(CNS): The government has bought around $90,000 worth of new recycling equipment and $50,000 of specialist bins to boost the recycling efforts now being made by the Department of Environmental Health. The kit was described by officials as an interim measure to divert recyclable materials from the landfill until government completes what has been the very long process towards a fully integrated solid waste management system, which will see around more than 90% of all the rubbish generated in the Cayman Islands kept out of the dump.
Premier Alden McLaughlin, who also has responsibility for the dump as part of his health ministry, said, “Recycling is an integral part of the new system dealing with waste in a sustainable manner for years to come.”
The recycling equipment includes a sorting table, baler conveyor and a horizontal conveyor, which will be operated by five to six people, and new recycling containers to replace the existing temporary bins at the recycling depots at the local supermarkets.
Many people have embraced the idea of recycling in Cayman in recent years, even in the absence of any curbside pickup, with residents dropping off their recyclables at the supermarkets when they go shopping. The DEH said the new recycle skips will enable people to carry on bringing aluminium, tin, plastics, paper and cardboard and additionally ceramics.
These ceramics and the glass will be taken by the islands’ largest development company, Dart, which will crush the glass and pottery wear and use it as fill.
Other material, such as the paper, cardboard plastics and cans, will be collected in a new line of specialised bins at the recycling ‘depots’, which DEH officials said would now be named for the districts where they are located to “instill a sense of community ownership and pride”.
“It is this sense of ownership that DEH hopes will encourage community users to help make this recycling effort a great success,” said Mark Rowlands, the assistant director of solid waste at the department.
The recycling will still require sorting, baling and compressing into cubes to be shipped to recycling markets in the United States or other overseas locations, which will be handled by a broker, with the Cayman Islands Government receiving the market rate for the materials.
“If residents properly clean and put the correct materials in each bin as identified on the signage, and our staff properly sorts the materials and removes any contamination, then we will get top dollar for what we send,” Rowlands added,
Government has said that the ISWMS project is currently in the first stage of the procurement phase and it aims to have a contract in place, in principle, by spring 2017.