End in sight for tyre trouble saga

| 16/08/2016 | 41 Comments

Burning tyres at the George Town dump(CNS): Following years of failed attempts by successive governments to remove the mountain of tyres from the landfill in George Town, the health ministry has finally signed a deal with a local firm, supported by overseas experts, to dispose of the unknown quantity of tyres that have accumulated at the dump site for years. After several efforts of trying to find someone willing to pay for the giant rubber pile, $1 million was earmarked from the Environmental Protection Fund to pay the successful bidders to shred and turn the tyres into rubber aggregate.

The government signed the deal on Monday with Island Recycling Ltd and its international partner GRG, who won the bid, which was supervised by the Central Tenders Committee. In the effort to resolve the tyre problem the CTC has supervised at least six tender attempts over the last few years, but now, following this final successful tender, the old tyres will be recycled and then used as fill in development projects around the island.

Premier Alden McLaughlin, who has responsibility for environmental health, said the contract was just one component of the overall solid waste management project in Cayman — an issue that has been broadly criticized as the process is moving at a snail’s pace.

“One of the things we are very excited about is that this process is entirely in keeping with our objective of reusing and recycling waste products. The tyre-derived aggregate which will be produced as a result of this process will be reused for construction over the course of the years to come in local projects,” the premier said. “The landfill is an issue and has been an issue for the country for many, many years, and while many people believe we are moving far too slowly, we are absolutely committed to developing a long-term plan that creates a solution that will last the course of the next 50 years.”

Island Recycling Managing Director Jason Brown said the company’s goal was to deliver a safe, successful and environmentally friendly recycling project that would be professionally completed. “We know we have a lot of hard work ahead of us and we’re ready to meet the challenge of turning the large stockpiles of waste tyres into reusable … aggregate,” Brown said.

Although GRG, an experienced tyre recycling firm, will be coming to Cayman to work on the project, Brown said there would be work for local people and the transfer of new recycling skills.

“I think this is a win-win situation, not only for the government but for the people of the islands in terms of the way that we’re choosing to process the tyre materials, making it a tyre-derived aggregate, meaning that it can be recycled and used on-island versus the expense of export,” Brown added.

With the shredding contract signed, Brown said that once the required specialised recycling plant and equipment arrived, the preparation work would begin and they hoped to start processing the tyres within four months. It is expected to take eleven months to shred and process the tyres currently stockpiled at the dump.

Roy McTaggart, the councilor in the premier’s ministry who appears to be dealing with the dump and the related waste management projects, said the tyres needed to be removed efficiently to reduce various risks.

“Everyone knows it’s been a safety hazard for us in terms of potential fires at the landfill, as we’ve had in the past. Used tyres are also a preferred breeding ground for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the Zika virus as well as dengue fever and chikungunya,” he said. “These are issues that are significant to government and to the people of the Cayman Islands.”

Signing the contract was a “significant step”, he said, adding that the project could now move forward and “all things are in gear”. He added, “I think everyone wants to see this project dealt with once and for all.”

Once it has been cleared, the area where the tyres are currently stored has been earmarked as a possible site for the new composting site. During his policy address in the Legislative Assembly in May 2015, well over a year ago, the premier announced that the goal to begin composting ahead of the implementation of a full waste-management solution would be a priority for his government.

He said at the time that government intended to implement a national composting initiative because every day hundreds of bags of garden waste goes into the dump. McLaughlin said his ministry was working as “swiftly as possible” on a long-term solution to the country’s waste problem but that composting and recycling would begin before the full solution.

“We will step up our recycling efforts as well as introduce composting,” he said 15 months ago.

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Category: Environmental Health, Health

Comments (41)

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  1. Boom says:

    Bumbo! Mi know seh dem tire dem a going tek licks now brederen!

  2. Anonymous says:

    With our dump issues I seriously wonder why so much Canadians would come here… considering they’re centuries ahead of us in waste management.
    And that’s just to name one country. Cayman we ga do better blud

  3. Anonymous says:

    what about using some of the tires to create some playgrounds? They have these type of recycled material playgrounds all across the US, and the kids can play for hours! There’s so many things they can make, including the shredded tire mulch.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If my PR application taught me anything, you should just make shoes out of them.

    • Diogenes says:

      Actually the tire pile is a bit like all PR applications; put to one side and ignored for years in the hope that it will go away. Lets hope it doesn’t end up shredded too!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Did the Chief Officer read THIS contract?

    • Inspectorate of Incompetence says:

      Won’t matter how many mistakes are made no Chief Officer is held accountable for anything. They are untouchable just ask Franz Manderson

    • Diogenes says:

      He got to the bit where Jason was involved.

  6. NotNice says:

    1 million dollars….very comical considering there appears to be persons who were willing to do the job for free. Reminds me of Ben Bernake in the states “doing god’s work” by slashing interest rates to zero and printing trillions for the last 10 years and creating the biggest debt bubble mankind has ever seen.

    • Anonymous says:

      There were requests for proposals, including ‘anyone want to take these for free?’. No one did. So go and ask the ‘free’ people what their offer to Government actually was. Because it probably wasn’t a free lunch.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s not a landfill, it’s called a DUMP.

  8. Blue iguana says:

    This might be a stupid question but it begs to be asked, if the tires were a fire risk at the George Town land fill why wouldn’t they not be an issue shredded in north side?

