Premier: We are making progress on dump

| 23/11/2016 | 71 Comments

(CNS): The premier has admitted that tackling the waste-management problem in Cayman is the biggest and most important infrastructure challenge that his government faces, but claims that it is making real progress. In a government-made TV programme about the improvements at the George Town dump (a.k.a. ‘Mount Trashmore’) and the investment in equipment, Alden McLaughlin spoke about the hurdles to addressing the overall problem and dismissed the idea that closing the dump and moving it was ever going to be a real solution.

Because of the time it has taken to develop the policy position and find a way to implement a long-term permanent, sustainable solution, the Progressives had fought a hard public relations battle to persuade the people that government is addressing the issue, McLaughlin admitted.

“One of the greatest challenges for my administration has been dealing with the public perception that all we have been doing is revisiting old reports that have been prepared and essentially spinning wheels and doing nothing,” he said.

McLaughlin explained that just tackling the dump alone was not enough and it needed a much more complex comprehensive solution. In the end, the goal for government is to cut the amount of waste people generate in the first place and find other ways to deal with the garbage generated other than dumping it in a hole in the ground.

The ‘dump’ has proven a source of frustration for successive governments because all previously proposed potential solutions have been costly and beset with challenges. Since taking office, the PPM’s starting policy position was that they wanted to tackle the landfill where it is and did not support the idea of moving the dump.

Although the Dart Group, which has wanted to see the George Town landfill closed for many years because of its proximity to its property, offered land in Bodden Town for a new landfill, this was by no means a genuine solution, the premier said.

He has stated on many occasions that his party rejected the Dart proposal because all the billionaire property developer was offering was a land swap with a lined pit. All the rest of the infrastructure would still have needed to be financed.

In addition to the significant opposition in the district to a landfill opening there, most waste management experts warn against moving dumps except in extreme circumstances. Having the dump so far away from where the bulk of the garbage is generated would have also created environmental challenges presented by taking garbage so far from its source.

Once it fixed on a policy to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover via waste-to-energy, government has crawled towards the end solution, which it is expecting to tender early next year. In the meantime, it has been working on upgrades at the dump and investing in the necessary resources and management improvements. The garbage is now properly compacted and covered, which has eliminated fires at the dump and resulted in overall smoother operations at the site.

“It is one of the biggest issues from an infrastructure standpoint that the country has to deal with,” McLaughlin said. “It is very challenging, not just because of the technical issues but because of the finance structure that has to be developed to deal with this. Many administrations, I would not say have ducked the issue, but they have not been able to resolve the issue.”

McLaughlin said that the project will be a long way from being completed before the end of his government’s term, and asked for patience because what government delivers has to be fit for purpose, affordable and last for at least the next 25 years.

See GIS Spotlight about the dump below:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , ,

Category: Environmental Health, Health

Comments (71)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Caymanians 4 Change 2017 says:

    The barometer for leadership is very poor in Cayman.

    Look at who gets elected especially the coat tail riders who need a job that are being paid handsomely as MLAs to support Alden/KT and McKeeva at all costs or else they are back struggling as failing businessmen or on the dole; most are a bunch of empty shells the party gives them a platform not their own actions or achievements. Caymanian voters need to demand more from MLAs and vote for the best candidates not fake nice guys to represent all interests not just the party hardcore supporters. This should not be a popularity contest there are too many important issues to resolve we need quality representation. The voters have the power they need to understand how best to use it.

    “PPM and UDP are the same dog puppy”

  2. Anonymous says:

    The White man from florida offered to take care of it for free Too bad he and his family offered something to the island and had to be removed because of the offer

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you have to tell us you’re making progress you’re not making progress.

  4. Rp says:

    The dump and cruise ship docks are too complex of projects for the caliber of our politicians to handle. They demonstrated over the years that they are not intellectually capable of running much smaller projects such as: the gov building, turtle farm, govt schools. from budgeting, design, management and construction these prior projects have been a complete failure. I am eagerly awaiting to see the completion of the airport project.

