Dump problems confirmed, solution years away

| 31/08/2015 | 71 Comments
Cayman News Service

Fire truck at the GT dump

(CNS): The most recent report from consultants helping to develop a national waste management solution have urged government to get rid of the tyres at the George Town dump as soon as possible and begin capping the landfill to reduce the noxious odours and dangerous gases. Warning of risks to staff and visitors from arsenic and hydrocarbons, the report highlights many of the problems that the authorities are already aware of. However, the government has indicated that it may be three years before the procurement for the waste-management solution even begins.

The report is part of an increasingly long process towards addressing the waste problem faced by the Cayman Islands. The goal to introduce a national waste management policy and a new facility appears to have been pushed back to 2018, according to a release from government that was issued alongside the report, which spells out the ongoing problems with the country’s three dumps and how it is currently handling waste.

The report indicates that government may be underestimating how much rubbish goes into the landfill each year by almost 10,000 tonnes.

The report by AMEC Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure UK Ltd makes for unpleasant reading but it will not come as much of a surprise as most of the findings were already broadly known. The report indicates that site users in George Town are at risk of exposure to arsenic in the soils as well as hydrogen sulphide and methane. It also poses a nuisance from odour and landfill fires and the water around the dump is at risk from various chemicals.

In an obvious statement the consultants note, “The George Town landfill also has a significant detrimental visual impact from various viewpoints.”

At the Brac dump methane, hydrocarbons and leaching metals are the key problems, while groundwater in Little Cayman is at risk from hydrocarbons from a waste oil disposal pit.

The report was described as Task 2 of Phase 1 in the process to address the waste issue, which includes three phases. Officials said it could be 2018 before a comprehensive system is in place.

Still in Phase 1, government officials said they were preparing a strategy based on the recommendations made in the environmental investigations interpretative report and the national solid waste management policy, which is expected to be finished next month.

Phase 2 is the preparation of an Outline Business Case to deliver the national solid waste management solution, which should be finalised by the end of December 2015 or early January 2016. Phase 3 will be the procurement for someone to create and deliver the new waste services. Government said implementation would not start until the 2017/2018 financial year.

In the meantime the public is urged to cut down on the waste they generate by reusing and recycling and composting.

Landfill Site Environmental Review – August 2015

FAQs for NSWMS Environmental Investigations AUG 2015

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Category: Environmental Health, Health

Comments (71)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The headline should read “Dump problems confirmed, solution years away because the Government rejected the best solution out of political expediency and cowardice”

  2. Anonymous says:

    So unless I’m mistaken:
    Water contaminated with arsenic and heavy metals is leaking into North Sound.
    Cooling water from CUC generators is discharged into North Sound.
    Millions of sunscreen-laden tourists visit Stingray City in North Sound.
    Pleasure boats discharging gasoline and petroleum products frequent North Sound.
    Fertilizer runoff from the yards of fancy canal homes discharge into North Sound.
    Fish that we eat have their nurseries in the remaining mangroves of North Sound.
    Water that we drink is from desalinated seawater taken from North Sound.
    We continue to allow millions to be spent to tell us what we all already know and debate tirelessly about anything other than the toxic waste dump of our own making and the national emergency that should take precedence over everything else.

    Is “the North Sound” an answer on the cancer registry questionnaire?

    • Anonymous says:

      Water that is desalinated is not taken from North Sound, it comes from deep boreholes. The plant in Lime Tree Bay used to take water from the canal linked to North Sound but this practice ceased years ago. Please get your facts straight. We are in fact very lucky to have desalination here in Cayman as it screen out many low level contaminants may show up in our surface waters.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for the correction, but I’m not sure it matters because this isn’t an attack on where our water is drawn from within Cayman. The point is that our water IS drawn from Cayman. If an increased threat of cancer doesn’t frighten you, perhaps paying 22% duty on bathwater will. This must become our most urgent social issue for the sake of us all. (And it is also why I stopped eating barra.)

    • Sam says:

      1:36 very good points, thank you! Where are the WestBay ladies? We need them now to take charge and sue the CIG.

