Activists claim dump victory

| 11/06/2013

IMG-20120308-00020 (258x300).jpg(CNS): Following a two and half year campaign to prevent government from relocating Grand Cayman’s landfill to Bodden Town on land owned by the Dart Group, local activists claimed victory Monday following the comments made by the minister for environmental health last week. Speaking at a press briefing, Osbourne Bodden, the district representative and new minister with responsibility for the landfill, confirmed that it was not moving. Celebrating the hard fought victory, the Coalition to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free said the victory showed that the people can stand up and fight to protect their interests against unpopular government decisions. 

“In October 2010, when we launched the Coalition, we were told that this was a ‘done deal,” said Charles Clifford, Bodden’s former political colleague who was defeated at the polls in the district last month. “Many claimed that trying to fight government and Dart was hopeless. But we’ve proven that the people can organize and defeat senseless and unjust decisions … We’ve shown that we can stand up against questionable deals negotiated behind the people’s back and against their interests.” 

Coalition leader and Midland Acres resident, Arlene Whittaker, commended Bodden for what she said was “having the backbone to stand up to Dart” and thanked the Coalition’s many supporters that helped them win the fight.

Gregg Anderson, who was also defeated at the recent national ballot, said the fictitious figures of $100 million in capital costs and $25 million in annual operating costs to deal with the dump on site was mere scaremongering. 

“Local engineers and waste management entrepreneurs operating on Grand Cayman have outlined possible options to the Coalition which could eliminate Mount Trashmore in less than eight years, using small, modular, affordable air burners for waste-to-energy, like those currently used on Aruba, together with recycling, recuperation and resale of what’s valuable at the George Town dump,” he said.

“Structures for sorting and recycling are already in place, although still never used, and there’s neighbouring crown land for expansion. Estimated capital costs put forward are around $10 million – or as much as we continue to sink into the Turtle Farm every year – with some even claiming that a GT waste management facility could pay for itself,” Anderson added.

Coalition leaders are counting on the new government to explore all options openly and with public consultation. Clifford said government could identify the best affordable solution for the people of Grand Cayman by following due process and transparency.

Alan Beiner, the group's chair and the owner of the award winning Turtle Nest Inn, one of the islands’ most popular tourist spots outside of Seven Mile Beach, said moving the landfill and contaminating another site was never a real solution to the problem.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The day the news comes out that there will be no dump on that site…the land around it goes up for sale…seems like its all about the money and nothing to do with the environment at all.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The following concept may be a good solution if researched properly.  Something has to be done with the garbage, it will not go away on it's own and with every solution there is a significant cost attached to it. Why not look into the long term solution and not just a temporary fix? 

    Smokeless incinerators for enhanced environmental protection

    • Anonymous says:

      Incinerating waste causes deadly toxins to enter the air, it’s directly linked to carcinogens and cancer. So don’t try and sell it to us as an environmentally friendly option. Smoke or no smoke, the smaller the particles the more easily we breathe them in, and the more damage they cause to lungs.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I dont think DART would be too concerned about the Dump if he hadn't started building Camana Bay….but it is unfair to assume that its solely down to Camana Bay that Dart is so keen to move the dump…..if you look at most of the things Dart is doing, there tends to be a genuine effort for sustainability/environmental concern……and the thing with the Anti-Bodden Town Dump movement is that its evident they're not very familiar with the true situation at the GT dump – it's a toxic disaster that has the very real chance of destroying Cayman…..yep, its really that serious

    but hey…at least its not going to be in your backyard……not for 5 years anyhow…..

    • Anonymous says:

      @ `16:47  .."if you look at most of the things Dart is doing, there tends to be a genuine effort for sustainability/environmental concern".  Pray tell me, if this is so true, why hasn't he stopped making all those styrofoam containers?

      • Anonymous says:

        Because it's cheap, lightweight, and has excellent insulation properties.  There would be no fresh sushi, produce, or frozen foods anywhere without it.

      • Spaceballs says:

        What’s more sustainable than styrofoam containers?

  4. Anonymous says:

    The solution to the problem is to identify the best location, period, and if this proves to be Bodden Town then so be it. Just to be another "nimby" politician is an inadequate solution.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow…I wonder how this will go over with Dart given that they bought the then proposed property with surrounding landing (to minimize objections).

    • Anonymous says:

      I weep a green tear for ‘the man that loves Cayman’

    • Anonymous says:

      He is investing his money in order to help find a solution.    We are back to square one now.   That growing pile is not a solution.  So much for someone trying to help. 