    However, based on prior results, I besieve the dump and piers projects are way over their head.

  5. Anonymous says:

    soon we’re gonna have to send garbage to outer space __—””—__

  6. Anonymous says:

    There is a comment in today’s Ask Annie section on “Pay grade of top government officials”, a mind blowing comment. You allow your government officials do nothing for this kind of compensation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well what to do – if you think the current Gov is not deserving, the opposition and the hopefuls are woefully even less capable!

      Don’t know – probably safest to stay with what we know is not bad.

  7. Rick O'Shea says:


  8. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps the non-biodegradeable Styrofoam producers of the world should contribute to the remediation of this problem?
    Anyone know who they are?

  9. Take A Dump And Whine says:

    The Rest Of The Universe: No, you are not.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Pay Cuba or elsewhere to take the garbage. Garbage barge.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What a huge joke this all is. My trip to the dump involved driving on a rough road that only an off road vehicle should be on, waiting at a posted sign for 15 minutes for a ‘spotter’ which never came and then continuing on to dump garden waste to where everyone one else was. A backward and inefficient system which will only encourage more fly tipping. Make it easy and it might work, but the current system is worse than the old but very convenient system.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The appropriate response to this comes from that classic scene from ‘Blazing Saddles’ where Sheriff Bart says goodbye to the citizens of Red Rock – it’s on YouTube 🙂

  13. Anonymous says:

    Progress for Alden means lots of consultants and emails and meetings and bits of paper. Nothing has actually happened at the dump other than routine maintenance. I predict whoever is elected premier will be saying the exact same thing at the end of their tenure, and the one after that and the one after that.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Dear Alden…thank you for the best, deep belly laugh I’ve had all year. Truly made my eyes water. You made your bed with that idiotic ” No Dump in Bodden Town ” nonsense and now we’re all smelling like garbage.

    • Freddy says:

      Ludicrous at best. Premier complains that moving the dump to another location which waste management experts telling him isn”t good because it will be too far from the main source/supplier of the garbage. Isn”t North Side , East End, Bodden Town already far enough from it? Where does the garbage from these 3 districts disposed? A 2 lane road is being built right next to the dump and I can imagine that the more garbage that is being put at the dump site and near to these 2 lanes will soon come crashing thru the remaining tree buffers that they couldn”t clear and onto the road. Its only a matter of time before that happens. I for one won’t be driving on those 2 new lanes whenever its completed.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Interviewer: So Mr. Premier can you say, hand on heart, that your administration has made solid progress on the problem of the dump?

    Mr. Premier: *Shifts in seat. Adjusts glasses. Beads of sweat on forehead.* Y-y-y-yup but we did not have enough time and need another 4 years…

  16. Alldone MacLaughin says:

    Don’t worry, dumb voters. Eryting is good. Elections comin’ up and we are gettin’ tings done. *wink wink*

  17. MM says:

    If all the babble sounds familiar, this may be why – same tactics from the same people. Let us not forget this pre-2013 election article from the PPM:

    Posted on: 17 April, 2013

    Promise A Better Cayman

    Grand Harbour – Tonight, The Progressives will launch their election campaign, as the May 22 election gets closer. With fifteen candidates, a strong platform to bring good jobs to Cayman, build better communities and restore Caymanian pride in the government and the country, The Progressives will speak to an enthusiastic group of people in Grand Harbour tonight.

    “Now that the General Election season is upon us, now that the choice is in front of you, in front of your neighbors and in front of every voter from George Town, to West Bay, to Bodden Town, to the Sister Islands – it is incumbent upon all of the voters listening to me today to do everything you can to make sure this country becomes a Progressive country on May 22,” said Alden McLaughlin, Leader of The Progressives.

    These upcoming elections are, without a doubt, the most crucial the Cayman Islands have ever faced. The past four years of failed UDP control, not leadership, have been a period of grave concern and uncertainty for Cayman. The UDP administration has overseen a period in Cayman history like none we have ever known and one that we all wish fervently to bring to an end.

