Close the GT dump
The ecologically detrimental, aesthetically offensive, air and water contaminating George Town landfill is not just a George Town or Dart issue but it is a major threat to the quality of life to the entire Cayman Islands. The site is not lined and the drain-offs are harmful to our health and the eco system and will have a long-term negative impact on our tourism product.
A sensible and sustainable solution is urgently needed in the interest of the future attractiveness of this country as a place to live, work and visit. The decades long debate, research and political rhetoric has to date failed to advance us any closer towards a solution. MLA for East End, Arden McLean, has repeatedly indicted the People Progressive Movement (of which he was the Minister with responsibility for the landfill) for its failure to deliver to the people of this country a workable solution to the George Town Landfill crisis.
With a national consensus and mandate on the urgency for a remedy to the dump, the United Democratic Party (UDP) has proposed closing the George Town landfill, remedial development of the existing site, and the development of a state-of-art refuse disposal site in the district of Bodden Town with no direct cost to the Cayman Islands coffers. The new site would be properly lined and embrace best practices of waste management and would not resemble the current site that was not afforded the conventional wisdom of current practices.
As a resident of George Town who drives past the landfill every day and witnesses the stench and unsightliness first hand, I welcome this proposal. However, I am amazed that the long awaited solution is being resisted by a segment of the society, including Mr Arden Mclean and the PPM. This resistance is obviously politically charged because there is no obvious intellectual rationale against having the commonly accepted threat of the George Town Landfill being remediated and the processing of the national refuse being moved to a less travelled and less densely inhabited area of the island. In the absence of logic in an argument, politics is normally endemic.
While all people should have a right to object and state their opinions on matters of national importance, it is wrong for the objectors of the new waste management facility to embark on a campaign of misinformation and scare-mongering in order to make their case. At a public meeting in Savannah, on Monday May 8, several preposterous statements were made by the PPM representative for Bodden Town and the leader of the Coalition to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free, where they claimed that people as far as 10 miles away from the new facility would get cancer and a litany of diseases that even they could not pronounce.
If their claims had any validity, the hospital would be packed with the hundreds of George Towners who have lived all of their lives within a three (3) mile radius of the current dump - and clearly it is not! Furthermore, by implication, these objectors are saying that it is perfectly acceptable for the residents of George Town and the entire western end of the Island to be adversely affected by the mismanaged waste for the entire island, if its effect (as they say) is felt as far as 10 miles away.
No individual is desirous of having the landfill in his or her “backyard” but it must be placed somewhere. George Town, the country’s capital, has hosted the garbage dump and its residents have suffered for decades. It is foolhardy to perpetually compound the problem by adding more garbage to it. It must be relocated, with all modern waste management expertise employed at the new site.
Accordingly, the residents of Bodden Town will not have a similar experience as those of George Town who suffered from aesthetic, air, water and noise pollution.
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