Trouble over trash

| 24/11/2011

The Coalition to Keep BT Dump Free is again asking the government to unconditionally cancel the agreement with Dart to move the George Town garbage dump to Bodden Town.  For Dart, moving the dump means that they can further extend Camana Bay and develop their “Future Residential Area”, which faces the present dump.  But a new dump would threaten the integrity of historic Bodden Town, challenge an already inadequate infrastructure, and threaten the central wetlands.

The Dart public relations machine is trying to mislead us into believing that the dump must be moved.  This is not true!  What is true, as repeatedly made clear by Dart, is that once they hand the new site over to the government, they’ll have absolutely nothing to do with its management or the operation of any recycling facility, leaving this to the same governments which have grossly mismanaged the present dump.  We urgently call on the Government to do what’s best for the people of Bodden Town, and not what’s best for the profits of a private company.

Selecting Bodden Town as the site of a new garbage dump ignores all common sense precautions and considerations:

Dumps should be located in an industrial area, like the present site — not in a residential or farm area. The agreement would require the rezoning of Midland Acres;

A dump should be located as close as possible to the source of the waste (George Town, West Bay and Seven Mile Beach), and the present site is ideally located;

A dump should be as close as possible to major transportation links (air, ship, highway), as is the present dump in George Town;

The site should have immediate access to a major roadway, and the George Town dump borders on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway;

A dump should never be near nature and animal preserves, but Meagre Bay Pond, one of the island’s key bird sanctuaries, is less than 1500 feet from Midland Acres;

Areas of cultural and historic value should be avoided.  Bodden Town is the original capital of the Cayman Islands, and home to Pedro Castle, the Mission House, Gun Square, Slaves Wall, the Guardhouse, and several historic homes;

Wide open areas vulnerable to natural disasters (like hurricanes) are to be avoided.  Imagine how far afield the garbage from Midland Acres would have been after Hurricane Ivan;

For both supply and possible resale of recycled power, a dump should be as close as possible to the energysource, and the present site is about 1500’ from CUC;

A dump should be as close as possible to the public sewage network, and the sewage plant is next door to the George Town dump;

More importantly, a dump should be located where property owners and residents have prior knowledge of the proximity of a waste disposal facility;

At the very least, the population of Bodden Town should be asked for their prior consent – and no such consultation seems forthcoming;

But, the cardinal rule is never relocate a dump, don’t contaminate a new site, exhaust all conceivable avenues allowing the dump to remain where it is; any new and improved waste management technology touted for a new site should be implemented (and tested, risk-free) at the existing site.

Relocating the dump to Bodden Town makes no sense at all.  In fact, among the countless solutions put forward since the dump in George Town was established in 1983, moving the dump anywhere was never proposed by anyone – not until Dart wanted the George Town dump removed from sight and smell of Camana Bay. 

No one ever claimed that the present dump had to be moved until the idea was floated last year by a group called WISE, claiming to be a “non-profit advocacy group”.  According to the Caymanian Compass of October 4th 2010, the group admits that its proposal was based on “research” it commissioned from Apec Consulting Engineers Ltd., and Apec’s major client is Dart and Camana Bay.  One of the key WISE spokespersons is Pilar Bush, head of AtWater Consulting and a paid spokeswoman for Dart and Camana Bay. 

This group may be “non-profit”, but we suspect that it’s far from objective – that the “need” to move the dump is pure fiction invented by the Dart PR machine.  And, cynically calling the proposed Bodden Town garbage dump an “Eco Park” is another PR trick, like calling a cemetery an amusement park.

In October 2010, the Government invited tenders to redevelop the GT landfill and create a waste-to-energy facility.  Proposals were specifically limited to dealing with the landfill on the current site.  It is understood that the only proposal to move the dump to Bodden Town, submitted by Decco, Dart’s construction company, ended up in 6th or 7th place, and did not even make the Central Tenders Committee’s “short list”. 

It did not meet the parametres of the Request for Proposals, and there were “concerns about the potential environmental impact of locating a new dump in the central wetlands area”.

The tenders procedure ended with the government announcing in December that the winning bid was submitted by Wheelabrator Technologies to build and operate a hi-tech waste-to-energy facility on the present site, which would sell the energy created to CUC. 

What changed all this?

Along came the spinmasters from Dart with the need to move the dump, while its executives admitted that the present dump was the “single most commonly stated hurdle for potential purchasers of various residential units at Camana Bay”.  There we have the only reason for moving the dump!