    “Because it is time to look towards the future is why the Progressives have put together a strong group of candidates, who bring a wealth of experience from business, to tourism and hospitality and education and government – because that is what is going to form the best Legislative Assembly for Cayman,” said Moses Kirkconnell, Deputy Leader of The Progressives.

    The Progressives are a cohesive group of candidates representing a broad and complementary set of skills and experience that are united to bring a better future for Cayman. The party plans to create new jobs, build stronger communities and restore pride in our government and our country.

    Volunteers are working together to elect a Progressive Government. Anyone interested in voluteering can contact the Progressives Headquarters on 945-1776 or at 488 Crewe Road, George Town

    • anonymous says:

      Yeah, right, the wealth of experience they bring. They have no clue what they are doing, from implementing the weirdest educational programs to this Dump expansion plan. Fighting same sex marriage and looking the other way when it comes to sexual abuse of children, troubled youth and mentally ill.

  18. MM says:

    Yes, making progress now during the last leg of this Government’s tenure in office – imagine how much “progress” you would have made if this issue was tackled when you people took office (as promised during your campaign).

  19. Scavenger says:

    I blame the Planning Dept. If they had not permitted all of the apartments/condos/houses and whatever else downwind of the dump, then most of the waste could be burned daily, as used to be the practice, and we wouldn’t be in the present situation. The dump is in the right place, close to the major source of garbage, it’s the things that have been placed nearby that should be moved.

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely moronic reply.

      • Anonymous says:

        Must be speaking of your own response as what the poster says makes sense. The dump was there all along and those that chose to live and work by it knew it was already there. Caveat emptor my friend.

      • Anonymous says:

        And exactly what is or should be expected from the ignorant voting block. Listening to fools is the Governments main job but does not mean everyone else has to. Take a step back, a deep breath, and remember that its not your job to edumacate the people of Cayman.

  20. K. D. says:

    stop backing an airline that will never be competitive and close the turtle farm and you would have had it solved years ago genius.

  21. annonymous says:

    I recycle plastics, cans, cardboard and glass, it pretty easy to separate and do. Many places have the skips for easy drop off.

    Every house hold should make it their business to separate their garbage and recycle. It would greatly help the environment and the country we should all love. This is our future we are talking about.

    If you do not recycle please consider doing so, it is not hard or expensive. Make it a new year resolution, this month of December could be your practice run.

    I urge those not doing it to seriously consider this positive contribution to society. It is our responsibility to our country, it is a win win situation, and it is a good example to set for our children.

    • anonymous says:

      This is good, but the Dump is still poisoning people and the environment.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a good idea & I as well as many others participate. The problem is restaurants & bars , nightclubs , the big hotel & condominium properties . Most do not recycle the glass , plastic and cans / metal or cardboard. Calculate the volume these properties still contribute to the landfill problem? Unless they are on board and participate, you are only making a minimal impact on the problem, rather than a larger one.

      • Anonymous says:

        The REAL problem is it takes and educated and disciplined public to make recycling work. Cayman is only half way there.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, let it turn into the “Cayman vortex”(paraphrasing the Pacific vortex) and swallow this island. Capping is the ONLY way to go with the existing Dump.
    Don’t allow your government to build incinerator at the current location, otherwise this island will turn into a mini Fukushima. You are already poisoned to death with the Dump as it is and where it is.
    Glass and biodegradable waste recycling is way overdue.

    • Anonymous says:

      The current direction is to cap the existing dump. Firstly we need to redirect a lot of waste into composting & recycling. As has been stated and has been started.

      Now explain why the current location is unsuitable for a Waste-to-Energy facility? What does a WtE facility have to do with the existing buried waste? Modern facilities produce little/no toxic byproducts.

      • anonymous says:

        There are no such a thing as modern facilities that produce little or no byproducts. Would you trust this country to operate anything more complex than airport parking?