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think the tires themselves are a fire risk, it’s the organic matter decomposing creating gas pockets that then ignite the tires. Tire aren’t known to spontaneously combust / ignite as far as I know.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are correct 8.16. It is a really stupid question.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Roy! Bless you up!

  10. Things that make u go 'Hmmmm?' says:

    In July 2011 (5 Years ago) we held a Confidential meeting with the Chief Environmental Health Officer and his assistant at the DEH about this very issue. We were told by them that we were in fact the ONLY group who had approached the DEH with such an offer and how excited they were after hearing the details of our proposal to address this vexing issue.
    Our offer would not only have addressed the tyre waste issue at no cost to the the CAYMAN ISLANDS people, but it was to be the ‘spring-board’ project that would have allowed for the introduction of a self-sustaining recycling program to address both future and past waste materials that were already located on the site of the existing DUMP.
    Notice that we use the term ‘DUMP’ as this is not now, never has been and never will be a “LANDFILL”.
    Imagine our surprise when we were told that in a matter of weeks the DEH had (apparently) received several almost IDENTICAL proposals … yet our overseas business associates (who actually owned the Patented Technology that we proposed to use) had had no contact with any other local firm, entity or person … hmmmm?
    To add insult to injury, the DEH / CIG then proceeded to (attempt) to put this out to Tender, thereby delaying and ultimately eliminating the one window of opportunity that gave viability to what otherwise would have been a loss-making venture for the investors.
    So now, 5 years later, the GIG is actually now going to pay millions (mark my words) of dollars to create an even worse environmental problem in our own backyard, when we could have had this problem reduced and exported 3 years ago.
    Way to go CIG / DEH !
    It makes us wonder WHO is the ultimate beneficiary of this fiasco?

  11. Anonymous says:

    too little too late ppm……dart offered to sort out the whole dump mess 5 years ago…for free!!!!!
    just another day in wonderland………………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      He DID NOT offer to pay “to sort out the whole dump mess” at all. He just offered to move the problem somewhere else – a site but not a solution. There’s a big difference.

      • Anonymous says:

        wrong, he offered to move the dump and create a waste to energy land fill. IT create a garbage burner which would create electricity. Which would have created badly needed jobs in bodden town. But someone had to get elected there, and that was the simplest platform to run on. No dump in bodden down.

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

        Not that you will, however I’ll still suggest you go and educate yourself.

    • Anonymous says:

      No. He did not. There was capping the mound and setting up a new dump. Not sorting it out.

      • Anonymous says:

        wrong….darts proposal would have sorted out the gt landfill once and for all….plus would have given cig another landfill site……it would then have been upto caymankind to repeat the mistakes of before…..

        • Anonymous says:

          Dart Realty offered remediation of the GTLF at a cost of approximately US $30 million, as well as land and construction for the first phase of a Waste Management Facility (WMF) at a new location, at an additional cost of US $40 million. Under the proposal, when the new WMF was commissioned, the 110 acres of land and new facility would have been exchanged for the approximately 56 acres of land at the GTLF. DRCL would have been compensated for the WMF cost through future concessions. Dart was not seeking compensation or recovery of the funds spent on the GTLF remediation. In addition, Dart would have been responsible for aftercare of the GTLF for at least 20 years, under CIG supervision. Negotiations on this proposal were abandoned by the Cayman Islands Government following the 2013 election.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Is this the same Jason Brown who works in the Cabinet Office who is consistently the “Sherpa” for the Premier and his overseas delegations???

  13. Anonymous says:

    WE might as well have employed GRG directly instead of using a Cayman fronting company to add 20% to the contract cost for providing their name.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am so impressed this government has tacked every major issue facing our islands and has solved them.

      • Anonymous says:

        I beg to differ. As you said they haven’t( tacked) tackled the employment issues which I believe is the biggest problem impacting lives on this rock. When this government ensures that experienced, qualified Caymanians are given fair opportunities, then and only then will I pop the champagne and bring out the balloons.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, because not having the technical skills means that no one in Cayman could have the management or labour skills either, so we might as well import all of that, exporting all of the money and not gaining any of the skills for future use. Now thats sound long term planning. (Or I have an overseas company that proposed all this ten years ago, one or the other.)

  14. Pi$$ Poor Management says:

    PPM are paying now a company to dispose of the tires at the dump when previous rfp’s had vendors bidding to pay and remove the same tires. Only in the Cayman’s would this government view this as a positive step.

    Pi$$ Poor Management

    • pproved? says:

      Yeah except no one would pay anything. As you undoubtedly know.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are incorrect. Bidders were not prepared to pay what DEH wanted for tires or the wrong persons were involved in the bid. Pure politics. Now government are paying Jason Brown.

    • Anonymous says:

      “In the effort to resolve the tyre problem the CTC has supervised at least six tender attempts over the last few years, but now, following this final successful tender…”. What part of six [previously unsuccessful] tenders attempts did you miss sunshine? Stop chatting your foolishness!

    • Things that make u go 'Hmmmm' says:

      BS. No truly knowledgable or suitably qualified entity would have offered a bid of even $1.00.
      We didn’t.
      The fact is that the ROI was too close to ‘0’ when oil was at it’s highest level .. which is the only reason it became viable to even considder.
      The tyres were a ‘break-even’ project that would have been used to offset the cost of the specialised machinery that could also be used to re-cycle the dump itself .. but with the price of oil now at an all time low, that won’t happen again.

  15. BracFan says:

    What about the growing tyre dump in the Brac landfill? Does this contract cover that? Wait until that one catches fire…

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