Experts rummage through local rubbish

| 26/09/2016 | 26 Comments
Cayman News Service

Rubbish experts assess Cayman’s garbage

(CNS): Cayman’s rubbish came under scrutiny last week when landfill and waste specialists began assessing the composition of household and commercial garbage in preparation for the next step of the government’s proposed Integrated Solid Waste Management System (ISWMS). Two consultants from Amec Foster Wheeler spent several days working with Department of Environmental Health staff at the George Town dump going through sample loads of rubbish to sort the waste and take samples of landfill gas to help estimate the generation rates for possible reuse as energy after the landfill is closed.

“Having Amec staff here last week to carry out waste composition and landfill gas generation work provides important information that is required for the future procurement of the ISWMS,” said Jim Schubert, ISWMS senior project manager.

The outline business case for the project was released last week and recommended a public-private partnership as the way forward to deal with the country’s waste problem with recycling, composting and a waste-to-energy plant at the heart of the system. Government hopes it can reduce landfilling by as much as 95 percent. However, the OBC said it will be more than four years before the new system is implemented.

At current rates of waste disposal, the existing landfill will reach capacity in around six years and the business case found a PPP would be better value for money than the government attempting to deliver the project itself.

“The collaboration would also allow the government to outsource operations that will require specialist recycling, composting and waste-to-energy equipment, operation and maintenance,” officials said in the latest release about the project.

“The whole point of the government’s approach is to minimise the ongoing need for a landfill,” said Premier Alden McLaughlin, who is directly responsible for environmental health. “The argument for the Cayman Islands is not about where we should put more landfills, but how to avoid the need for new sites at all. Landfill is unsustainable and the last option in the internationally recognised waste hierarchy.”

If government can organise new waste collection arrangements, enhance waste-reduction, increase the re-use of bulky waste such as old furniture, improve recycling facilities and create a materials recovery facility, yard composting and use the rest of the waste for energy, it will only need a small landfill, which can be engineered at the current site, officials have said.

The public can learn more about the outline business case recommendations at open house sessions at the Government Administration Building on Grand Cayman on 4 October from 5-7pm, at the National Trust House on Little Cayman on 5 October from 11.30am to 1.30pm, and at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre on Cayman Brac on 5 October from 5-7pm.

A questionnaire will be provided at the open house sessions and is being set up on the Ministry of Health website.

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Category: Environmental Health, Health

Comments (26)

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  1. MM says:

    Wow; who knew the PPM were “crammers” – I swear they must be reading every comment on CNS and making action lists to appease the public!

    The “cost of living” going down article, now they are becoming all proactive with the dump, education ministry stepping up on some serious strategy, privatization of aspects of the prison force, parents’ concerns being addressed, intervention programs being implemented in primary schools, fire office in west bay finally re-opening.

    So, in the entire past 4 years, it is safe to say that none of these things were truly addressed previously although they were obvious public concerns and with only nine months left until election day (and even much less time left until nomination day) they are managing to tick off every checkbox on the public’s “cry list” in a matter of weeks!

    Progress, definitely some kind of progress… maybe they were just procrastinating all these years because of their own confidence in their individual abilities to govern? Who knows eh?

  2. Anonymous says:

    every strata development shoud be made have recycling bins….including compost collection areas….
    why is this not in the planning laws?

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you find a greenish hair scrunchie, with gold glitter can you leave it in that chair under the mango tree. I can’t find that thing anywhere. Thanks.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Could i pay you Thursday ! For a hambuger today?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Government suck. Plain and simple. We do not want nor need you.

  6. Jay Easterbrook says:

    We have been recycling at Lighthouse Point Condo’s (9 condo’s, dive shop & a restaurant) for the last 8 years. Every week we have JUNK recycling collect: one full (75 gallon) bin of glass, 3/4 bin of aluminum cans and 2 full bins of plastic. Recycling has reduced our DEH dumpster by 50%. Recycling works!