    • Anonymous says:

      Health Effects of Selected Volatile Organic Chemicals Found;

      Materials in landfill were combined to characterize landfilla Leachate. The studies reported findings of 82 chemicals in Landfill Leachate, including 63 types of organic Chemicals.
      In the 70 Landfill studies concentrations of VOCs in Leachate varied widely, but the researchers were able to calculate a medium concentration for each Chemical by averaging all of the data.
      Or the 14 Chemicals whose median concentration exceeds Federal drinking water standards, 12 are known or probable carcinogens, and 2 are considered toxic to humans.
      Median values for some of the carcinogenic chemicals were so high that those leachate samples would have to be diluted over 1000 times to reach “acceptable ” level.
      Other studies have also found where landfills contaminated groundwater with Volatile Organics. In a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources study, leachate-contaminated groundwater samples, were taken from 19 of the states landfill and tested for VOCs. Even in the diluted samples 9 VOCsfrequently exceeded Wisconsin’s groundwater quality standards. The VOCs most commonly foundin the study (benzene, tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene and vinyl chloride) were also the most toxic.
      VOCs are highly mobile and can reach groundwater far beyond the borders of a landfill.Florida study found that some chlorinated benzens had migrated with their groundwater 872 yards. thats half a mile away.
      Carcinogenic chemical is a cancer causing toxin.

    • Anonymous says:

      With your politicians, its all about the money in the brown paper bag!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have a solution! Do nothing for 2 years then commission another report. It won’t fix the problem but at least no-one will have to do any actual work.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Another useless government to drag us back into the 19th century. Well done Mr. Premier, you are no better than your predecessor. Your’s will not be a honourable legacy.

    • Anonymous says:

      When these Bobo the Clowns have to make a law, so that they remain with an “Honourable” title for the rest of their lives, just goes to show how absolutely dishonourable these jokers are.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone remember the movie Erin Brokovich, can we the people not just sue Government?! Only they can be blamed for the current situation and putting all of our health at risk!

    • Selena says:

      9:33 am
      this is what I have been saying all along. All people with cancer and other inexplainable diseases as well as other resident must unite and sue the government for gross negligence. Gross negligence is a conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm to persons, property, or both.

      • Cass says:

        Thank you to all those people who are on here recognizing the link with our environmental disaster to CANCER. It is real people! Wake-up! The cancer rate of any type of cancer is alarmingly high in Cayman. C’mon guys.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I hope the politicians past and present are proud of the way they have destroyed the Cayman Islands due to their personal greed, incompetence, ignorance and broken promises. You have destroyed this beautiful place I was proud to call home. Happy now?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I feel so much better now that consultants have been able to tell us what are noses already knew. The dump stinks, it is poisonous and our politicians are remarkably similar.

    • Anonymous says:

      The consultants havent told us half the story. There are many more toxic chemicals which is a major threat to our health, sitting in that dump. You have to give it to these guys though, they are telling us in a sense that they made a grave mistake by not accepting Dart’s plan. it wont be long now, the news will come out that they have to close the dump due to health reasons. They have not the money to relocate and re mediate GT dump, Dart will be back in the picture very soon.

  8. Anonymous says:

    mount trashmore= a monument to the incomptence and failures of caymanian politicians…….

    what do you expect when we cannot elect the most educated and talented memebers of society………welcome to wonderland…….

    • Cass says:

      Most are intelligent, hence their ability to steal from right under our noses. Personal greed and egos are the issues with our elected representatives. Dart wanted to buy it from them for $60million. And part of that deal was to build a PROPER waste management facility in the eastern district. But no, we don’t want that, that won’t help us personally. This is how they think. They are only looking out for themselves and their families. So before you vote next time BE SURE you know WHO you are really voting for.

      • Anonymous says:

        Right on point, everyone thinks these guys are idiots. But it’s actually the people that vote for them over and over, lie after lie that are the fools. They are just laughing all the way to the bank.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Another landfill report?

    It is ironic that all the previous landfill reports are now in the landfill.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I doubt that labeling this article treasonous will succeed in shifting the blame and responsibility from this government. Hiring consultants to tell us what everyone with a modicum of cranial capacity or nasal awareness already knew really doesn’t move tnhe solution any closer.
    If this latest consultant report put to rest the mistaken idea that the solution is to be found at the current George Town dump site that is at least a step forward.

  11. Anonymous says:

    ppm turned down a free a solution to caymans biggest environmental problem…all for the sake of votes from backward bodden towners………..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    just another day in wonderland….

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah friend , Why don’t you suggest to put the new facility in your neighborhood . If it not going to affect people in Midland Acres then it shouldn’t affect you in your district. The EIA says the residences of Midland Acres are 2000 ft away from the proposed facility.

      • Cass says:

        200 or 2000 feet doesn’t matter when the proposal is to have a proper waste management facility i.e NO MORE DUMP! Do yourself a favour “friend” and go READ the Cardno Entrix proposal through the Dart group for this same facility. 360 pages, go knock yourself out!

