Officials say proposed dump site was assessed

| 22/11/2012

IMG-20121120-00334.jpgCNS): Both a government minister and a representative from the company Dart is employing to develop the new landfill in Bodden Town say an analysis was undertaken to select the site and it wasn’t plucked out of the air. Despite various requests by activists and the media, however, this alleged analysis has never been made public. Nevertheless, Walling Whittaker claimed during a public meeting Monday that the site where Dart is proposing to establish the new facility was selected after a process of elimination and measured against a list of criteria and not just because Dart owns the land. Mark Scotland echoed the sentiments as he faced angry constituents and admitted that while the GT dump problem could be fixed in situ government couldn’t afford to do it.

The meeting which was supposed to be an opportunity for the public to submit their comments regarding the terms of reference for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which is to be carried out on the site, was preceded by a long presentation. This was conducted by Whittaker of Malcolm Point, the local waste-management consultant which has been employed by Dart to take the dump project forward. He said the site had been selected after carrying out a “sound and robust procedure.”

This angered local activists who are campaigning for government to deal with the dump on site or conduct a proper island wide independent assessment about the future of waste-management as they insisted it wasn’t true.

Alain Beiner one of the leaders of the Coalition to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free accused Whittaker of misleading the public as there was no such process. He and the district activists believe that the selection of the BT site was not based on any research or analysis but because Dart owns that land. They have said it may be convenient to the developer to swap the site for the crown land in George Town  — the home of the current dump  and an immediate neighbour to Camana Bay — but it is not in the best interests of the people.

The point that Dart’s proposal was already rejected by government’s technical committee and the central tenders committee as the least favourable option after an open competitive tender remains one of the coalition’s leading arguements with the government. They say the about face to move the landfill after years of plans to address it at the current location is all about the needs of the developer and not the Caymanian public .

The campaigners were also very angry about the EIA being limited to the proposed Dart site and government’s edict to prevent the inclusion of alternative sites or addressing the country’s waste-management problem at the current dump. Pressing the director of the department of the environment for her thoughts on the limitations of the EIA by government, Gina Ebanks-Petrie stated she was in a difficult position. But the director clearly stated that this was not the normal process when undertaking an EIA as alternatives are usually examined. However, she said a policy decision had been taken by the Cabinet and she had to follow that.

The environment minister who is also a district representative insisted that the site which is in Midland Acres near to two quarries, but also the central wetlands, was an economic arrangement as it was simply too costly for government to undertake the project on the current site. He said historically there were many reports that had said the dump needed to move and the Midland Acre site had been marked as a possible location in various studies.

Despite the limitations being placed by the minster on the EIA regarding the parameters he insisted that proper process was being followed and if the assessment concluded that this was not a safe place to place the landfill then government would not go ahead.
The issue of exactly how much is going to be provided by Dart and how much more of the facility will be built out by government was also a key issue at the meeting which was attended mostly by residents who were opposed or at least extremely concerned about the plan.

Beiner again accused Whittaker of misrepresentation over the plans that were posted around the room. He said the pictures of the facility are not what Dart is planning to develop as the group has confirmed it is merely supply a single lined landfill cell and all other elements of the facility if it is to become a modern waste-management site will still have to be paid for by government. Dart will not be supplying a composting area, any recycling sites, the waste to energy facility or any other specialist waste disposal elements.

Vote in CNS poll: How should government deal with the George Town dump?

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Comments (19)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Firstly the island has plenty of recycling going on many tons of material being shipped off the island monthly and tons of money being put into the local economy by the recyclers . Stop pretending we dont have recycling.

    Secondly a waste to energy plant should be set up at the dump by a local company that wants to set one up at there expense and operation. Whats the Problem??? .This can be done even if "they " move the dump the old dump will still be there.

    Thirdly How come the local recyclers on island have not been contacted as to what they think should be done.

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    A quite incestuous affair  indeed – as are most political & government 'initatives' in Cayman.

    Pity.. the public servants of these islangs were once held in high regard.

  3. PROCESSoverSUBSTANCE says:

    "Admitted that while the GT dump problem could be fixed in situ government couldn't afford to do it". This is typical UDP politrix. The proposal that the Central Tenders Committee had ranked highest (Wheelabrator/Waste Management) was self financing via waste-to-energy! How short does Mr. Scotland think our memories are!

    I am not surprised since he also said(In an attempt to B.S., oh sorry, I mean appease Bodden Town residents) that the new site would include waste to energy after previously saying that the Wheelabrator/Waste Management proposal could not work as waste-to-energy was not feasible.

    It is much easier to remember what you said when you always speak the truth.

    • Reduce Reuse Recycle says:

      Building it might be self financed – but don't you think they will be looking to get their money back with huge fees for using the facility once built? Of course they will … they are businessman and that is where the country can't afford it …

  4. Anonymous1949 says:

    CNS:  "Mark Scotland echoed the sentiments as he faced angry constituents and admitted that while the GT dump problem could be fixed in situ government couldn’t afford to do it."