    • Concerned Resident says:

      Good for you Jay! Thanks for sharing that. I hope more condos and especially more restaurants do this. It would be so nice if they could do it from choice. How much does JUNK charge to remove that once a week? I bet it isn’t a lot.

  7. Armed and dangerous says:

    In first world countries they have people sort the garbage before it gets to the dump…

  8. Stig Of The Dump says:

    Open it up and let the people in!

  9. Sharkey says:

    How much money are Government going to waste on this study and labour , and the results which are going to be put on the shelf to collect dust ?
    Why don’t Government make it mandatory that all households / hotels / restaurants / condos be responsible for the separation of all household garbage / recyclable material, and certain days for pick up and taken to the operate site . I think that everyone would understand the reason why we should be doing this . SAVING THE DUMP AND PROTECTING OUR FUTURE .

  10. love to recycle says:

    The easy way is teach people to recycle…..first at the public dump teach them what goes in the bin….and all school must recycle as kids learn faster than adults then kids will pest their parent to learn recycle at home. All hotels/restaurant/bars must recycle which employees will learn and they will do at home as well. All government departments must recycle which employees will learn to do same at home. Many expats will recycle due they have been bought up the way we recycle overseas. I have been recycle in Cayman for 10 years at home….glass, plastic, paper and cardboard, soda cans, food/dog tins and clothes….it is not difficult to recycle. Let keep island beautiful for everybody.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Could they sample the gas levels at the LA?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hey Jim,

    Did you know that a Canadian consulting firm did the same thing over the course of 3 years between ’86 and ’89? Where is the CDN$ 300K report from that solid waste feasibility study now?

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess the Govt. from 20+ years ago did little with it. Surely you are not suggesting that we should use the data gathered 20+ years ago to make a decision today ?????

      • Anonymous says:

        So what waste fractions do you think might have changed in 20 years? The same study projected Cayman’s growth and waste output over a 25 year period. Correlation of information gained now with the results of this historic study can only serve to help the effort and quite possibly save repeating work. Seems CIG love to squander money on this issue only to ignore the reality of having to implement a practical solution. For all the money spent on studies over the past 20 years we might have had a first world waste handling facility today. But what’s wrong with wasting a few million dollars here and there just to make it seem like something is being done for the better?

        • Anonymous says:

          I am confident that any & all previous reports have been used appropriately.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually nearly 30 years and the answer is … a heck of a lot. because we share common packaging with many recycling countries you will find that the percentage of eg packaging which could be recycled is vastly highr than the 80s for one example. the mid 80s were still before eg unleaded petrol so it was an entirely different world!!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          As a former solid waste consultant, the only waste is the money the government is spending on a solid waste survey. “Good enough” composition data is available. The only reason a waste-to-energy company wants the exercise is to be sure that they have the “data” to prove that any operation below contractual limits is due to the government not supplying the proper waste. Then the billing meter of penalties kick in and the government is left paying contractual penalties. Recycling paper will become not economically feasible since most of the heat value of waste is found in paper and cardboard. Put in a recycling plant first, then look to feed a waste-to-energy facility.

      • Anonymous says:

        No. I propose we spend a million and ignore the new report also.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am sure that ride on the back of a garbage truck collection run would also be very informative for the surveyors. Now that I can recycle not only aluminum and glass, but also plastics and paper my household now averages one medium bag per week going to the landfill.

  14. wasting more time says:



  15. Anonymous says:

    Why not start separation of garbage, so when the time comes to do it, everybody would already be used to doing it. We drag our feet, spin wheels and never think of ways in which to educate or small population.
    Matter of fact, there should be an service just for yard waste/trash and dry materials. Stop waiting for the eleventh hour to get simple things in motion. Provide colour coded bins for sorted garbage, which would be more productive and cost effective in the separation process. Educate the populus now, not later, because by the next four years everyone should be well versed in proper sorting, resulting in easier management at the recycling compound.

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