        • Anonymous says:

          1;11 is just another Caymanian who don’t read or attend these meetings to get the facts on anything that will make their lives better.
          These kind walks the streets and believe in gossip and slander. Should he or she had attend the meetings they would have gotten the facts.

      • Anonymous says:

        the new proposed facility is not comparable to mt trashmore….

    • Ellie says:

      You mean crazyland?

  12. MacKneelus says:

    OFFS guys can you at least just fix the CB and LC dumps?

    How hard can that be? Low hanging fruit. Tangible progress to point to in 2017.

    At least make some effort!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Premier McLoughlin is proving himself as ineffective as minister Bodden in dealing with the biggest environmental issue facing the Caymans. Time to let Dart have a go because no one else seems to have a plan.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart’s plan was to move it from his backyard to Bodden Town. He was going to provide a properly lined pit to pile garbage into, which would have lasted for many years but would only offer temporary relief and not a true solution.

      It does no good for us to create a new waste management facility until we set procedures in place to manage the waste. Moving the dump from GT to BT is a bit like sweeping the dirt under your carpet, it is still in the house and will eventually have to be dealt with.

      The waste generated in Cayman needs to be managed, and it really doesn’t matter to me if it is in BT or GT since I don’t live close enough to either site for it to make a difference to me personally.

      Taking Dart’s offer for a new facility would be the same as taking his money to “save the mortgage”. It put of the foreclosures for a period of time, but did nothing to address why they couldn’t make the loan payments. Hence, we now see those people losing their houses and everyone is wondering why.

      • Anonymous says:

        Uh, no. He was going to implement a proper waste management facility to deal with it properly for the next 100 years. Something our current and past governments have been unable and/or unwilling to do. Get your facts straight.

        • Anonymous says:

          Just like Microsoft gives away millions of dollars for forwarding emails, a fallacy but oft repeated and believed by many. The Dart proposal is a properly lined hole, everything else was up to government. Here are the details:

          Waste management and recycling was left up to the operators, which in this case is government. Waste management and recycling is something that should have been happening at the present site from long ago.

          Dart’s solution was a just new hole with better lining at a new location far from Camana Bay. Everything else was just suggestions to government on how it should be managed.

          • Anonymous says:

            I wish everyone who says “we should have taken Dart’s deal” would read this. It is the truth. You have to look past Dart’s “dog and pony” on the deal and see what actually drops out of those two critters back end. Dart is looking after his long term take over of Cayman not your best interest.

            • Anonymous says:

              8.21 Darts best interest is to sort out the dump once and for all. Are you so blind that you cannot see that when Mr Dart does something he does it to the highest standards and delivers on time. That is a rarity here.

              • Cass says:

                Thank you 7:26; they are making it clear that even if government had taken the deal they had no intentions of sorting out their garbage from home! Want someone to do that too right! Wake-up, the Cardno entrix proposal is the best so far! People have such a hatred for Dart out of sheer jealousy that they don’t have his resources. Grow-up, you want to be rich, you want to have millions in assets? WORK for it! Looks to me like 8:21 needs to read that proposal before speaking out! But these days, who reads 360 pages of material???

            • Anonymous says:

              Dart has lead the horses to the water, the damn fools just continue to refuse to drink.

        • Anonymous says:

          The EIA says 20 years then they need a new one. So where do you think they would put that? Somewhere in BoddenTown ? Maybe East End, Northside? How about fixing it where its at? How about buying the property that Dart bought and put it on his 100 acres? Then if he wants he can build another project EAST where he should have went to begin with.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thats exactly what ive been saying all along, you guys didn’t go to get educated on this proposed new land fill.
            20 years was the life line of each cell, then it would be covered and left to rot, with a proper engineered lined bottom. with 100 plus acres, more cells would be be established. Hopefully by then Government would legislate recycling so the dumb ones wouldn’t be dumping 60% waste in the land fill, which would double the time to fill those cells. whats so f….ing hard to understand about this!

        • Anonymous says:

          Why is everyone neglecting to mention that they were also going to cap and cleanup the Georgetown dump which would have included all the tires, nothing from GT was being moved to BT. It would have basically been a savings of nearly 100 million dollars for the country with a fresh start on dealing with garbage.

          Dart offered to not only cap and cleanup the GT dump but also offer to bare the financial burden of the future maintenance of the site. In BT he offered to give the land to the CIG and build the first properly lines pit as well as an administration building. At which point it would have been turned over to the CIG which would have given them a fresh start at a new site without having to worry about the old site. All the CIG would have to do is do it right this time around. What Dart got out of it was a prettier view from his little city. So freaking what.

