Cutting waste cornerstone of new policy

| 27/10/2015 | 15 Comments
Cayman News Service

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

(CNS): With just six years life left in the George Town dump, the newly published National Waste Management Strategy has a heavy focus on the reduction and reuse of rubbish to dramatically cut what goes into the landfill. The government is hoping that by getting people to reduce the amount of waste they produce, reusing, composting, recycling and turning residual waste into energy, it can keep 90% of the islands’ garbage out of the landfills instead of 90% going in. Standing at some 77 feet, the George Town dump’s “Mount Trashmore” will be mined but there appears to be no quick fix.

The journey towards a solution to the country’s waste problem is proving long and winding, as government is still in the very early stages of the process. While it may begin developing elements of the new policy, such as recycling and composting ahead of the management of the landfill and remediation or changes to garbage collection, a comprehensive solution is still several years away.

The government has published the full report by the waste management consultants AMEC Foster Wheeler and is now seeking feedback from the public until the end of next month.

The report recommends that government start charging for garbage collection and selling material that can be recycled to pay the costs of the new system, which will be in the tens of millions of dollars. Waste-to-energy could also provide another source of revenue from garbage that cannot be reused, recycled or composted.

Jim Schubert, the senior project manager, said the strategy would provide key policies and objectives for the future management of waste and the delivery of an integrated system (ISWMS) across the three islands.

“It also identifies important steps and actions that will be taken to deliver the ISWMS and in so doing, address the current unsatisfactory landfill situation,” officials from government stated. “These actions will be targeted to improve the sustainability of all waste management practices, make increased use of waste as a resource, and ensure the protection of the environment and amenity of the islands.”

A public consultation about the future collection, treatment and disposal of waste in Cayman Islands is underway and ends 30 November. However, actually getting to grips with the landfills appears a long way off.

“Long and short listed options for change and improvement in the way that waste is managed on the islands have been systematically appraised to develop options that the CIG will seek to develop and deliver as part of the implementation of the Strategy,” officials stated. “These options cover a variety of areas ranging from recycling depot provisions through to the treatment of the residual waste that remains after recycling.”

The report shows what were described as “the aspirations and aims” regarding how government wants to manage the islands’ waste well into the future and provides approximate costs associated with key elements of the project.

The Executive Summary and full report are on the DEH website

Government will be hosting open house sessions for the week of 16 November to meet with members of the public and get their feedback and comments on the draft strategy.

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Category: environmental health, Health

Comments (15)

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  1. Satirony says:

    If dumpsters were placed at strategic locations around the island, emptied regularly and accompanied by a campaign to encourage their responsible use, fly-tipping should stop.

    If we all gave up buying bottled water and used filtered tap water and re-useable drinking vessels, we might get to the next decade without having to promote our fabulous ‘rainbow’ beaches. I’ve never bought a bottle of water in my life, and I’m still living.

  2. People For A Dump Free G.T. says:

    Hey Bodden Town, wake up and smell the garbage!

  3. Anonymous says:

    People, there are things YOU CAN DO! Start separating and recycle things like glass, cans, cardboard now, its not that hard, I’ve been doing it for over a year now and I’ve reduced a huge amount of what I toss out every week… HUGE! Try it for a couple of weeks and see for yourself, plus you may as well get used to it cause it is something you’re going to have to do in the future.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This has been the obvious solution since time immemorial. However, regrettably as usual all we get is hot hair and lip service, and no sensible action at all. Should have took the NZ solution offered years ago and we wouldn’t be in this mess now.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The only chance you had of proper waste management and recycling is now living in Florida

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is frustrating to see the elected MLAs dither around attacking the Compass for their editorial position instead of actually solving serious problems facing the country.

    Perhaps they should hire a consultant to rule the country.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Great idea to charge people/businesses by the amount of garbage they generate.
    Unfortunately the net result will be illegal dumping all over the island on vacant private property. The land owners will be stuck with the expense of having to clean it up. Many will not do it because A) it’s not their garbage and B) they can’t afford it. Private businesses and condos will have to lock up their dumpsters to keep people from filling them up and thus incurring more fees. My guess is the retards who came up with this ingenious plan won’t care about any of that.

  8. Sad4Cayman says:

    I left the island 4 years ago and the island is no further along then it was then. Instead, the idea to just leave it next to the tourist area is about the dumbest thing that could have happened. Very sad that the island can’t get it’s act together for it’s own good.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Does that include cutting the waste in government spending too?

  10. John Evans says:

    The true scandal of this is that in 2006, in response to the tendering request that later turned into the Matrix fiasco, the Minister of the day was sent a proposal that in addition to clearing the post-Ivan waste would have created a permanent re-cycling facility on Grand Cayman.

    The written plans, submitted by a company in New Zealand, were backed up by a DVD showing their successful operation in the Cook Islands.

    That approach was not only completely ignored but when the issue was raised by Cayman Net News we were fairly firmly told by CIG to back off.

    If this option had been adopted back then (it could have been up and running in early 2007) a lot of the issues being discussed here would already have been dealt with.

    The proposed re-cycling plant would, for a fairly moderate outlay, have handled tons of reusable material that has since ended up in the dump, it would also have earned revenue for CIG and created jobs.

    Why was it rejected? I am only guessing but my opinion is that nobody in CIG could see a profit in it for themselves and I suspect that still might be the problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely correct John. New Zealanders would have taken care of this at a fixed, publicly known price, but no, this has to be done under deep cover. Much like the blind refusal to even consider a floating, fold away cruise dock at a fixed price.
      Nope, nothing in it for me or the rest of the Lodge members.

  11. Anonymous says:

    cayman is light years away from basic recycling/composting….
    caymankind were raised in a head in the sand metality regarding the environment….
    not helped by the recent administration that abolished garabe collection fees(mainly for caymaninas)…….pure wonderland stuff….

  12. Anonymous says:

    go with dart proposal from 5 years ago….and then start your magic composting/recycling schemes in bodden town….
    problem solved. for free.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Half a solution from a bunch of half wits..

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