    • Anonymous says:

      indeed, I mean Dart's plans have been brought to a screeching halt for sure, and by all accounts this is an organisation that likes to get its own way, so what happens next should be interesting to say the least.

  6. Islandboy says:

    A victory for the The Coalition to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free, a LOST for the Cayman Islands. Go on now "Wizard of Oz" …You and your Coalition come up with the 110 mil to remediate the land fill at it's current location…annnd you better do so in 4yrs. On this project Cayman, DART was our "ace in the hole", we just didn't know how to play our hand.  Regrettably, we will have to endure more stench, and house flies for years to come. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh yea!      Dummies.    The GT landfull is FULL ——   Cayman needs a new one  —–    this happens the world over when landfills get full!   But go ahead, bury you heads in the tainted sand, breath deep breaths of horrific scented air, let the tourists stay covered in flies and keep on piling up the trash in George Town.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Top marks for creative writing, I was right there at the dump gasping for air for a moment. Ever thought about writing horror novels during your days off from the office at Dart Realty?

      • Anonymous says:


        Go anywhere along the southern end of SMB.

        Breath deep and stand still.

  8. Anonymous says:

    A hopeful sign of a new day. Dark days of the last 4 years are hopefully behind us. PPM+Independents please don't let us down. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    And now what? Something HAS to be done about the current situation and done soon…..

    • SSM345 says:

      19:10, the first thing to be done is DART suing the rass out of CIG for breach of contract. After that the whole island will be a dump because we will be so broke as a country that the UK will need to step in to handle all of our affiars.

  10. tim says:

    Airburners as mentioned in this article are the way to go.

    With the right operators they can be introduced in no time at all, and for the right price.

    Not a total solution. but most of the pieces are in place allready to do the total job.

    If someone wanted more information stop by the recycle centre on dump roador call us at


     please visit the Airburners website and see it for yourself.


    • Anonymous says:

      The percentage of garbage that can safely burned is fairly small. Some of the green garden waste is not even safe to burn.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Actually there are many people that would love to see the present dump turned into a beautiful park, and a new dump started elsewhere properly, such that it does not smell, and has a berm around it so that it is not an eyesore.

  12. Lawsten Fown says:

    Why not stop wasteing money on the turtle farm and use that $10,000,00 per year on the landfill?

    • Anonymous says:

      07.45….because most of that $10M loss you want to save from the Turtle Farm  is being used to pay off the original loan of $40m.

      • Anonymous says:

        Really? That is a pretty huge repayment rate. Boatwain's Beach was redeveloped in 2003, I believe  – 10 years ago. Shouldn't the repayments have finished by now if we are repaying it at the rate of a little less than $10m p.a.?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn’t there be a grass-roots campaign for the opposite from the people that actually read the EIA and care about the serious toxic leachate problem? There is more than sufficient evidence that the GT dump can’t stay where it is. This is a victory for the organized inarticulate!

  14. 4 Cayman says:

    Well done Chuckie, PPM, Greg and Alan your actions are notable. It only goes to show the previous two MLAs for Bodden town were only in it for their pockets. It is also clear now what Darts intentions are and basically he only wants the dump to be move to protect his Camana Bay development. Forget the people and children that lives around the surrounding area in midland acres. Shame shame on you mr. Billionaire.

    Well done coalition for cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you think this is just about Dart, you are blinded to the real issue.   This stinking pile of trash is everyone's issue, and its just getting worse, and worse and worse. 

      • Anonymous says:



        You are so right! we wanted to shut down that dump 30 years ago. Long befor Dart came to our shores.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are obviously not someone who cares about anything but yourself and your own neighbourhood, what is the plan for the dump now? Oh right the government will fix it, no wait they have no money so trashmore will just get bigger…

      Narrowminded selfishness.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Ok, so the dump isn't being moved to Bodden Town, but the question of what to do to tackle our waste problem still needs to be addressed. Not really a victory for our island. 

  16. Security - Stability - Prosperity says:

    What kind of victory is that: Preventing something that is sorely needed? In my opinion, it is not a victory for Bodden Town, but a defeat for all Caymanians. Now the political bickering will go on and on while Mount Trashmore keeps growing, jeopardising people's health, the environment, and tourism. I don't care where the new waste management facility will be built. I wouldn't mind if it was in my back yard as long as it is clean and modern. The only thing that matters is that it is going to be built soon. Besides all its health and environmental benefits, the associated investment and the jobs it creates will stimulate the sluggish economy. The "victory" of the BT activists has stalled this economic stimulus probably for years to come.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its not even Bodden Town, its Midland Acres.   It has to go somewhere!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I don’t no what they are going to do about this, but they need to do something quick! SMB stinks!