          What the heck is so wrong with that ? Call it like it is, the only thing wrong with the whole thing was that the Boddentownians don’t want it in their backyard and that’s it.

          The PPM blew Dart off to please the Boddentownians and that won them the election.

          So what do we all have now.

          NOTHING!!!!! Thanks BoddenTown

          • Anonymous says:

            youd be surprised to see how many BTers were under the impression that the rubbish was going to be trucked from GT to BT. this is the ignorance of my people. before they attend these these seminars, they would prefer to judge it, no good for them.

          • Anonymous says:

            Couldn’t have said it better 8:46am! Morons!

      • Anonymous says:

        If you were smart you should have accepted Dart deal and negotiate for a full facility that wouldn’t turn out to be the same as what we have now. Of course your stupidity wouldn’t allow that. What’s your solution?

      • Anonymous says:

        The people who are supposed to be making the loan payments are the ones who should address that . People need to stop expecting bailouts for every jam they get it and save for a rainy day.

  14. Anonymous says:

    As the Deputy Governor once said with words to the effect…… We are good at obtaining expert reports that cost us lot’s of money but what we do with these reports and their findings are another thing.

    How much did this report cost the tax payers of this country and didn’t we already know what the obvious results/findings would be ?

    I suggest that this money could have been spent on something better……….. perhaps on scholarships for aspiring young Caymanians.

    Since Mac’s credit card fiasco, frankly speaking, I don’t have no more trust in him and will never vote for him again.

    However, the proposed deal between Mac and Dart to move the landfill to the middle of Grand Cayman from off the Seven Mild Beach corridor, was a bad error in judgement for the PPM not to have followed through on.

    Another two years will come and not a thing will be done to solve the problem at the landfill except getting the tires removed. That is good but not nearly good enough.

  15. Bob says:

    FFS – Just give it to Dart to deal with.

  16. George Ebanks says:

    The person who leads the effort to get each Caymanian to reuse; recycle and compost; as a natural habit should be knighted.

  17. Anonymous says:

    So, nothing will be done for how long? A pity, DART would have built the new waste management facility by now and we wouldn’t be having this discussion or wasting any more money (that we don’t have on reports) that say the same thing as the reports we got in 1990 and every other year until now.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I am going to predict that by 2017 we will witness the health problems in our population caused by this ticking time bomb.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try this simple solution move East ,the wind will still go west and keep all that bad air from getting in your lungs. When driving past the area drive on 7 mile beach road and close the windows. If a southeast wind is blowing don’t go to Camana Bay to eat, drink, or work. Hope this helps you out.

  19. Anonymous says:

    More rubbish from CIG

  20. Anonymous says:

    Obnoxious gases and poisons? Just another day at the MLA…

  21. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    I guess this is how Alden and Ozzie define progress!

    Just another day in Absurdistan

  22. Anonymous says:

    Putting politics over country has ruined many countries. They should have accepted the offer from Dart.
    They should go back to Dart, say we will let you remediate and create a new facility. However, we would like an inclosed sorting facility as part of the new site in order to promote a recycling program.

    Don’t let ego get in the way of doing what’s best for the country.

    • Anonymous says:

      A sorting facility was part of the original offer which included two buildings, one for administration and one for processing..

    • Cass says:

      Ego gets the best of um every time. Too many cocks in the hen house.

    • Anonymous says:

      A private group of concerned citizens have met with the Dart Group and questioned whether they would review their proposal to include an enclosed sorting facility on the new site in order to facilitate a recycling program, they were all enthused with the idea. Since then the ministry met with them and my guess it got hijacked. It is my belief , they offered the dump as a trade off and we will see the dump shut down soon.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Thanks PPM for another report

  24. Anonymous says:

    i wonder if the progressives have figured out that the sky is blue water is wet and politicians lie and waste money without a consultant confirming that for them in another expensive report?

  25. NewWatyaSay says:

    The process of talk talk talk will continue to happen until a new government is voted in. Someone who benefits from the dump being moved the most will continue to throw matches into the dump until it is moved. So I say we move it. Plan and simple. I don’t think we need to spend money on studies to show what is best, I think we should just move it. I’m not sure the best location for it to go, but probably Bodden Town or East End seem the smartest.

    Why spend the tax payer’s money to find the best solution, when we can just go ahead and find a good one. Why do we need what is “best”, why do we always need experts?

