October 25, 2020

New support for dump protestors


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Gregg Anderson and Vincent Frederick

The coalition opposing relocation of the George Town Landfill to Midland Acres has gained the support of Bodden Town’s 200-resident Belford Housing Estates, swelling local dissent.

At the same time, the 75-member Coalition to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free has published a four-page flyer rejecting claims in a similarly designed brochure by the Dart-government ForCayman Investment Alliance (FCIA) that the new facility will not harm surrounding areas.

“The flyer includes a rebuttal to every point raised by the government/Dart PR machine,” said coalition spokesman Gregg Anderson, who also spoke at a Thursday night courthouse rally in George Town, opposing a range of FCIA plans.

“We’re using every means at our disposal, in spite of our limited resources, to counter the misconceptions spread by government and by Dart and to defend our district against this needless assault.” he said.

Thursday’s 7:00pm Belford Estates gathering at the Bodden Town Civic Centre heard from coalition spokesman Alain Benier and Small Engineering founder Sam Small, describing FCIA plans to close the 70-acre George Town landfill and create an alternative waste-management facility on 110 acres east of Bodden Town.

“It was small meeting, about 20 residents of Belford Estates, about 10% of the Belford residents,” Mr Bernier told iNews Cayman, “but all unanimously were against moving the dump. They all signed up for a yard sign.”

He ascribed the turnout to the simultaneous George Town event which appeared to boost support for both the coalition and local efforts to halt closure of a section of the West Bay Road at Public Beach.

George Town Landfill

The coalition flyer, titled “Don’t Dump on Bodden Town”, says the FCIA has mislabeled the project as a “waste-management facility”, insisting instead “this will be a dump, exactly the same as we have at the George Town Landfill, apart from a liner under the piles of trash.”

Mr Anderson, speaking in George Town, referred to Washington’s Environmental Protection Agency and studies indicating increased disease rates near landfills, saying “There is no liner ever made that protects completely. We are going to have contamination and it is going to seep into the water table.”

The flyer repeats coalition insistence that the landfill remain where it is, enabling remediation and waste-to-energy conversion, producing electricity and potable water, and asking why government has shelved at least four studies – plus one Central Tenders Committee-approved commercial proposal – championing an on-site solution.

Freedom of Information requests, the flyer says, have revealed no “studies, correspondence, reports, emails or memoranda” regarding Bodden Town as a landfill site, except for a Department of Environmental Health statement advocating better waste management on site. The brochure lists official consultation with residents as “none whatever”.

“This is a crazy idea, especially as it is miles from the source of the waste,” according to Mr Small, closing the flyer. “This is a really daft idea because we don’t want to create another pile of garbage for future generations to have to deal with.”

An accompanying press release finishes by saying “the coalition insists on fixing the problem where it is, instead of creating a new Mount Trashmore with no concern at all for due process, for the well-being of Bodden Towners and for their environment.

“This is what government is imposing on Bodden Town for the sole benefit of Dart – converting a residential/agricultural area into a heavy industrial zone,” it says.

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