        • Anonymous says:

          Really? Do some research. Yes I trust the government to engage a competent provider with a real track record and provide the country with a proper waste managment process – recycling, reducing, WtE, etc.
          Nothing that lasts can be accomplished without careful planning.

  23. Uncivil Servant says:

    How much did they spend on that directional sign? We can see the damn thing from the moon thanks very much, I think we know the way!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Comedy headline of the year? Still giggling – well done!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Bandaids aside, we’ve actually made no constructive progress in the 20+ years we have been talking about the many known GT landfill shortcomings. Capping GT landfill (unlined, long past recommended operational lifespan, and leaching untreated contaminants into North Sound) and switching to an industry compliant, free, and properly lined facility with leachate separation ponds, filtration, and recycling areas – designed by one of the top Waste Management development firms in the world – was just too much for this facile revisionist regime. They are too preoccupied with kowtowing to illiterate objectors – so much so that Alden now dismisses the Cardno Entrix technical proposal as simply “a lined pit”. We need more integrity from our next leaders. We deserve leaders that will read, and will be open to the idea of taking the advice of smarter paid experts. We need leaders that will learn from global waste management junkets and apply that knowledge. There are 20+ years of reports and expert commissioned opinions going back to at least 1992. The Brac landfill is also another identified problem that can’t be ignored by next regime. Don’t take my word for it, feel free to fact check and discuss:

  26. Anonymous says:


  27. Anonymous says:

    If the PPM or any politicians for that matter were passionate about the Cayman Islands, this would have been addressed a long time ago.
    Having said that, there are many, many expats and Caymanians who see through the lies and bullshit.
    There will be no need to invite electoral observers for the next election. The only people that will vote for McKeeva and Alden will be their families.
    Time for an exit plan boys.

  28. Smithy says:

    If you don’t understand that moving the dump from here to there does not solve the problem and that we must all change our practices as to how we dispose of our own rubbish then there will never be a solution.

    Its time to move into the 21 century folks and learn how to reduce, re-use, recycle. As a Caymanian I am proud that we have a government that finally gets the big picture. Its time for the country to follow suit and get skin in the game.

  29. PPM Distress Signal says:

    Yes we are doing something we are making it wider not taller. the usual waffling by the Ppm.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Much ado about nothing.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I am just waiting for some knuckle head to post. Just fix the dump!!

    I have been saying for years that any government that tries to fix the dump in a sensible way must be given an opportunity to do so. There is no quick fix.

    What I can say is that the video makes perfect sense and finally we now have a strategy.

    I look at it this way …airport under redevelopment. Landfill solution identified and tendering process next year berthing facility identified and tendering next year…sounds like progress to me.

    Yeah it has taken long …but no government in 4 years has achieved anything close to these accomplishments.

    • anonymous says:

      Anonymous 9:07am, you must be living on another island in the south Pacific maybe or in another sphere.

      • Nothing more nothing less. says:

        In another sphere perhaps. This government stinks like the one before it and so on and so forth. The dump is a testament to Caymanian politicians ignorance.

  32. Anonymous says:

    LOL! been doing this for 30yrs. Always seems to get good around election time.

  33. Anonymous says:


    not just Christmas tree.

    you can sell the mulch at reduced rates

    OPEN A Reuse center.

  34. Anonymous says:

    The ol upcoming election scramble to try and show they have done something that was not started by the prior administration. About the only thing they have done is make sure Caymanians will remain un and under employed for the sake of work permit revenues. Not a Bush supporter but he got projects started albeit often possibly with some self-interest in the dealings.

  35. Anonymous says:

    PPM and the video are pure rubbish

  36. Anonymous says:

    In four years in office 2 ppm ministers Osbourne and Alden have failed to find a solution now all we get is more garbage and political rhetoric because of the campaign circus.

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

    Making progress our collective asses! Kicking the can down the road for someone else to deal with is what he really means. Landfill is full Alden, read the reports. Just fix the damn dump Alden. For the sake of a few votes in Bodden Town everyone must die?

