contaminating a new site,” he said.

With over twenty years experience both in the UK and in the Cayman Islands and an avid environmentalist, Small said he is supporting the coalition, not least because moving the landfill so far from the main source of the waste was “a really daft idea”.

Despite claims on the new flyer circulated by the Dart Group to Bodden Town residents, Small said that the proposal for the new site is not really any different from what currently happens in George Town with the exception of the proposed liner.

“What ForCayman Alliance is offering for Bodden Town is exactly the same as we have at the GT landfill, apart from a liner under the proposed landfill,” he said.  “When the GT landfill started it was not common practice to line tip areas. However today it is best practice to do so, but this does not deal with the run off which is seen entering the North Sound.”

He questioned what would be in place to stop run off at the proposed new site contaminating the wetlands area. “Dart has openly stated that they are not going to operate the site and so the same operators who currently run GT landfill will operate BT landfill with the same guidelines of covering the fill on a daily basis as they are meant to today,” Small said.

He pointed out that the pictures on the website for the new landfill show buildings which are exactly the same buildings currently at the George Town recycling centre that are not being used. “Why are we expected to believe thatthe same operators are going to suddenly do things differently from what they currently do?” the engineer asked. “There are no formal mass recycling programs today because DEH is underfunded.”

As the battle to stop the proposed move gathers pace, the coalition has also raised concerns about the latest claims by the alliance regarding “discussions” with several government agencies. None of the coalition’s FOI requests have turned up any documents to reflect this, with the exception of one meeting last September with the Water Authority, Dart and engineering consultants APEC

In this meeting Dart stated that the new waste management facility would provide for the same processes carried out at the current landfill site and not, as Environment Minister and district representative Mark Scotland has claimed, “bear no resemblance whatsoever to, nor will it be operated in a similar manner as the dump” at the current location.  

In its latest promotional material Dart has pointed to three studies which concluded that the George Town landfill should be moved, but none of those pointed to Bodden Town and all were published before 2003. The most current study commissioned by government, published in 2008 and costing $148,000, was written by APEC and concluded that the present site in George Town with a waste-to-energy facility could be used for the foreseeable future and with proper management the waste problem could be tackled at the present site.

The lack of any report pointing to Bodden Town as a potential location continues to fuel the concerns of the coalition members, who say that the landfill should not be relocated just to please one developer. The lack of specific plans and information on the proposal is also an issue as the coalition states that the only thing that has been produced is “meaningless artist’s conceptual” drawings of the proposed new waste management site. 

Small said that in the interest of the country as a whole there needs to be an independent, legal, public enquiry into the issue of Grand Cayman’s municipal waste issue.  “The environmental issues alone, if mismanaged, could destroy Cayman’s eco system, thus affecting our health and well-being, future tourism revenue plus additional government costs, as well as affecting this country’s ability to repay its national debt, thereby incurring additional liability for the UK,” the engineer warned.

See minutes from WAter authority Dart/APEC meeting and Flyer on BT landfill proposal below.

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Comments (52)

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  1. moose says:

    if the waste management facilities are as good as the udp say they are, why cant the dump stay where it is and be managed from there?

  2. tim the recycle man says:

    There is plenty of recycling going on in Cayman  Many businesses are doing the recycle thing

    There are over 100 collectors that I pay everyweek to bring me trash…recycle stuff… to ship off island.

    the men are trained as sorters, processors, collectors  etc and they take there jobs seriously and feed their familys….. crime is lower….. FACT…..

    The problem is that these men are not allowed to go into the landfill and bring me the material,

    and the stuff available at local businesses is getting harder to comeby.

    If they were allowed to go into Mt Trashmore  I am sure the pile would shrink quite rapidly and

    there would be plenty of jobs and money for all….and caymans trash problem would be over  



  3. Anonymous says:

    I heard a marl road rumor that there is a large oil deposit underneath the dump! 

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think Dart would be perfectly happy if the government decided to fix Mt Trashmore and have a modern waste facility there, BUT it ain't going to happen because nobody wants to pay a garbage pickup fee so the government can't afford to do anything at all about the place even if it had an idea what to do.

  5. Waste not Want Not says:


    I totally agree! If the new BT proposed state of the art waste management facility is to be so clean and benign then build it on the original GT site next to Camana Bay and the Dart NIMBYs. Doing this will also assure that the facility is run in a responsible manner as Dart will be forced to take an active part in oversight of his neighbor.

    The likelihood of an out of sight, out of mind facility in BT being run responsibly will be out of Dart's hands and not likely that he will care either.

    It should be left to Dart to demonstrate to prospective residential clients at Camana Bay that a new waste management facility and capped existing waste pile can safely coexist side by side.

