By Maria Bradshaw | Fri, September 21, 2012 - 10:04 AM
Residents of Reece Road, Cane Garden, St Thomas, have joined those opposed to the operation of B’s Recycling Plant in their neighbourhood.
And like their counterparts at Bagatelle, St James, they are calling for an environmental impact study to be undertaken before any expansion work continues at the metal dump.
The residents, who charged that they had been negatively affected since the metal dump was opened three years ago, said yesterday that they were not convinced that owner Paul Bynoe was relocating the dump because he had recently acquired an additional 16 acres of land and was already expanding.
B’s Metal Recycling Plant has been embroiled in a controversy with residents at Bagatelle, St James, who are strongly objecting to the plant relocating its operations from Cane Garden to the previous Bagatelle Metal Dump site following a land swap deal with Government.
Yesterday, constituency representative for St Thomas, Opposition Member of Parliament Cynthia Forde, visited the Cane Garden residents and after observing the erection of a wall and clearing of land next door to the bottle recycling plant, she contacted the Environmental Protection Department to investigate.
Pointing to the additional land that Bynoe had acquired, Forde said that she would also be contacting the Town and Country Planning Department because the area was an agricultural zone and Bynoe was using it for commercial purposes.
“I want Mr Bynoe to speak to these residents and let them know what his plans are because they are being affected by the dust, noise, rats, mosquitos and the deterioration of their properties,” she said.
Long-time residents Evelyn Hurley and Marjorie Perkins, who have lived in the area for over 30 years and whose homes are next door to the dump, complained that they could no longer put up with the operation.
They said they were even willing to be relocated by Government or have Bynoe purchase their properties.
“It is getting bigger and bigger and bigger. There is dust and noise all day long and we can’t open our windows. We complained to Paul and he told us that he was going to move and all like now he is still here and is expanding,” an angry Hurley said.
She said the residents had written to the Prime Minister, the Fire Service, the police, the Town and Country Planning Department and the Environmental Protection Department, among others.
“Some have responded to us and the police have come up here and stopped the work from taking place on Sundays. But Paul has told me that he is tired of me complaining and calling the police and we can’t run him from out here,” she said.
The two women said they held off asking for the environmental impact study after late Prime Minister David Thompson toured the plant three years ago and said that Government was giving Bynoe land at Vaucluse, St Thomas, to relocate the dump.
“Then we heard he was moving to Bagatelle, but all of a sudden we saw workmen start clearing the land next door to my house and we heard he was expanding.
“I used to be able to see up in the hills in St Thomas, but recently they started to push the metal and the tyres together and it is so high that we can’t see anything,” she said.
Perkins, a small farmer, said the dust and what she believed to be substances emanating from the dump, as well as rodents, had killed her crops, which she had planted on an open field next to the dump.
“I planted cassava and in two days the rats came out of the dump and eat up all. I had a vegetable garden, but the dust and the fumes dry up all the crops,” she said while pointing to the dried corn heads from the last crop she attempted to plant.
While acknowledging that Bynoe’s business was important to the Barbados economy, Forde maintained that out of respect for the residents the business needed to be relocated out of the residential district.
“This is a commercial activity in an agricultural development and these residents, who have invested their money to live here in what was a peaceful area, deserve to be able to live in comfort,” she argued.
When contacted, Bynoe said he had nothing to say about the situation.
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