We are not against new development, but moving the garbage dump to Midland Acres offers no jobs or economic growth.  Quite the opposite.  It will be an immediate obstacle to new businesses being established in the district, and to new residential developments.  Bodden Town will face a major increase in truck traffic, noise and pollution, along a main road already critically dangerous and overtaxed.  While Dart’s real estate will increase in value, Bodden Town will likely suffer a decrease in property vealus. 

Bodden Towners will be exposed to possible toxic air emissions, a stench which, with winds from the East, could easily extend well beyond the village of Bodden Town towards the west, the risk of fires and explosions, disease through rodents and other pests, potential contamination of the water table extending into the central wetlands, and a possible disaster in the event of a major hurricane.  Who would want to “Go East”?

Don’t Dump on Bodden Town!  Keep BT Dump Free!  No to rezoning Midland Acres!  Not a single vote to any candidate who supports a dump in Bodden Town!  The proposed dump must be stopped!

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  1. T.L. Haranguer says:

    It got to go somewhere guys, Bodden Town is Central it is the best location for the future when East and North have to take up the growth we will inevitably experiance.

  2. anonymous says:

    The proposed landfill is a lined, managed facility. I agree, keep BT 'dumpfree' but please hurry and move the 'landfill' there!

    The idea that inland Breakers is in 'historic Bodden Town' is simply a joke.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don't get it. At least 200 truck loads of garbage will be passing along the main road of historic BT everyday. This, whether you want to admit it or not, will impact our community. Moreover, the dump will stop further residential development, and be an obstacle to economic growth. Please keep in mind that Midland Acres is part of BT district. So please keep BT dump free!


      • Anonymous says:

        Don't worry when the new landfill is up and running everything will be alright.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As George Towners, we have had a dump for the whole island in our backyard for a very long time.  Now we need to do a proper lined landfill with recycling components where we can have a large buffer zone around it. Obviously the present location immediately downwind to our prime business and tourism centres, does not present a suitable solution.

    The people of George Town, West Bay, North Side and East End should get together and sign a petition too!! Lets see who gets the most signatures.



  4. Anonymous says:

    Please move forward with the landfill relocation to Boddentown. Accept there will always be some who object to this decision to relocate the landfill and will mistakenly believe it will hurt their district when it will not.

    But in making this relocation move insure this new landfill is maintained and operated in a professional manner separating the refuse and recycling where ever possible.

    The new landfill cannot be operated in the same old manner.

  5. Concern_Resident says:

    Its a shame that everyone is arguing over where to put the new DUMP yet no one is stopping to figure out why it is being located between Midland Acres and Breakers. Why should the residents of this area suffer because a Caymanian landowner decided to use his land as a marl pit and after digging everything out the best thing to do was to sell it. So he gets involved with the UDP and cuts a deal with Dart and the UDP to not only get a sale,but also ensure that business on the proposed project is sent his way. XXXX

    Is the new Enterprise City going to have its own "Waste Management Facility" like they have their own Immigration work permit Deapartment. Has Dart or the UDP requested an enviromental impact study on the proposed facility? Why hasn't this been shared with the residents of Bodden Town or members of the Public.

    When are we going to get the complete truth about this project. All of these new projects are going to create more waste and those that will be managing the new facility are not fully qualified to run the facility. Can someone please tell me which member of the Cabinet is fully qualified to understand the true impact of this site. They are all too busy trying to convince the public of the economical impact for the rest of the island while ignoring the environmental and social impact on the affected community.

    • Anonymous says:

      People really need to get their stories straight before criticizing. This is the second time I have had to correct the critics who know nothing of what is going on. Ok, here goes:

      The Caymanian land owner you speak of indeed has a quarry which is in operation. This operation is being carried out on the land ADJACENT to the land he is selling to Dart for the Waste Treatment Facility. The land he sold is untouched and not a single cubic yard has been excavated from it. Ask yourself: why on earth would someone buy a piece of land that required filling a huge hole in the ground before even starting to relocate the dump?? And it only makes sense for trucking purposes that Dart would buy fill from somehwere as close as possible to his proposed site. I'm not sitting at the deal table but from here it seems like no "deal" was needed to be cut. The owner had unsused land that Dart offered to buy, he agrees to sell it and probably now offers to fill the land (somethign any quarry operator would do).

      Why would the New Enterprise City have its own Waste Management Facility? The new facility is proposed for Breakers and although most waste is generated in Town and West Bay, where is the new Shetty Hospital going to be located? East End. The Enterprise City? East End. Clifton Hunter? North Side. Cayman is expanding and develpoment is moving eastward. Wouldn't it be a good idea to have a waste management facility in a central part of the island?