  6. anonymous says:

    I say we shud put about 100 tons of soil on the current dump and grow huge trees on it and disguise it as a mountain, then start a new dump

  7. Anonymous says:

    everyone is missing the point….remediating/mining the current dump and the waste to energy proposals at the current site will cost government $100+m and will take 25 years…..

    cayman does not have the money or the time!!!!!!

    wake up to the facts!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you charge for garbage pickup like everywhere else, you can use the charge to fund a garbage authority to sell bonds like everywhere else to pay for a garbage plant like everywhere else. This is not rocket science.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If I was allowed to do the recycling at the landfill instead of running around in my trucks begging for material  from local businesses and residents  I sure would be able to ship lots more off this island ..tim

  9. Anonymous says:

    At least there is one sensible person out there. Who is Sam Small anyway and what are his credentials.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is tourist central – the dump has got to go!

  11. Anonymous says:

    People just want to vote against anything that is going to happen here!

    You people are unbelievable!

    Now vote against me! LMAO

  12. Anonymous says:

    ForCayman Alliance is not for Cayman, but rater for Investors to invest in Cayman and line their own pockets too.  They are all pro UDP!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Investors are not attracted by anything other than money. That dump can stay right there and be processed.  Bodden Town is mostly a local residential district, so why should they have the dump?  Those investors came here when the dump was in George Town, they came and found it there, so now what is the big issue?  Keep it where it is please. Listen to the man.

  14. Anon 1.0 says:

    Dart is the puppeteer and the MLA's are the marionettes. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    I think we should just cancel any and all development in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, at least until we get a Government that can go about it the right way.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Why don't we just invite the wealthy expatriates and their families and friends that they brought with them when they relocated to just leave and take their money with them so we can peacefully get back to our smoke pots and our cow killing mosquitos? That way no one will have to fuss and fight over the dump and it can remain where it is in the HEART of the tourism product (seeing as how we won't have tourists to be affected by it). This will also leave the West Bay Rd. where it is now so when the next hurricane hits we can again be blocked from going to West Bay after all who cares about them and wether or not we can reach them in an emergency such as was seen with Hurricane Ivan. We also wouldn't have to worry about building the port either. So what do you say Cayman , smoke-pots and mozzies or progress and economic growth? Without progress there would have been no ice for cold water on hot days or even worse Cayman no a/c for those hot summer nights instead we would have kerosene lamps and cardboard to fan ourselves with.

    I say move the dump and stop wasting time, every day it's getting worse. I work with tourists on West Bay Rd. and I am tired of being embarrassed to answer their questions about the STENCH outside the building which of course is coming straight from Mt.Trashmore.

    Bottom Line it has to be moved and soon.

  17. Anonymous says:

    DART explained to WA that the reparcelling of the lots was "to simplify  polling for rezoning". With DART owning all the land within the 1000 foot radius effectively no polling would be required.

    Thanks Mac, Thanks Ritz.

  18. I Love Big Dumps says:

    The current site is unsustainable for the long term. Short sightedness and lack of foresight are what have gotten Cayman in to it's current mess. Keep it up and see where it gets you.



    • Anonymous says:

      Know it all's have also played a very large role in getting Cayman in it's current mess.

  19. Anonymous says:

    NIMBY – Not in MY back yard.

    This applies more to George Town becuase the dump is a fowl smelling eye-sore that greets our cruise ship passengers, stay-over vacationers and property investor's in the lower sections of Seven Mile Beach.

    For this point alone the dump should be moved. You cannot have PRIME tourism and investment area blighted by the dump any longer.

    Would you go to a restuarant that kept their rotting gargage behind the bar and in the corridors?? No. Of course not!!

    Stop the political BS and lets start looking at how Cayman is going to attract investment, keep people here and put people to work.

    Otherwise the outlook for Cayman is VERY BLEAK INDEED.

    Think about what would happen if DART decided it wasn't worth the hassle to deal with all this BS. Camana Bay would be like the old Hyatt property.Hundred's of people out of work. Toursts not coming to Cayman and CAYMANIANS struggling to find work and pay their way.

    So think about the consequences of your actions…

    • Anonymous says:

      C'mon! Dart builds next to the dump. Then you say that the dump shouldn't be next to Dart's beautiful new Caymana Bay! Then why did he build it there in the first place?! Dart's a long-range thinker. He wouldn't have built Caymana Bay next to a dump unless he had already decided that he was going to get the dump moved! He has the money and the political connections to do whatever he wants. So Bodden Town has to suffer the consequences? We have the rehab center, we have the prison and now we get the dump? As the slogan says, "Dont dump on Bodden Town!"





