Thumbs up for dump
By Maria Bradshaw | Fri, August 10, 2012 - 10:12 AM
Some residents living at Hoytes Village and Bagatelle Terrace, St James, say they are satisfied so far with the work being done at the Bagatelle Metal Dump by new owner B’s Metal Recycling Plant.
The St Thomas dump has been the subject of much controversy since Government transferred the land to businessman Andrew Bynoe, whose brother Paul is in the process of relocating his successful metal dump business from Cane Garden, St Thomas, to the area.
Two weeks ago other residents living at Hoytes Village voiced strong disapproval of Bynoe’s takeover of the dump. They expressed fears that the operation would negatively impact on their health.
As a result the Town & Country Planning Department has halted the preparatory work that was taking place at the dump and instructed Bynoe to submit an environmental impact study.
But yesterday other residents, who also live in close proximity to the metal dump, said they were willing to give Bynoe a chance and pointed out that so far they were impressed with what he was doing.
Residents Jeffery Brathwaite and Ezra Wickham, who have lived on the boundary of the dump for many years, said they were pleased that Bynoe had fenced the area, dug a trench around the quarry and had built a road next to their homes.
“We received the same letter that the other residents received informing us that Paul Bynoe had taken over the dump. He came out here and explained to us that he was excavating the quarry and this would last about six to 12 weeks.
“I did not have a problem with it because we have become accustomed to all the noise and the dust from when it was being operated by Government – so it was no different,” Brathwaite pointed out.
He said for several years residents had been asking Government to do something about the dump, which was right up to his side door, especially two years ago when it was set on fire, which burned for several months.
“Government kept telling us that there was nothing they could do, and in just a few weeks Mr Bynoe has come and erected a fence and even put in a road for us to travel on. He has transformed the area,” Brathwaite said.
He pointed out that the trench would also serve as a barrier in case there was a fire and it would also hinder people who were scavenging in the dump and stealing the buried metal.
“It is 150 per cent better than when Government used to operate it. I feel a lot safer because we used to have a lot of break-ins and thefts at our houses,” said Brathwaite, who termed the controversy surrounding the dump “stupid and politically motivated”.
He agreed that Government should have notified residents that the dump had changed hands but he was against any suggestion that it be turned into a community play park.
Wickham pointed out that the work that Bynoe had done so far was aesthetically pleasing to the neighbourhood.
At the nearby Bagatelle Terrace neighbourhood, 73-year-old Keith Straker said he and other residents felt safer now that the area was being fenced and they were so far happy with what Bynoe had done with the dump.
“I don’t know what all the hullabaloo is about. Out here looks like a five star hotel compared to how it looked before. I am glad that [Bynoe] included the safety of residents in his plans. He has levelled off the dump and we can now see the other houses. I think he has done a very good job,” Straker said.
Another resident complained that young men used to enter the dump scavenging for metal to sell to Bynoe, even when it was operated by the Sanitation Service Authority, and as a result houses in the area were broken and entered on several occasions.
“They were coming into our houses and backyards and stealing any metal that we had,” he cried.
Other residents also revealed that for the past two years people had been excavating the buried metal at the dump and either selling it to Bynoe or exporting it.
“For the past two years, a lot of heavy equipment was being used at Bagatelle on a daily basis to excavate the metal and load it into containers, so I don’t understand why people are complaining about noise and dust – that was always happening. Even all like now young men are still going into the dump and stealing the metal to sell to the same Bynoe man,” one resident said.
Ernest Sealy, who lives opposite the dump, said that he was not affected by what had taken place at the dump since Bynoe took over.
However, he expressed hope that all of the buried metal would eventually be unearthed and shipped out.
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