      Again, I agree that those that will be managing the site are inept and incapable but that has nothing to do with Dart or the previous land owner. That's all on the shoulders of DEH.

      Please, I emplore you to get the facts before you start spouting fiction.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I've said it before, I still think the dump should go in South Sound in all that marsh land.  It's close to town and good for environment (garbage trucks won't have to drive as far and burn diesel, contribute to green house gases etc).  It's also to the West of the Island so the smell will be swept away easily.  This dump would not need a canal, so the South Sounders would be for it.


  7. Anonymous says:

    Which Caymanian sold property in BT to Dart for the dumpsite?  Lol!! Don't stop the progress!!

  8. furious-btowner says:

    Do I smell the Dart PR machine hard at work here to undermine opposition to the BT dump? They must be alarmed and surprised. Did they (& the govt) think bodden towners wre poor uneducted & stupid??? Well we're not and we're going to fight them!! Why should BT pay for Dart to make more money???

    • Anonymous says:

      This isn't about where the dump should go. It's all about Dart and his money. Why are we Caymanians so against businesses making money. We do it all the time to our own people. 

      Have any of you seen a real waste facility, i would suggest you travel abroad and get educated…..get your head out the sand….some of you are a real embarrassment to Cayman.

      There are so much opportunities, jobs, businesses which will derive from this project, but you all so damn dumb and drunk with hate for Mr. Dart that you can't see the forest for the trees.

  9. Anonymous says:

    In all honesty I understand that some will be against this new landfill site forever and theycan be assured that it will be done professionally and with all available environmental safety.

    Boddentowners should get first crack at all jobs produced by this project.

    Please let this project go forward.

    • furious-btowner says:

      But Dart has clearly stated and assured us that once they "hand over the keys" to govt, they'll have nothing whatsoever to do with the Midland Acres dump, its management or with any possible recycling facility there.  In other words, we're assured that a new dump in BT will be managed by the same govts which have made a mess of the GT dump and presided over the creation of Mt Trashmore in GT.  The only "hi-tech" aspect of the new dump will be that instead of a single  garbage pit, there would be several — in other words, we're assured of several future Mt Trashmores in our district!  I'm very sorry but 5 garbage pits with a plastic liner (which wouldn't resist the acid from a single overturned car battery) do not make for a "hi-tech Eco Park".  This is a sham and we're being had!!

      • Anonymous says:

        When the current landfill was started and operated little was known about the dangers of some items to the environment. Much knowledge has been gained and clearly improvements will be made.

        Are you going to continue to look backwards or are you going to work to make the Boddentown site work?

        And no I don't think you are stupid , dumb or lazy and I understand your concerns but the world has learned a lot since the GT landfill was started and that knowledge will be used at this new site.

        And batteries will not simply be dumped as before.

        • Anonymous says:

          Batteries are not dumped into the landfill now they are sent back to the USA and recycled.

          • Anonymous says:

            Who's job is it to go through every trash bag to pick these offending objects out?

  10. Anonymous says:

    One of the problems that still needs to resolved is whether or not the land now occupied by Mt Trashmore will actually be suitable for re-development and I'm amazed no one has raised this point.

    Over the years the site has been completely unregulated, anything and everything has been dumped there.

    When it's cleared will the land underneathbe virgin building land? Of course it won't. It will be polluted with a cocktail of toxic, and some highly toxic, materials that have leached out of the trash.

    The bottom line is that no one knows how deep that leaching will be or even if simple foundations can be laid on the site without exposing the workers involved to long-term health hazards.

    There will be heavy metals, dioxins and poisons like arsenic in the ground – would you really want to live or work on top of that lot?

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you will find the plan is open a new (hopefully more efficient) waste management site elsewhere. Then once the new site is open, stop adding waste to the present landfill. At this time it will be contoured, covered with fill and landscaped as quickly and as economically as possible. This "move the dump" statement is a bit misguided.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is clear that most of the critics have never heard or seen what is intended to be done;

        1) the current dumped once closed will be covered with fill or capped and vents will allow all the gases usually methane to be captured and turned in cheap energy.  The site will never be built upon.  It will be turned into a beautiful park like the other ones Dart has around Cayman for everyone to enjoy. 

        2) The new dump at Bodden town will be a modern waste management facility that is operated by a private company that will run it for a profit.  If you think garbage is worthless, you only need to look at all the recycling companies popping up around Cayman to know that is not true.  The potential is virtually limitless for what can be done there if we get the right investment.  Waste to Energy is just the beginning, waste can also be converted to renewable synthetic liquid fuels that would be much cheaper, greener and actually better for your car or truck.  