    • Anonymous says:

      Think about the consequences of your ignorant statement.  DART must know that his investments will go down the proverbial dump-drain when this stupid idea is implemented.  Now you will have contaminated the North-East and South-East coastlines of the island – of which the North is the last decent area to go diving anymore – and tourists will go to Cuba or elsewhere to enjoy this sport.  People don't have to come to Cayman to accomplish banking transactions anymore as they all access their accounts online like the rest of us.  They do have to come here physically to go diving.  So ruin that attraction and what does Cayman have left to offer?  Two Dumps!!!   Brilliant.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where are the huge plans the Premier had for the Hyatt?  Could some one give an answer, speak loud, I am deaf.

  20. Anon a mouse says:

    Sam Small is an Construction Engineer, NOT a Waste Management Expert. There are several prudent reasons for relocating / building a New Waste Management / Landfill facility. 1) The George Town Dump IS NOT a Landfill. It was poorly conceived, designed & even less managed and maintained. It IS leaching into the North Sound & our Ground-water. If you doubt this, just take a walk or drive down the Dyke Road that separates the Dump from Camana Bay's property, all the way to the North Sound. 2) Because the Operation of the Dump has been so poorly Managed for Decades, the cost to process and recover any useable energy or scrap exceeds the value that could be recovered. Who will pay to clean-up our mess? More importantly, any such undertaking will take Decades. 3) IF we were to try & "Mine" the Dump as proposed by Mr Small, how would he propose that we control the Smell (which permeates our Tourist district & Capital several times a year) or the Fires that will spontaneously combust as a result of the sudden introduction of large amounts of oxygen (air) into Mount Trashmore? XXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      well said…. there is a huge lack of honesty and knowledge by most posters on this subject…..

  21. Anonymous says:

    A hell with those experts!  What do you think dart and mac is???  experts!!!

  22. Alan Nivia says:

    The proposed new site is much more appropriate.  Cayman's central tourist district is hard to make attractive without the stench and eyesore of the dump making it impossible.  The moaning is just nimbyism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Could you please rephrase your second sentence so it makes the slightest bit of sense? Apparently you haven't heard it's going to be a state of the art watchamacalit?

    • Anonymous says:

      Then move the tourism to the Eastern districts and deal with the dump in GT

  23. dumpdoubter says:

    What is the difference between the old and the new landfill exactly? Now with this new, ultramodern waste facility we will all of a sudden embrace recycling and will live happily ever after. Dart must be dreaming, or they just say what they think we want to hear. Do not forget that efforts to recycle have been going on for at least 25 years with limited success: DEH does not have the funds, the average household in Cayman has no idea how to recycle and there is virtually no market in Cayman for most recycled products. It has been cheaper to dump everything in the dump rather than making compost, sending paper overseas for processing and to reuse glass. DEH did not get far with recycling, not that they did not try, but there is just so much they can do on an island with 50,000 people. Now, maybe, maybe, maybe if we can drop of all our used styrofoam Dart cups and styrofoam Dart containers at Camana Bay and Dart will do something green with these they may convince me that the Bodden Town dump is the start of a new era.

  24. Anonymous says:

    built at the George Town landfill during the previous administration, which have yet to be used, said there is sufficient room to create the envisioned modern waste management system on the current site.

    I am so tried of these politicians starting projects wasting our money, getting sued, the corruption,above the law untouchables while we are out of work and our children are starving.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the Government will listen to an expert or just do what Dart says/wants?

    • Anonymous says:

      I think Sam Small is a nice guy and great engineer but its a bit of a stretch to title him an expert in waste management. He makes some very good points about the current location and if his suggestion included a plasm gassification unit, then it would seem quite feasible that at least a majority of the deadly toxins burried in and about the GT location could be dealt with effectively. I doubt there is anything that can be done about about the amount of toxins that have leached into the ground short of excavating a hole to China. Unfortunately, it is obvious to just about everyone, that the move is a matter of "visual aesthetics" and the desire of the Caman Bay project to begin the development of 1000 or so residential lots on the land located bewteen the city centre and the sound.


  26. Dred says:

    I am still not sure if anyone really GETS IT.

    UDP would want us to believe that the GT site CAN NOT WORK. The truth to the matter is this. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT AT ALL. NOTHING!!!

    What it has to do with is this. DART has invested millions and millions of dollars into developments along the upper side of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway and the GT dump is keeping the value of his property down. The Capping of the GT dump and relocation of future dump would lead to property valuation increases.

    This is it in a nutshell. If you think for 1 iota of a second they do not know that the dump can remain where it is and everything done there as it would be done it BT are just 2 cents short of being in a mental facility.

    They (UDP) who is being XXXX figuratively bought out by DART is fighting really hard to convince us otherwise but all they are spouting is just CRAP. And as for those two BTers their days are numbered. They will be one and done artist. I have spoken to quite a few BTers who threw UDP votes and not one wants UDP back.