    • SSM345 says:

      It would be great if CUC could do something with the landfill by converting the sh*t into energy so that my F****** bill doesn't keep growing at the same rate as the dump!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Spoken from the heart and the soundest suggestion I've heard so far!

      • Anonymous says:

        I believe we need this comment popped into the CUC suggestion box. This is the best idea yet.

  18. The lone haranguer says:

    Lets not be stupid here, let Dart fix the Dump and set up the waste recycling facility for us in Bodden Town ,it’s free people, what part of “we have no money” do you idiots not understand?

    • Anonymous says:

      well, idiot, let me ask you which bit of providing a single, lined, hole in Bodden Town did you interpret to be "let Dart […] set up the waste recycling facility"?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Great……….back to square one………………Meanwhile, that 8 storey high pile of stinking trash gets higher and higher, embedded right next to the concentrated tourist and business districts (not do mention a large school for god sakes).  Great idea to make this the permanent home.   Good luck trying to implement a fantasy world cheap solution to the current dump (and glad there is more land to make this even bigger.  More stink please!).  If it was so simple, why didnt the previous PPM administration do it?  Its a complex process before you can combust a small portion of trash, and then you have the non-combustibles, wet waste and toxic waste to still contend with.   I trust the consulting engineers, not amatuerish politicians masquerading as scientists.    In any event, nothing is going to happen, and by the next election, this will be 9-10 storeys, competing with Watercolours as tallest structure in Cayman.    Short-sighted to enhance the site to make this permanent.  Better off not touching it for four years before a more rationale, non-political solution is put forward. 

    • Anonymous says:

      That dump was there many, many years before that large school was built there.  They should have thought about before building it there.  By the way, nobody is forcing anybody's child/ren to go there.  That's the parents' decision. 

      • Anonymous says:

        The dump was also full to capacity back in 2002, and in the 11 since has been overfilling the site. Simply doing nothing is not an option, yet I guarntee nothing will happen now for another 4 years.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Great job stopping any further development to the dump.  You should all be proud of yourselves.  Someday all Caymanians can look outside their own homes at the greatest trash pile of all time and say "yaa,  I helped build that.  Whats next for you?  I hear they might be trying to build a pier or expand the airport.  There just has to be a lot of excuses to stop that.

  21. Anonymous says:

    a victory for ignorance and small mindedness…..

  22. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who thinks the figures for waste to energy are"ficticious" should read the report that they come from: 

    2008 GBB Draft Development Plan for Waste To Energy at George Town Dump





    • Anonymous says:

      Nice. 20 Years plus of waste to energy should subsidise our CUC bills that just went up AGAIN.  Even if CUC Bills went down I would not mind a "free" CUC bill to make up for the expense of the all the ones paid to date.  

  23. Anonymous says:

    Shallow victory….dump will remain a major problem for the next generation of Caymanians. It will continue to leach into the North Sound. It cannot be entirely burnt in air burners as most content does not have recoverable energy and most importantly Government does not have the money to deal with it. Not sure I would call that a victory. I call that silly….anyway our children will have to deal with it….not a good legacy for a first time Minister of Government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good post and thanks.  Those who think we can simply "burn" our way out of this problem dont know what they are talking about.  (Light one of your garbage can contents on fire and stand beside it. Lets see how long you can stand beside it before the toxins liberated by combustion start to gag you).

      Combustibles have to be mechanically, thermally or chemically separated from non-combustibles, and the energy required to do this will outweigh any energy produced.   And then you still have to deal with the non-combustibles.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Incineration is the way to go. You have no choice. If you get a little energy that'll be great.

        • Anonymous says:

          yep burn the trash, create toxic smoke that blows across 7 mile beach everyday. Tourists won't care, what a great idea!

      • Anonymous says:

        My neighbours – Caymanians – do this all the time stinking up the entire neighbourhood. isn't it against the law?) But don't dare complain to them or you will get a nasty anti foreign verbal assault. Also, don't complain about their pit bull/cross dogs running off leash. No sir, we from here, unna can go back where unna came from.