Experts sample landfill and impact on water

| 16/04/2015 | 17 Comments

(CNS): Engineers from AMEC Foster Wheeler are currently in the Cayman Islands to carry out tests on the country’s three landfills and the leaching into the ocean as part of government’s ongoing integrated solid waste management systems (ISWMS) project. The experts will be installing new monitoring wells, and groundwater sampling is planned at the George Town and Cayman Brac locations.  The engineers will also look at sediment samples from the north canal in George Town and the North Sound. Other plans include water and biological sampling, as well as landfill gas, hydrogen sulfide and dust.

Cayman News Service

AMEC conducts environmental tests at the George Town dump

The two-week visit by the staff from the company, which won the government contract to prepare a national solid waste management strategy, will result in a report, which ISWMS Project Manager Jim Schubert said would be made public.

The AMEC engineers arrived in Cayman last week and they will be here until 20 April, according to an official release. As well as helping the government with the strategy to deal with the country’s mounting rubbish problem, the firm will prepare an outline business case (OBC) and provide procurement support for the solid waste management project as determined by the strategy.

Although the government has come in for considerable criticism regarding the slow progress of dealing with landfill waste, the cost of solving the problem of the dump in George Town, in particular, as well as the size and scale of the job means government must follow the process set down in the Public Management  and Finance Law. No matter what the end solution is, the implementation of it will require borrowing, which the CIG cannot do without approval by the UK.

Premier Alden McLaughlin, who has taken over environmental health following his portfolio swap with the previous minister, Osbourne Bodden, has made it clear he will not deviate from the process. Cayman is not expected to be starting work on any solution until 2016 at the earliest.

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Comments (17)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The recycle and recovery people on dump road need materials more now than ever

    With the collapse of oil scrap metals have collapsed also. Thus we need even more materials to stay in business.

    We need A/C.s batteries and aluminum as well as good appliances that can be reused

    WE can no longer afford to ship or process Steel, Plastics or Iron so please hold those items for now.
    Please spread the word that recycling is in danger in cayman and we must act today.
    We don’t want to go backwards.
    Thank you

  2. sam says:

    Would they disclose their findings if that would require evacuation of people?

  3. People For a Dump Free G.T. says:

    Ozzie and Alden should each be made to drink a cup of the samples.

  4. Anonymous says:

    In reality there is quite a lot of revenue available to offset our problem. The DEH charges collection fees for commercial businesses and Strata Plans, why are they not also charging for the most energy and labour-intensive private residential collections? I don’t understand why this is off the table. All the grown-ups pay a water bill, a power bill, and a sewage bill – why is residential garbage collection free? Home owners should get 1 bag free per district collection day and pay a nominal fee for every bag in excess. This is the real deal in many cosmopolitan environments around the world. It rewards recycling and responsible consumption habits and penalizes wastefulness. Cayman needs to start fostering a more sustainable mentality, especially when there are real disposal and management costs and constraints. If the free ride for residential collections ends, there will be new revenue to address our disposal problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      At one time there was an attempt to collect fees for residential pick up. People simply did not pay. Some of the strata complexes went from a large collection bins to smaller personal ones to avoid garbage fees. How will govt. Collect the garbage fees? Perhaps it could be added to another utility bill?

      • Anonymous says:

        9:14 & 11:49, Government used to charge for garbage collection annually, but people never paid, and it was too difficult to track. So they increased import duty from 20% to 22%, and eliminated the garbage collection fee. That was the excuse anyway.
        Much like the tire disposal fee, the extra revenue is not allocated for the intended use, and it’s thrown into the melting pot of revenue, and wasted. In the private sector that would be considered fraud, but with government, it’s standard practice.

