CIG to take over supermarket recycling collection

| 26/05/2016 | 17 Comments
Cayman News Service

Junk depot in George Town

(CNS): The Department of Environmental Health has confirmed it will be taking over the collection of recyclable materials that the public leaves at supermarkets next month, after the private sector firm that has been operating the service announced it was pulling out. The DEH said that the recent request for proposals had only one bidder but government thought the proposal was too expensive and would therefore be taking on the job itself while another RFP is underway.

The sole bidder was Junk, co-owner Rolston Anglin confirmed. He spoke to CNS this week about the cost of recycling and the challenges posed by the size of the community, its lack of negotiating power and the need to ship materials to middlemen in the US.

DEH Director Roydell Carter said in the release that government was taking on the recycling as a temporary measure.

“The DEH will immediately step in to take over management of the various depots so customers can continue to deliver their recyclable materials to bins located at Foster’s Food Fair stores by the Airport, Strand, Countryside, and Republix as well as to Kirk Market, Hurley’s supermarket, and Chisholm’s Supermarket in North Side,” he said.

However, there will be some changes at the locations where the public drop their materials: there will now be separate bins for clean paper (including shredded paper, newspapers and magazines, boxboard and old corrugated cardboard), aluminum cans, and totes for glass and ceramics. Metal cans, such as food and pet food containers, can now be recycled at all of these locations.

But officials warned that government will not recycle all plastics as it said it was not viable.

The DEH will continue accept #1 PET plastics such as plastic drinks containers and #2 HDPE, which is things like milk jugs and detergent containers. These plastics can be identified by the numbers that are stamped onto the bottom of the plastic containers.

“Taking household and small business waste to be recycled helps divert waste out of the landfill,” said Jim Schubert, Senior Project Manager for the Integrated Solid Waste Management System (ISWMS). “It helps us all to play our part in the management of an ever-increasing amount of waste materials on the island.”

The government’s recycling project will be spearheaded by DEH Assistant Director of Solid Waste, Mark Rowlands, who asks that everyone please respect the depots by removing plastic bags, ensuring the recyclables are clean, and avoiding contaminating the bins with garbage or containers not currently being recycled.

“If everyone does their part, the costs for running the system will be minimised with a more efficient system,” he said.

The DEH hopes the costs of managing the programme itself will be less than the cost tendered by Junk. With a new RFP on the cards officials said Junk, along with any other interested parties, will have an opportunity to bid on the larger contract, which should be advertised by year-end ahead of government’s wider goals of a complete new waste-management strategy.

During a fundraising dinner this week, the premier revealed that once the tyres at the landfill have been removed, it will begin the much-anticipated mulching and composting programme to reduce the amount of green waste going into the landfill and generate a local source of fertilizer and soil cover.

Following an RFP, the developers behind the Ironwood Golf Resort in North Side are supposed to be taking the tyres.

The DEH said it would be developing further educational and promotional programmes to help customers understand the new system and to encourage the public to engage in recycling.

For more information, please contact the DEH’s office at 949-6696 or 949-8796 or

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Category: Environmental Health

Comments (17)

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  1. Cayguy says:

    Knowing Government and their waste disposal policies of old. Those bins will prolly all bedumped into the one Green garbage truck and added to the highest elevation point in cayman. Mt Thrashmore #donthavehighhopes

  2. Anonymous says:

    Government can barely get the garbage picked up – now they are going to take over the pickup of recyclables? Where will this be taken to? added to the dump maybe?

  3. Stig of the Dump says:

    The government here are excellent at recycling, particularly recycling the excuses they trot out all the time about the dump.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is nothing the private sector can do that CIG cannot do much much worse for far more money.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Poor Ralston, better get back in on the next election so can fix this!

  6. Lionfish says:

    If government is taking over JUNK business…….then WHY the public drop trash dump site is not recycle trash???

  7. Anonymous says:

    What are the health and lawsuit economics for deliberately dumping carcinogens into an unlined, overcapacity landfill? How can the Health Minister and DEH Minister be the same inept person, and not found to be in conflict? Perhaps if he stood to be held personally liable for future cancer lawsuits we’d see more action on recycling and dump remediation.

  8. Anon says:

    So far not doing g a great job! I suspect it will all end up in mount trashmore soon enough, as I’m not sure who else has noticed but it’s piling up and overflowing at many of these collection points. Smells and attracting bugs, vermin and mosquitoes , not really what you want so close to a grocery store! Disgusting. But as per usual government modus operandum is do nothing if it doesn’t line MLAs pockets. Expect more mess people and say goodbye to any recycling on island D other than Dart.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is ironic that corporate citizen DART does not volunteer to recycle Plastic #6 Polystyrene (PS), even at a loss. This product of their family’s creation, is one of the lightest and cheapest plastics, but contains Benzene, a known human carcinogen. Butadiene and styrene (the basic building block of the plastic) are suspected carcinogens. Decades of this stuff are leaching out of the unlined GT landfill into North Sound.

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you going on about? At the date or your writing the collection is being done by a private company. So they are the ones that are allowing the piling up and overflowing. Nothing to do with government or MLAs pockets. Hopefully DoEH will do a better job and prove you wrong.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Great opportunity for DoEH to exit the commercial waste collection business, i.e. skip rental/emptying and grabber truck services. Turn these over to the private sector, some of whom have already started and are doing a much better job. Then mandate that ALL commercial entities MUST use a skip service. Competition will bloom and control prices.

    • Anonymous says:

      If the private company is doing a better job than DEH then just use them. No one says you have to use DEH. See, problem solved. Except your problem is that the private companies are not better (or at least not cheaper when I checked for my skip; I didn’t switch from DEH as l find their service adequate for my limited needs). Your problem is trying to get government to force people to pay private company profits.

  10. Anonymous says:

    DoEH please ensure that there are clear signage indicating the types of materials for each container, especially plastics. For example, a milk jug may be #2 (recyclable) but I do not think the cap is.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Lets hope the CIG is better at collecting recycling than they are at moving wrecked Cuban boats… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well no more gambling money for somebodeeeee Debt ratio gone through the roof eh??? reasoning & guidance patna

  13. Anonymous says:

    Haha, they cant even fix the dump… just watch the “mess” they going make with this.

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