June 9, 2023

Permission granted for Dart dump

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The George Town landfill site known as Mount Trashmore

Government planners have given permission for Dart Realty to begin development of five land parcels on 561 acres in Bodden Town for a proposed waste management facility, presaging relocation of the George Town Landfill.

The company will pay $2.5 million in the initial phase to develop an access road and provide water, storm-management controls, electricity and telecommunications.

The Department of Environment has registered objections to the construction, to the east of Midland Acres near the Bodden Town quarries, on 325 acres of central mangrove wetland, recommending that some of the area and its surrounds be given “in perpetuity” to the National Trust to conserve the area.

The National Roads Authority has called for comprehensive drainage systems to preserve the wetlands natural ability to absorb stormwater, street lighting and proper paving, elevation and sloping to accommodate movement of both garbage and fire trucks.

One of the property subdivisions will be as a surrounding agricultural-residential buffer. which, according to the department, could “have a negative impact” on the mangrove area, recommending no development take place in the green area.

The mid-October approval by the Central Planning Authority comes as part of the Dart-government ForCayman Investment Alliance, a $1.2 billion, 30-year programme of infrastructure improvement and economic revitalisation involving roads, hotels, schools and the transfer of the George Town landfill to Bodden Town.

Dart will spend between $32.5 million and $42.5 million to “close, remediate and relocate” the 58-acre landfill, according to company planners, eliminating the toxic accumulation of garbage and enabling expansion of Camana Bay, which has promised a public park on the site.

Dart will spend another $26.5 million on the landfill’s replacement, a waste-management facility on 110 acres in Bodden Town, already partly owned by Dart. The area will be lined, sealed and enclosed, providing recylng and reprocessing of leachate, derelict vehicles, waste oil and hazardous liquids, discarded tyres, medical waste, hurricane and construction debris, and feature a baling and transfer station and waste-to-energy conversion. The unit’s eight-cell design will stagger waste storage, minimising the amount of exposed refuse at any one time.

After construction, the company will give the facility to government to operate.

“Yes, part of this is for the waste-management facility,” said Dart spokeswoman Lynn Smith-Moore, describing the acquisitions and subdivisions approved by the Central Planning Authority.

Some of the parcels, she said, “is land that Dart Realty recently acquired and is located between the Midland Acres quarry to the west and Tarpon Springs quarry to the east. The purpose of the application was simply to split the large tract of land into five sizeable parcels and an access road.

“The CI$ 2.5 million cost identified in the application is the estimated cost to provide the road and infrastructure — power, water and telecoms — to service the parcels in the future,” she said.

Construction is unlikely to begin before Premier McKeeva Bush and Dart Realty, Executive Director Jackie Doak sign the formal ForCayman Alliance agreement, due by the middle of next week, although Mr Bush has been reluctant to name a date, saying final details still need to be settled.

Meanwhile, in Bodden Town, an informal group of at least 20 residents have gathered to protest siting the waste-management faciity in Midland Acres, suggesting the area’s road system was inadequate to handle the predicted 200 daily vehicle trips, including two each day by a dozen garbage trucks.

“The traffic on the main road is already unbelievable. We cannot walk there and people nearby have trouble sleeping. Doing business is already a challenge and this is just another one,” said a spokeswoman for the Coalition to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free.

”So this deal has been done for the interests of Dart as opposed to the interests of Bodden Town. There is no infrastructure here. It makes no sense,” she said.

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