    Yes we have a mountain at the G.T. Landfill, but can we set up a recycling plant there and avoid spreading the garbage?  Remember we have leeching of garbage waste into the North Sound, why do we need it leeching now into the wetlands in Bodden Town?  Yes you say the waste management facility will be state-of-the-art – they said that long ago with the one we have now, so how do you know down the road nothing goes wrong and pollutants go into earth or effect people there? 

    And don't government couldn't afford it!  If government can't afford it, then SAVE and GET THE MONEY!  STOP SPREDAING THE GARBAGE AND FIX WHAT WE HAVE NOW!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why weren't any of the people who write comments on this site at the meeting on Wednesday, saying what they are saying here?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Let’s move it to West Bay?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Mr Dart, Stop wasting your time and Money on Cayman, nothing you do will ever be appreciated…Let the peole of these islands solve thier own garbage issues..

     

    Watch the George town dump keep getting higher and higher while no one does anything about it and kids start getting born with 3 legs.

  8. Dred says:

    Mark in front of your face and behind your back. WHAT A CROCK OF XXXX!! That goes to you too Mr Whittaker.

    XXXX 

    The fact remains is this….

    This project has never gone thru the proper processes for us to get a signed contract. There is no real value for money and the site is not the best option for resolving the problem, it's only DARTS best option. His NIMBY attitude is why we are at where we are at today.

    NO Mr. Dart. It ends here. If you want to resolve the issue RESOLVE IT WHERE IT IS….PERIOD!!!!

    The people from BT does not have a NIMBY issue it's more about a commonsense issue and the reasons are VERY SIMPLE:

    1) Issue can be resolved where it is. Several studies confirm this.

    2) To set the dump in BT is not logical or financially sensible since most of the matter going in there comes from GT and the WB corridor and would have to be trucked much longer distances and the cost factor of this will make it financially STUPID.

    3) The site selected is also stupid as it is an environmentally sensitive area. The site was NEVER as much as you try to paint it selected on a sensible basis because all you are speaking is just XXXX. If it even had a grain of truth it would have been said a millenium ago so I can say this in my heart of hearts I believe you are just XXXX. My belief on what has transpired.

    4) It's dangerous as the trucks will be passing thru several residential areas to get to its destination

    5) Dart is not running the facility and so in 5, 10 or 15 years BT will be an issue.

    6) I see nothing you are doing that changes any real issue. You are just moving a dump. I care not for your fancy words for it. You are MOVING A DUMP.

    Dart group XXXX said ooh the BT road is only 2k+ feet and then it turned out to be 4k+ feet, whooops!!. XXXX These people have road maps and plans they know EXACTLY to the inch how much feet of road they are getting. Do not let them try to fool you.

    XXXXX

    This needs to be stopped and I appeal to the UK and the FCO to instruct the Governor to shut this down due to FFR concerns. I urge them to investigate this matter completely such as who did Dart award contracts to and ensure that these people are not connected to the UDP party.

    UK and FCO ask yourself this question seriously. Why are they fighting so hard for this? Why are some politicians committing political suicide for this?

    I am still interested in finding out all the owners of the fill providers company Midland Acres.

    • Anonymous says:

      This gist of this rant was "Bodden Towners do not have a NIMBY attitude but we do not want it in our back yard".

  9. Anonymous says:

    More complete bullshit from Dart and the Government. Pony up the so called "analysis" or the inevitable assumption is that it doesn't exist and that you are lying. And in these circumstances, lying equates to outright barefaced corruption. So produce the analysis or by default youare admitting you are corrupt. End of story.

    Boycott Camana Bay.

    • Patricia X says:

      Oh please do boycott Camana Bay.  It is so much nicer when the miserable nimbys aren't there.  I will spend some extra cash there this weekend, to support the proposals.

      • Anonymous says:

        The only NIMBY in this matter is Dart.

         

        And the boycott is a good idea – they say you cannot catch stupidity by association, but I'm not going to risk it by hanging out with little miss patricia at Camana Bay.

        • Anonymous says:

          It's always interesting to hear Patricia's little contributions to class consciousness.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Just get it done!

  11. Anonymous says:

    it looks like Dart is just lining a hole and it will be business as usual but with more cost to Government with higher travel bills, more repairs and maintance , etc..it takes years to get recycling in place, composting, waste to energy etc. and Government admits they have no money and they could not borrow any money.
    Please let us not fall into this trap to give into a deal that we do not even know how much it is going to cost us. Let’s fix it where it is NOW!

    It is NOT a done Deal!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Time to come clean Mark! I see mothballs in the offing!

  13. Anonymous says:

    When the talking stops and actions begin?