Composting plans in works

| 19/05/2015 | 7 Comments
Cayman News Service

George Town dump, a.k.a. Mount Trashmore

(CNS): In a major step forward in environmental management, the government is introducing a composting initiative which will see organic material that is currently dumped into the landfills put to good use. While it appears that any full-scale national solution to the country’s waste-management problems is still well over two years away, the premier has announced plans to introduce some forms of reuse and recycling ahead of the introduction of a long-term policy strategy.

During his policy address in the Legislative Assembly on Friday the premier, who is now also responsible for rubbish, said land was being identified for use as a composting site.

Alden McLaughlin said government intended to bring forward plans “to implement a national composting initiative with the compost product available to the public to encourage growth of local foodstuffs”.

Every day hundreds of bags of garden waste is generated by landscapers most of which goes into the dump. Much more organic material is mixed up with regular commercial and domestic waste that could be put to good use, given the significant shortage of quality growing soil in Cayman and the need to encourage small landholders to grow more fresh produce to improve the nation’s health.

McLaughlin said that his ministry was working as “swiftly as possible on a long-term solution to the country’s waste problem” but that there were plans for interim improvements in the meantime when it comes to recycling.

While the country waits on the full solution, he said, significant improvements have been made to the management of the current landfill, helping to reduce the occurrence of fires.

“We will also tender for the processing and removal of remaining scrap metals at the landfill and process and remove all used tires stored on all three islands’ landfills,” he told his legislative colleagues Friday.

“At the same time, we will step up our recycling efforts as well as introduce composting,” he said. “Government will also work more closely with the private sector to not only encourage the work they are doing with recycling but also rally restaurants, hotels and others to join in these efforts and reduce their impact on the environment and the landfill.”

McLaughlin said that government would also install public recycling drop-off sites in various districts and encourage private sector companies to use them as well.

With an eye on the long-term plans, he said that in the next couple of months everyone will get the chance to be part of the debate on the future of the waste management strategy.

“We want the public’s input before next year’s tendering for alternative 21st century waste facilities and to resolve the problems faced at the current George Town landfill,” he said. “This government will also deliver new integrated solid waste management facilities that will support the significant reduction in landfill requirements in the decades ahead by using recycling and composting. We expect an outline business case to be produced by the end of the calendar year with tendering for the various parts of the new waste management infrastructure to go out in early 2016.”

The situation at the dump remains critical but no administration has ever developed a cohesive policy regarding how the country should utilize as well as manage its waste. Cayman is woefully behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to recycling and reuse at a time when some countries have reached the point where they place a mere fraction of waste in landfills and recycling their rubbish for myriad uses, from energy to building materials.

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Category: environmental health, Health

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Move the dump!!!

    • Stanley says:

      Yes Alden, move the dump! stop wasting time and money..fooling the people. Kurt on one hand gave the dump already to Dart, and you shooting BS! its just a matter of time we will see the report from the UK study, which will scare every Citizen in this country, then Alden and Kurt will tell you, they have no choice but to accept Dart’s proposal…follow the money…he!..he!

  2. Anonymous says:

    The recycling and recovery center on dump road is open daily from 10-5 We welcome your batteries A/C’s ewaste car rims and engine parts Sometimes you get paid for your waste
    We welcome anyone to come for a chat about recycling and recovery methods and what we see as the future.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not a forum for posting ads about your business unless you want a load of yard clippings and food scraps dumped on your doorstep.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is wonderful news. It would seem to be a good plan – to do something while we wait for the full solution – I hope it will come to fruition.
    However we, members of the public must play our part. Even though there are recycling containers placed strategically all over the Island now, and many persons use them, there are those who continue to put garbage in receptacles clearly marked “aluminum cans only” and so forth. There are also those who drive considerable distances to put household garbage and gadgets in the swamp or the Barcus park, even though the dump is open 24/7 and garbage pick-up from homes is FREE!
    Much education must be done. Over and over and over again, to adults as well as children. How many people know that even now glass, aluminum, plastic & cardboard can be recycled? It just takes a little effort.
    It is really ironic that an island which until about 40 years ago was very conscious about reusing/recycling (remember the thatch baskets we carried to the store? remember drinking from a tin can?) now has to be educated on the danger of the wasteful ways we have adopted.
    Again, wonderful news. Lets all work together to make this work.

    • Sammi blue says:

      This is wonderful and sad all the same time. Sad to know that perhaps some people do not know how to recycle and compost and perhaps some people just do not care. I grew up in a Cayman where we recycled almost everything, even the seeds from the mangoes that we ate. I remember throwing them in a heap to dry out then burning them to keep the mossies away. Composting is so easy to do, for those who are not familiar with it just get a large plastic bin, and throw all the peelings, spoilt veggies and fruits in it , cover it and voila? After a few weeks you will have this rich organic material that you can put in your garden and let the cycle continue. I do this throughout the year and come October I see peppers, tomatoes garlic etc sprouting up in my garden so I rarely have to spend money on buying those items. I know they are teaching it in schools now but the older folks really need to learn this because they are the ones dumping garbage all over the place and really throwing away their hard earned funds.

      I also think the time has come to heavily fine anyone caught dumping refuse on the road side, from cars, over the fence etc. sometimes that is the only way folks will learn. Thank you Progressives, now budget some funds to get some environmental policing in place and let us all clean up this little gem called the Cayman Islands.

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