        3)The new dump will be more protected as the they using smaller, lined pits and not just lined with plastic but clay as well.  It will probably be more than one lining as well.  The smaller pits will covered as they are filled so only the part that is being currently used will be open to the air.

        Please people read the facts before not supporting a project.

  11. I Enjoy Dumps says:

    What have the Bodden Towners ever done for us?

    • Anonymous says:

      They provide the support that keeps McKeeva in power. What more could you ask of them?

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree, some of them provide the support that keeps McKeeva in power, but not all of us.  The rest of us work hard to earn a living, while the supporters receive their election (vote-buying) hand delivered envelopes.  I don't have to support the dump coming to BT because of handouts, I am not supporting the dump being im BT,because it is going to cause more harm than good.  The increase in traffic, litter on the roads, accidents, pollution, rodents, and the lists goes on.  The roads are narrow and there are no walking paths on the main road.  There is a problem now with vehicular traffic and pedestrians on the road, so will it be better or worse with the increase when the dump is move to BT?

        Take a look along the many roads in George Town and the Esterly Tibbetts by pass and you will see how clean they are.  We don't want any more mess in Bodden Town than what's there now.  Keep Cayman Clean And Green, we want to clean up BT, and restore civic pride, not to turn it into a perfect dump for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Dart.  Money is the route of all evil.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The writer(s) may have a little NIMBY motivation true. Yet, still i would prefer an alternative solution all together.:

    I would like to see a plasma gasification, co-generation plant located right beside the existing dump. This location would enable operators to mine the mountain, deal with new trash and sell garbage services to cruise line companies who could dump here too. Emissions are near nil. It would possibly generate more electricity than it would use and the proximity to the CUC plant is ideal for that potential.

    I have said this before, and I wil keep saying it. A land fill may not be necessary, there are alternatives.


    • Anonymous says:

      I prefer the solution of a magic wand to simply make the landfill disappear. If the money is right anything can happen.

    • so Anonymous says:

      What you are asking for would take a level of appreciation for higher education to make new technologies believable.  Not going to happen in this generation bobo.   Look how long and how much effort it took to make your leadership belive that electric cars where not run by white(expat) magic.  There will always be a better way then the way of the "premeir Caymanian) mindset.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Slaves Wall (actually everyone who really knows anything about it calls it the Slave Wall)??? Most Caymanians have no idea where it is. No effort has been made by Caymanians to preserve it or make it a tourist attraction although it is actually quite impressive. In a residential little subdivision in Bodden Town someone has been "allowed" to erect corralls/fences  and so on right next to it to stable horses in and God knows what other animals. I say "allowed" because if you are Caymanian and do this sort of farming, livestock thing without permission Planning says and does nothing. But if you are a non Caymanian resident and want to put up a garden fence, ah, well,……………………….

  14. Anonymous says:

    The author of the article is very confused.

  15. Anonymous says:

    B.T. Dumpfree, the dump in town is filled to the max, making it into a mountain, an eyesore. If the dump can't be in Bodden Town then what other location would you say the dump should be in?? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmmm, how about West Bay?

    • Concerned Caymanian says:

      If people here would ever learn to recycle there wouldn't be such a problem with the dump.  In this day and age no one should be dumpling glass, soda and beer can, plastics, tins, newspapers and garden waste into a landfill.  We are a very materialistic society and this produces an even higher level of waste.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Bush back yard – at least he already has a nice high screened fence there (paid for by us) to hide it.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The dump is disgusting and needs to be moved ASAP for the safety and good of the island. This should have been done years ago. It may already be too late. I hope not

  17. Stop Everything says:

    Voice your concerns and objections via email to Cabinet (and the UDP) who still have to decide whether this project goes ahead.

    It's important to get these emails off as quickly as possible!


  18. Anonymous says:

    "Threaten the central wetlands"??? You mean spoil the swamp? 

    The dump isn't currently in an industrial area- it's right at the edge of George Town and next to Camana bay.  Visible and smell-able by tourists and workers from both places (and from out to sea). It has to go, and it can only go east.  I think "Historic Bodden Town" has to accept that means it will be closer to all those 16th century listed buildings and ruined castles that is Bodden Town.  Wait, actually I mean the tiny group of dilapidated buildings that is Bodden Town.

    You make a good point about the mis-management. The government has to learn from its mistakes and do it properly this time so the same issues don't arise and the environmental impact is minimised. 