  38. Progress report says:

    In 2013 PPM said they had a plan when they got elected to address the dump. The country fell for it.

    At the end of 2016 the PPM produced a video and another report with a plan similar to what they did in 2008 with Arden McLean as the PPM Minister with responsibility.

    Now that’s progressive. SMH

    • Johne says:

      Lol ? ? ? ? Alden and Marco waste of Time vote them out ….hope we don’t see them elected 2017 worthless

  39. Anonymous says:

    We the people want to get rid of the landfill not improve it. So long story short there is an improvement of putting garbage in a hole in the ground.

  40. A Nony Mouse says:

    Progress in this area will require a major educational effort to instill the proper attitude towards recycling and re-use. The present attitude is “just toss it” and let government deal with the results. This attitude will only change by direct education within the schools whereby the students become avid advocates of the system.

    I have friends and associates that call me “CRAZY” for wanting to separate types of refuse for recycling. A couple of them have been “converted” by the efforts of their children in some cases SHAMING the parents into being more responsible and cooperative! One family I know produces FIVE 40 gallon containers of garbage EVERY WEEK! This is two adults and one child. In contrast, my household is just two adults and we rarely fill ONE 20 gallon trash can in a whole week. We put it out for collection only ONCE each week, and sometimes only ONCE each fortnight (2 weeks for those unfamiliar with the term)!

    The difference is that I have been an avid recycler for decades starting from my time in the US Navy and for the following 15 years in US residence. Where I resided you could get FINED if sufficient recyclables were found in your trash, which faced random inventories at the landfill. If any flagrant violations were observed, there was usually enough trash that was identifiable to a person or address to enforce the fines. The fine was $100.00 for a first OFFENSE, and subsequently your trash was subject to random inspections for the next 6 months. The second and subsequent OFFENSES were fined at $500.00 each!

    As there were employees whose job it was to regularly “inventory” and record the average waste products, it was easy to target the non-compliant parties. If an address was tagged as non-compliant, they were listed with the collectors and MARKED for inspection at random times. Serious problems call for serious efforts at a remedy! “Mount Trashmore” is a serious ongoing problem and needs to be addressed SERIOUSLY!!

    A lot of what was shown in this GIS presentation can go a long way towards dealing with the issue. It shows a commitment to addressing the issue and working to find and implement solutions. I commend the Premier and the DEH for taking active steps towards the resolution of this nagging problem.

    Oh, and NO I am not a PPM member, but believe in giving credit where credit is due. At least they are trying to make a difference, which is more than many previous administrations have done.

    • See No Evil says:

      Here here, best comment on here so far. So many Dart Trolls on here still want it moved to another pristine site which most likely will end up being another dump. Better to deal with it in-situ than to cave into a developer who wants to expand his empire.

    • Garbage says:

      5 years down the road and the dump will still be an enviromental hazard. Wait for another hurricane to scatter all that diseased waste into water supplies and cultivated lands

      Nothing is being done to improve the enviromental impact the dump has on the island and the enviromental threat it poses against powerful storms.

      Don’t make this new government fool you. Mount trashmore is a testament to Caymanian governments ignorance. We are still stacking our $&*+ to the sky and nothing has changed. It’s like they’re trying to build a mountain of garbage to reach to heaven.

    • Anonymous says:

      The “major educational effort” is not going to happen here. Check today’s Compass: ““A student at ICCI who has earned a 2.75, who is being suspended or put on warning regarding their scholarship at ICCI, can take that same GPA to UCCI and just about be on the honor roll,”

  41. Smithy says:

    I found the film very informative and it looks as if some real progress has been made. Lets hope that it keeps going in this direction.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pure Propaganda I am sure you enjoyed where they said the runoff water went down a deep injection well Did you enjoy that they are using practices from 25 years ago?
      Third world at its best… Did you notice the white material spread over the landfill? That’s medical waste ash including body parts

  42. Anonymous says:

    Just enough time to delay it enough to make it the next governments policy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.