Dump RFP not too ‘wise’

| 03/12/2010

(CNS): A group of advocates that are campaigning to move the George Town dump and change the way the country manages its rubbish have said they have a number of concerns with government’s Request for Proposal on the future of Mount Trashmore. WISE said that while government had not restricted the RFP to waste-to-energy solutions, its preference for mining as a way of remediating the dump presented public health and environmental risks as well as problems with time and cost. The activists have also criticised the RFP for a lack of critical information and says the shortcomings would make it difficult for bidders to comply with the proposal.

“The RFP requires the successful bidder to finance its proposed undertaking to build, own and operate a Comprehensive Solid Waste Disposal Management and Waste-to-Energy Facility,” Theresa Broderick, a member of the community group’s coordinating committee said. “While the RFP states that WTE must form the ‘core technology’, it also calls for economical balance; yet, WTE is not necessarily the most economically appropriate approach.”

The members of WISE say they remain sceptical as to whether the economics of WTE are sustainable in the long term, so the financial modelling by any bidder will require careful analysis.

The group has called on government to allow proposers to make technical presentations to the
Technical Advisory Committee/Central Tenders Committee to spell out the possible options.

WISE also said that government’s goal to reduce the height of the dump as a priority was misplaced as top of the list should be to stop the leaching into the North South, avoiding air, odour and noise pollutants.

“As far as the aesthetics of the dump are concerned, aggressively remediating and capping the landfill — in other words, remedying the environmental hazards then covering with impermeable layers and green landscaping — remains the most expedient way and cost-effective way of reversing the ills of the dump,” Broderick stated.

The group has also raised concerns that the RFP has been significantly compromised as any proposed solution has to have the benefit of being able to review the current condition of the dump. However, no Site Characterization Study has been carried-out — the only way, the activists say, to fully determine the specific remediation measures required in addressing environmental and public health concerns.

Although the RFP does not rule out an alternative site, the RFP indicates that the existing landfill is the preferred location, but WISE says the site is too small for a comprehensive solid waste management disposal facility that would include reuse and recycling. It also criticises the RFP for not properly addressing the recycling issue.

“While the concept of comprehensively dealing with disposal of solid waste has been articulated, there is very little detail required on this component of the facility’s system,” WISE stated. “Recycling targets should be specified. At a minimum, the goals set forth in the 2008 Draft Development Plan should be adopted. This would ensure at least 12% is recycled with that target increasing to 32% over the following 20 years.”

See WISE statement in full below.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I said it sooo many times before. Whilst all this discussion is going on, simultaneously something needs to be done to minimize or prevent garbage as much as possible. Make restaurants and bars do away with throw-away plastic dishes and cutterly, and make them use washable plastic etc. It can be done!

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps you don’t know who invented and manufactures styrofoam cups and containers, and where they live….. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Flying into Grand Cayman yesterday you couldn’t miss the landfill, it looked like a huge boil in the center of George Town.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Whatever else is done the mountain of trash has to eliminated. It will never stop leaching into North Sound unless you completely eliminate it. Capping it will not stop it from leaking out the bottom. Start incinerating it tomorrow.

    • Caymanians for logic says:

      Here is the story on burning….Arden suggested it would take 18 years to recycle! And opening it exposes the dump to more burning and more leaching into the North Sound. Do not let anyone tell you that the dump can be burned down to nothing.

      Lets get real, there is nothing much in the dump left to burn after all those uncontrolled fires over the years. It is estimated less than 25% is recyclable and you have to dig up the whole thing, then cover it back up to just to find that 25%!. Silly

      The only option is to cover it over and seal it which will eventually stop the leaching. Move it and start over properly.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I keep reading about a place in WB that has a high wall around it that was paid for by the public. This may be able to hold a lot of garbage and keep it from flowing into the street.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What is amazing for a high end tourist destination is to have a mountain of garbage on some days within smelling distance from the major tourist area within the country.

    I really thought the photograph of the dump from the deck of a cruise ship would shame the country into action but apparently the shame of that picture was not enough to motivate any action.

    I regret that until there is a complete environmental meltdown at the dump and massive damage then nothing will be done.

    • Swimfan says:

      Where is this "high end tourist destination"?  Were aren’t talking about one of those, just Grand Cayman, which is towards the mediocre end of the tourist destination spectrum.

  6. Anonymous says:

    if dart want to deal with just give it to them…..instead of years of discussion which will usually lead to the wrong decision by cayman politicians……

  7. Anonymous says:

    I quess we need another study to add to the piles of other studies done in the past. Do you really think our present gvt. care ? No money in it. what a pile of garbage talk !

  8. Anonymous says:

    Move the dump!  I cannot believe that it is even suggested to continue in the existing place.  Mine it as best possible and then cover it up and start a new one elsewhere.  Can people not see the eye sore it is to our Island?  It hurts the entire population in many ways where it is.  Moving it to a less visible area will help.