    That is something we call all support.  Simply saying "don't bring that thing near us" is not.  That's your rubbish in there too you know.






  19. Anonymous says:

    This viewpoint conclusion is extremely shortsighted, self-serving and bordering on the ridiculous.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Historic Bodden Town? Does the NIMBY writer even know where historical Bodden Town is and where the proposed LANDFILL not dump is supposed to go…They are miles apart. Get your facts straight before you outyour mouth in gear.

    I'm a Bodden Town resident and as far as I can see this is the best  if not the only option we have to have a proper LANDFILL.  This NIMBY type attitude is what is constantly tearing our country down and stopping any chance we have for economic recovery.


  21. Anonymous says:

    The RFP put out by Government last year called for the potential mining of the dump in its current location.  That would have meant that old waste would have been used to help lower CUC bills and, over a period of time, the dump would have ceased to exist in its current format.  

    As it is now every business that uses the dump (landscaping, construction) will also have to  make the journey round to Bodden Town – adding additional time and costs on to every job.

    There are good and valid reasons for the dump to remain in a more central location, and closer to where most of the waste is generated and Government themselves acknowledged (before their sudden U-turn in favour of Dart) that the best solution for future Caymanians was to use the technologies that are out there to permanently get rid of the current dump (Mr Glidden appeared on Cayman 27 to express this view). 

    The RFP called for the new facility to be managed by the group operating it and would, therefore, have been a profit generating business (otherwise it wouldn't have been worth their while to bid).  As it is, what it seems we are getting is a new space to put the rubbish, but the cost of running it falls to Government (and us every time we have to get anything to the site).

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dart doesn't want the dump in his back yard so badly they are effectively paying to have it moved (and have lobbied for a year under the guise of WISE).  Who is the NIMBY?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Although I agree with some of your points here, I think it is only fair to point out a few things:

    The Esterly Tibbetts Highways may be adjacent to the dump, but as of present there is no access from the dump to this road and I have not heard of any plans to create an access.

     Also, the proposed location of the new landfill is almost 7,000 feet away from Meagre Bay and not the 1,500 feet you claim.

    Bodden Town may be the location of these historic places, but what school or tour bus do you see taking trips to Gun Square?? There is no proper infrastructure in place to upkeep these historical sites and slowly but surely they are becoing more and more rundown. No restoration plans in place.

    Does the dump need to be remediated? Yes. Can Dart do a good job? Yes. And although I am not opposed to a new waste facitlity in Bodden Town, I do agree with you when you say "leaving this to the same governments which have grossly mismanaged the present dump." DEH is probably one of the most bloated and useless civil services on this island and left to manage this new facility, there is no doubt in my mind that it will eventually turn into another Mount Trashmore.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The proposed dump is NOT in residential Bodden Town. It is approximately 1 MILE North EAST of Midland Acres – nowhere near residential and central Georgetown areas as the present overfilled site is. Quit your crying you NIMBY!

  25. Alan Nivia says:

    Moaning NIMBY.  The dump needs to go for the benefit of the island and community as a whole.  The chosen site is the best available.  Some might not like it, but overall it is the best plan.  Saying that, the Bodden Towners don't half like moaning don't they?  You would not think that Bodden Town was all of 15 minutes drive from GT would you?  The dump moving is karma for voting for John John.

    • Anonymous says:

      So long as its not in yours (back yard) eh?  Otherwise I am sure you would be singing a different tune.

  26. Anonymous says:

    The self serving misinformation of this view is beyond belief. The current landfill is leaching into North Sound and is an eye sore to every cruise ship visitor who visits this island. The government has been talking for a decade about the landfill problems. To suggest that closing and cleaning up the current landfill and moving it to a prepared and safe location is  not necessary is completely wrong and self serving in my opinion. There will be a buffer around this site as well as a layer beneath it and proper management which is exactly what is needed.

    To suggest that moving the landfill to Boddentown will destroy Boddentown is wrong and an attempt to use fear and manipulation to hurt the entire country.

  27. Bueller says:

    The Cayman Islands: NIMBY capital of the world

    • Anonymous says:

      It would be hard to find a place to in the world where people would not object to having a dump in their backyard.  Cayman is not that special.  Grow up please.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Thank you very much. I cannot help wondering what the chances are of getting our beloved Gowerment to listen to your perfectly logical, factual reasoning.

  29. Anonymous says:

    mimbyism at it's worst…….. i can't beleive you spent so much time trying to justify the current idiotic location of the landfill….and also trying to explain why it would not make sense to put it 20 mins down the road…….. talk about a small minded island mentality…..zzzzzz