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Bahamas Says Developer's Plan for N.Y. Trash Stinks

May 07, 1987|Associated Press

KEY WEST, Fla. — The owner of a tiny Bahamian island agreed today to take 3,100 tons of unwanted New York garbage as landfill, but the Bahamian government immediately vetoed the plan.

The plan by Tony Gallina, who would like to build a resort for the rich and famous on the island, could have ended the six-week odyssey of the garbage scow that has journeyed from New York to Central America in search of a home.

"I'm ready to close the deal right now," Gallina said earlier today. "It's a great situation. Here we have 3,100 tons of certified nontoxic garbage floating 250 miles from an island I want to fill."

But Bahamian government officials in the capital of Nassau quickly announced that they would not let the barge unload its cargo. They alerted defense, police, customs and immigration to watch for any such possibility.

"There will be no dumping of waste in the Bahamas on land or sea," Health Minister Norman Gay told the Nassau Tribune. "We in the Bahamas have no interest in this sort of thing. It has no value and it can only be harmful and consequently our position on that is quite clear."

It was the third country to reject the refuse.

The baled trash, which the EPA has said is harmless, has traveled about 5,000 miles. North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Mexico and the Central American country of Belize have rejected it since it set out from Islip on March 22.

The barge remained anchored seven miles off Key West, Fla.

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