      • Anonymous says:

        We have a unique consumption-based society that choses not to tax income or property. For that system to function properly, it needs to cover the back end of consumption circle with reasonable disposal fees as a matter of civic duty. We’re not talking about huge bills here. It really wouldn’t be that hard to implement with today’s GPS-linked software. Every home could purchase a barcode for their bins, registering for garbage collection at that time with their 9-1-1 street number and P.O. Box. Or their could be a tablet-based system on the side of the vehicle that the operators can key in with a gloves hand. Maybe collection fees are pre-paid via their community strata, and individual households only pay for excess consumption (Christmas time, etc). There are many ways to do it. A free ride is not an equitable solution given our costs and constraints. People can still opt not to recycle – only now they will be paying for that wastefulness. Private businesses and small apartment strata should not be covering thousands a year to offset the deadbeat fat-cat home owners sitting in their multi-million-dollar homes in their high end communities. I have a big problem with that.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t know of any Strata complexes that are not paying their garbage fees when invoiced by gov’t (which, btw, are sometimes many years in arrears). Which Strata plan took away their large bins? I’d be very surprised if this actually happened. Were that even possible, wouldn’t all Strata Plans be doing that now?

    • Anonymous says:

      People would also just dump their waste in the bush, more than they already do.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The The dump is a disgrace. Have you been INSIDE the dump, I am not talking about the front area with the dumpsters? INSIDE THE DUMP YOU CLIMB THREE TO FOUR STORIES HIGH ON A MOUND OF TRASH. YES! FOR ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE NEVER PHYSICALLY BEEN IN THE DUMP. YOU LITERALLY DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE UP ON A MOUND OF TRASH. How can Cayman be so advance in so many areas but the dump is as if we are living in a third world country.

    How do we not all sort our garbage? Finally recycling has come to Cayman and people still want to act like we are living in the 1980s.

    The dump should also have re-use area. Two weeks ago on Saturday, a man was pulling in to dump with useable black couches. Another man stopped him and said he would take.

    At Christmas the government turns around Christmas trees into mulch why don’t they do this all year long with plant material?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Stop trying to spin this CNS! You know all of this would have been for FREE if government accepted the offer from Dart. It was rejected so the PPM could gain power, and now it will cost the people tens of millions of dollars.

    • Bigsoup says:

      Remember the old adage nothing in this world is free. Why can’t people wrap their heads around the fact that the Dart deal only provided the land and lining for the newly proposed ‘Waste Facility’? Government would still have to maintain the site and build the facilities, which would be highly unlikely due to the restrictions of the FFR. Furthermore, we all hear the notion that rules are often side-lined in the interest of greed. Dart bid placed 4th in the CTC process, why should the government bypass the other two bidders who placed higher than Dart? Lastly, Dart proposal fell outside of the scope of the RFP. If the Government decided to pursue with the relocation of the dump, the RFP should clearly state this and all bids received should be based upon the principle of relocation. Can we please move on from this, instead of bashing the government’s decision, why not offer a plausible solution like Anon 7:57am?
      Let’s all do our part to reduce the intake in the dump by recycling household good that we disregard daily such as plastic, aluminium, glass etc.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bigsoup that is rubbish. Government could not afford to accept any of the bids b/c they were/are broke, at which point Dart volunteered to build the facilities for free. I didn’t see anyone else offering $60 million for nothing in return. No FFR required b/c we were not paying them.
        And stop telling people they were going to relocate Mt. Trashmore? Dart would remediate the current site and build a public park, and construct a new facility elsewhere for future dumping. Buying land, constructing recycling facilities and a properly lined landfill are all things government must now PAY someone to do b/c they turned down Darts offer. And BTW, the stack of consultancy reports that have been done over the last 3 administrations (including PPM) all state that Mt. Trashmore is over capacity, and a new facility must be built at another location to service the future needs of the island. ALL reports mapped out recommended sites, and all were in the BT area as most suitable.
        Unfortunately Darts offer was to turn the new facilities back over to government once completed, and they would be responsible for managing the operations. God knows government can’t manage a hotdog stand effectively, so let’s hope they would have the brains to turn it over to a private company.
        You can lie to yourself and fool the gullible, but the intelligent amongst us know it was in the country’s best interest to accept Darts offer, and PPM turned it down to win votes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Free, yes free for CIG to create another stinking dump somewhere else and in 20 years have the same problem repeated. There is no free lunch from Dart. We will all pay in one way or another.

  7. Anonymous says:

    By 2016 that dump will dwarf several buildings in GT if nothing is done.


  8. Anonymous says:

    the drainage ditch just west of the landfill is full of dead animals, birds, lizards, fish etc
    I hope test that ditch

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