October 20, 2020

DUMP MAY BLOW: Alliance say they will answer all concerns

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Bodden Town where the waste-management facility will be built

The George Town dump could explode if authorities start a waste-to-energy scheme at the site, which, in any case, is unlikely to provide enough raw material to
process efficiently.

At the same time, the Dart-government ForCayman Investment Alliance (FCIA) has promised an imminent announcement of a Bodden Town public meeting, addressing local concerns, while distributing a flyer purporting to answer residents’ fears.

“A time and date for a public meeting for the people of Bodden Town will be announced very shortly,” the Alliance told iNews Cayman yesterday as part of a
larger statement.

The flyer was rejected, however, by the Coalition to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free, leading local opposition to relocating the George Town landfill to a nearby “waste-management facility”.

Calling it a “feeble attempt to respond to the coalition’s concerns,” Alain Beiner, a leader of the 75-member group, pointed not only to the Alliance brochure, but also to yesterday’s radio appearance by Health and Environment Minister Mark Scotland as spurring “growing support among Bodden Towners to the latest misinformation put out by Minister Scotland, and contained in the recently issued, full-colour flyer, and to the unlimited resources of the Dart/government PR machine.

Speaking on Rooster radio’s early-morning “Crosstalk”, Mr Scotland and Walling Whittaker, appointed by Dart Realty as environmental and waste-management consultant, agreed that converting refuse to energy, originally planned for the George Town landfill, was planned neither for the current site nor the proposed 110-acre facility at Midland Acres.

“It’s a myth that we will be able to do waste-to-energy,” Mr Scotland said, citing the low caloric value and high moisture content of 40 years of landfill waste. Creating electricity and clean water by burning waste was expensive, inefficient and, while part of master planning for Midland Acres, not contemplated for the near future.

“Mining 3,000 tons of waste to get 300 tons for an incinerator is not worth it”, nor were projected supplies large enough to justify the expense, he told the audience, saying no burning would take place in Bodden Town.

Minister Mark Scotland

Mr Whittaker asked the audience to “imagine a dead cow. It’s been dead for 10 months. It’s decomposing, and now you want to open it up. It’s very risky and it’s very dangerous and not widely practiced. Cost is one of the issues, but you have to think about explosions and other hazards” including public health, created by the release of toxic gas and other materials. While neither discussed the details of the Bodden Town facility, both said it would focus on aggregating recyclable material to be shipped overseas for processing.

In response to a series of iNews Cayman questions, the Alliance yesterday underscored the Bodden Town facility was not “a dump”, but a “waste-management” operation and listed discussions with half-a-dozen government and private agencies.

“Meetings have occurred with the Department of Environmental Health (DEH), Department of Environment, Central Planning Authority, Water Authority Cayman and the National Roads Authority (NRA)” the statement said, also naming the Caribbean Utilities Company and the
National Trust.

“Various requested studies will be carried out and final specifications on items such as road access and on-site management will be made,” the Alliance said, promising “these processes will be subject to all of the legal and regulatory requirements. Comments and suggestions are being reviewed and once this review process is complete public meetings will be scheduled”

Referring to earlier proposals by Mr Scotland to reroute dump-truck traffic around central Bodden Town, The Alliance said upgrades to the Anton Bodden Drive alternative were part of government plans, but did not say when work might begin.

“The Anton Bodden Road [sic], also known as the Belford Estates Bypass, will be upgraded as has always been planned by the NRA,” the statement said. “This road was built specifically to route heavy vehicles away from central Bodden Town. The DEH has confirmed that the number of heavy vehicles which visit the existing landfill on a regular basis is, in fact, very low — far less than 200 a day — with the majority of the vehicles being small, private vehicles.”

Calling the remarks “entirely false”, Mr Beiner said  he was “among the many concerned about the dangers of the proposed dump to the health and well-being of district residents, and to their environment,” while worried about “material damage and depressed real estate values as a result of forcing the dump on Bodden Town.”

 

DUMP MAY BLOW

In iNews Issue 193 (Sat-Mon 4-6th Feb 2012) we quoted Dart Realty in relation to the front page story “DUMP MAY BLOW”.

We have been asked to point out the information should have been attributed to Dart-goverment’s ForCayman Investment Alliance.

iNews is happy to make this clarification.

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