    • Anonymous says:

      It doesn’t even sound like the report was to find solutions, except in general terms, but to tell us what the problem is. It’s ugly, it stinks and it’s poisoning the land and water! Wow, thanks guys!

    • WaHaPen says:

      Well at least it is clear that Alden and the PPM will not waste money from a Nation Building Fund ,by giving it away for scholarships …………..

      They will just waste it by giving it away to big firm’s friends, to write reports and studies, to tell us what we already know.

  26. Lee Witicus says:

    Telling us what we already know is PPM’s version of value for money or Progress. SMH

  27. Name changed by CNS says:

    2018 may seem far away, but in reality it makes sense to take time to get this problem fixed properly, instead of rushing into a solution that will only cause more problems down the road.

    We have taken time to get the cruise pier solution correct, and that also took time. But now we have a solution that we can be proud of in future years and we will not have to upgrade again after this. Getting it right took time, but it was worth it.

    Everyone wants solutions immediately in Cayman, but that’s not always the best way. We are going down the right path, upgrading the airport and cruise berthing facility first, then tackling the dump. It seems that the experts have concluded there are areas that need more immediate remedies, especially the tires, and we can tackle those areas that pose a threat now, then take our time to fix the rest of the issues as we are able to find the best possible solutions.

    Just my 2 cents.

    CNS: Find a new username. That one’s taken.

    • Anonymous says:

      What an erudite! It’s the same story for 25 years and counting. That is not progress unless you are self servicing or a delusional zombie.

      Your endorsement of this government’s willingness to to spend over 300m on the cruise piers to benefit a handful while ignoring projects like fixing the dump which will benefit the masses illustrates your complete lack of objectivity!

    • Anonymous says:

      Your two cents dont mean doodle de!

      Back ground on Solid Waste Planning on Grand Cayman;

      !992- “Environmental Assessment of Grand Cayman Sanitary Landfill”
      1993- Throne Speech by Gov Gore. ” Statement by Gore that Grand Cayman Solid Waste Plan is being considered by Government”
      1999-National Strategic Plan,”Vision 2008 Plan 5 Sought and produced a site for a new landfill. The document identify location of a future facility.
      2000- PBS&J Solid Waste Update-Consultants was requested to review Waste-to-Energy.
      2002 – Interim report of the (WDOR ) Committee, This group include WTE implementation. CIG did not proceed with this recommendation.
      2003-Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) PAHo recommend that CIG identify a new remote location of at least 72 acrea.
      2003-Draft Development Plan for Grand Cayman- identified the need to site a new site outside of GTLF within 5 years.
      2008-Draft Development Plan for Waste to Energy Facility on Grand Cayman prepared by GBB and APEC.
      Based on on their report, the cost of the( WTE) Waste-to-Energy was estimated at CI$121.4 million.
      2010-Request for Proposal (RFP) for a Comprehensive Solid Waste Disposal Management and Waste -to- Energy Facility. Wheelebrator was the preferred bidder, The CIG did not pursue negotiation with Wheelabrator.
      2011-Economic Strategy Report; Chamber of Commerce and Future of Cayman Furum published an Economic strategy report. Include opening a new landfill site. Introduce Recycling upgrade the sewage treatment system.and open a new Solid Waste landfill.
      2012-Governments 2013/2014 Strategy Policy Statement; the statement acknowledges the role of Public /Private Partnership to provide the needed waste management in Grand Cayman.
      And you’re suggesting we take our time? we have been taking our time now for 21 years! you have to be mad to make those statements.

      • Anonymous says:

        You missed one! 1989 – M.M. Dillon Ltd., 3 year study and site assessment of GT Landfill that included feasibility of recycling, reuse and incineration, reuse. Field teams sorted garbage into fractions and used existing demographical data to project waste fraction estimates into 2009. All at a cost then of 350K CDN. What would this cost now???

        • WaHaPen says:

          No one cares about your comments buddy. Get back to work at Goldman. Do something constructive.

          • Anonymous says:

            Oh 11:57am but obviously they do. Maybe if you did your kid’s school homework you’d be actually doing something more constructive than writing gibberish remarks.

  28. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of money!! How much did we the tax payers pay for this report? Just forget about the stinking dock and get the dump problem fixed you bunch of over paid incompetents. GT MLA’s are literally allowing their voters to slowly be poisoned to death, while focusing on some pie in the sky cruise pier.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Oh look at that! 2018 you say? Oh, that will be just after the next election…instead of just getting up and doing the right thing its “pass the buck to the next people and make them unelectable thereafter” …this is really pathetic. Just get on with it, in the long term Caymanians will thank the people who started doing it properly..

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