    I would ask Mark and John John if this is really what they want to be remembered for:

    1) Being a YES MAN to Big Marx

    2) Selling out the people of their district for the DART dollar.

    I woudl ask them to remember Roy Bodden and Gilbert and what happened to them when their backs were turned on BT after Ivan. This is the 2013 Equivalent.

    By siding with the UDP party you have sealed your political death warrant yourselves.

  27. Anonymous says:

    it's nice to know that there are some people with some sense, experience and understanding out there.  Thank you Mr Small for shedding more light onto what is a very murky story.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Get the dump out of GT! There is a children school next to it now and apartments goin up around it.

    I could find 100 experts to explain why 50 different locations on the island are the ‘best’ place….give me a break.

    Cap this disgusting eyesore and do the facility elsewhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean the dump that is located in a zoned heavy industrial area, built 30 years before a school or apartments, that's the one that should be moved right?  The one that has prevailing winds blowing the smell out to sea for 90% of the time, the one that is central to most of the waste produced on the island, that one? 

      Yes, much better to blight a second area whilst the original dump leaches into the northsound for another 20 years.

      If you want to remediate the harm already done you need to remove the dump through waste to energy and mining. Combine that with a programme of not adding to the pile and you would be on the right track. WTE and mining have a downside in that by disturbing a pile of rotting material you will undoubetdly make the smell worse.

      I think anyone without a vested interest, or in the immediate vicinity, would go with the WTE option.  Dart has come up with a second lesser proposal to meet his own needs, he knows that ANY remedial work to the dump will make things worse for him and doesn't want to wait 20 years before his school and land become viable.

      I wonder why you would build there without any thought of your neighbouring environment, the land was cheap for a reason!

    • Anonymous says:

      The school and apartments were all built AFTER the dump was there. I am at a lost why you would invest millions to build next to a dump? Dart clearly made a mistake here and is now trying to recover but we need to be smarter and push for what 's best for OUR investment.

      • Anonymous says:

        because people probably thought caymanians might see the error of their ways…..

    • beachbaymeatballs says:

      There is also a SCHOOL, apartments and houses in Bodden Town.Are you suggesting that those Human Beings who live,work and play in Bodden Town are inferior to those at Caymana Bay?

    • Anonymous says:

      Honestly guys, the dump was there LONG before Dart school or the apartments were built but now all of a sudden it has to be moved just because they choose to squat right next to it? if Dart and the udp had not cooked this up for the benefit of Dart (once again), not a word would be said about moving the dump. 

      • Yep says:

        All of a sudden?  All of a sudden  the dump is 150 tall.  It's been a major issue on the government's agenda for 15 years. There was a costly study done and recommendation to find a new solid waste management more than a decade ago.  Did you just move here or something. Or do you only read blogs?

  29. Anonymous says:

    That's what we've all been telling our beloved UDP for years now.

  30. B.B.L. Brown says:

    What Mr. Small recommends makes more sense than anything I have read so far.  I think we should listen to him……… and I think our government should listen to him!

    • Really Anonymous says:

      Perhaps if you voted in a person who has the ability to listen to you?  Maybe check his resume first?   Bush was a failure long before he became your King.  Now he is a very rich failure.  The chance that he would listen to you is about as far fetched as a real investigation against him in his own kingdom.

  31. Anonymous says:

    ForCayman Alliance has the potential for a new category of medical tourism; International Spin Doctors. lol.

  32. maurice bloom says:

    Encapsulation of the Mt Trashmore waste is the way forward for your Island.  In simple, waste can be compacted into rectangular shaped blocks, then dipped into a trank of molten plastic (the product of waste) to encapsulate the block, followed by the block being further encapsulated by spraying on a fibre reinforced cement coating.  Each block would  then be used as a former to create a structural ground fill, as follows :-  the rectangular blocks will be laid with a suitably sized gap/space between., when a platform/first layer is laid, liquid concrete is poured between the blocks followedby an additional layer on the topside., the layering is commenced again, but in the opposite direction., the depth of the filled area can be suitably high to prevent flooding, structurally stable and environmentally safe to construct upon.  As a matter of understanding:- if a model of the described method was made and the a section of the model cut through on a bandsaw., you will see a honeycomb configuration.

    In my opinion this would be a very clean, useful, cost effective and speedy resolution to your waste problems, whilst expanding areas to be suitable for housing or commercial needs.

    I offer my services to your Government, free of cost for my services, to create a facility to give you an affordable solution to the Trashmore problem.  Will the reader please give Sam Small, your Government Officials and local newspapers, notice of my comments which have not been made for financial or political gain and I wish to assure you all that this is a very sensible and practical solution to your problem.

    Please feel free to send me your reponse to my e-mail address.  Yours sincerely. Maurice Bloom.