BT MLA takes direct action over garbage

| 22/12/2017 | 47 Comments

(CNS): Bodden Town West MLA Chris Saunders has taken the mounting garbage collection problem in his district into his own hands. Facing concerns from his constituents that the Department of Environmental Health is still so far behind on collections that it will not clear the bulk waste from the roadside before Christmas Eve, he has made arrangements with private contractors to clear the rubbish. Saunders said that he was “deeply concerned about the build-up of garbage” and that he planned to spend Friday driving around the district to schedule pick-ups.

The garbage issue is related to staff shortages and equipment failures over the last few months at the DEH that has had a knock-on effect into the annual bulk waste collection.

“I am really sorry that this is happening, especially this time of year,” Sanders said to his community, adding that his focus was on fixing the problem. “Once done, we can revisit the situation to see how this problem arose and make the necessary corrections to ensure it does not happen again.”

Saunders told CNS that he had spoken to the minister responsible, Dwayne Seymour, who is also a Bodden Town MLA, representing BT East, and he had given assurances that all the garbage will be picked up before Christmas Day and that the NRA will be working with DEH to deal with the issue. While Saunders said he wanted to thank the minister, the DEH, and the NRA in advance, he was going to be in the district to make sure the rubbish is collected.

The issue has been of concern to the community over the last few months, with CNS readers raising their concerns in the comment section. Among the many complaints raised, one reader had said that it appeared that a second dump was growing at the end of Beach Bay Road. Saunders said that was a priority for him today but urged residents to contact him (926-2804) about any other locations in the constituency where garbage was piling up.

Meanwhile, the DEH issued a statement Friday morning confirming that it was partnering with private sector providers and the National Roads Authority to pick up bulk waste before Christmas. Officials said teams will be working over the weekend and through Christmas Eve, if required, to make certain that all bulk waste currently at the roadside is collected before the holidays

The DEH reminded the public that the deadline to place waste at the roadside has passed, and that any additional waste will not be collected. They also said there must be no mixing of regular residential waste with bulk waste, which refers to large items such as old furniture, household appliances and vegetative waste that are not collected as part of weekly domestic pick-up services.

Following up after a drive through the district later on Friday, Saunders told CNS that while the problem was related to the problems at the DEH, there were other problems at play.

“I drove through many roads in the Bodden Town West constituency and noticed that this problem was largely the result of three things: limited resources in the government, miscommunication with the general public and there are some people who need to take greater responsibility with the management of their refuse. We definitely need to learn from this and do better next year,” he said.

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Category: environmental health, Health

Comments (47)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What has happened to garbage pick up in the Cayman Islands? Unlike much of government garbage pick up worked in the past? Did they get new leadership that is not up to the task? Are they unable to keep the garbage trucks working? After turning Mt Trashmore over to Dart to fix perhaps the garbage pick up needs to be given to Dart as well.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Gov’t charges CI$ 100 to pickup stuff in a grabber truck. No excuses. Pay for it .

  3. Anonymous says:

    So typical in the Cayman Islands for there to be the expectation of private intervention to remedy public service and ministry shortfalls, even for the simplest tasks. So many ministers and department heads should be fired, yet they are coddled and kept on the payroll for years!

  4. Anonymous says:

    They are doin it at Frank Sound dock and boat ramp now too, bringing the garbage from home and leaving it by the ramp.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What needs to stop is that so many of the government dept heads and their deputies ride around in new 4 door big pick-up trucks paid for by Government. Government vehicles can be standard 2 or 4 door cars costing maybe KYD 20,000 instead of KYD 70,000. The funds to buy fancy vehicles for civil servants should instead be used towards buying more garbage trucks and/or hiring more staff.

  6. Veritas says:

    Bulk waste should be left outside the owner’s house not dumped elsewhere in the district. This is a typically Caymanian problem creating public eyesores and mini Mt Trashmore’s all over the place.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is it too much to ask people to take their own trash to the dump instead of hoarding it all year for someone else to do?

  8. Anonymous says:

    The garbage in our area was collected today. Seems like every other road as mine is still out there along wuth my neighbours!! Off Will T Road BT

  9. Anonymous says:

    We don’t want our rubbish in Bodden Town, that is what George Town is for

    • Entropy says:

      One huge eyesore vs two smaller, easier managed deposits. Hmm you might be onto something there chap.

  10. Anonymous says:

    don’t worry, dwayne seymour is on it……zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  11. Anonymous says:

    Unlike in WB where the WBS representative flatly told me that a community issue, which happened to be centered in another area was ‘not her problem’!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I was in West Bay today and garbage is all over the road sides. Hire them crack heads I see riding up and down all day long. Kee kee?? Boy you gone quite!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Well if the minister responsible doesn’t do it then the other MLAs will. I cannot understand how or why the end of year pick is so disorganized this year. Didn’t those responsible know before the eleventh hour that they were having staffing and vehicle problems. I have lived in the area for the past ten years and this is the worse I have seen it. This government needs much help but too incompetent and proud to ask. We will remember who “gave a damn” come 2021!!

  14. Wouldn’t the simplest solution be to collect this type of stuff year round as apposed to just during holiday times like Xmas.This simply boggles my mind and more than once driving people to and from the Turtle Farm comments have been made by our VISITORS.Please wake up and correct this problem as its really a NO BRAINER. Merry Xmas to all.

    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      Agree with you Peter. Why should this be a Christmas issue? Problem really is one of maintenance of related vehicles, which means not only having the right amount of competent mechanics / electricians, but also the necessary spare parts inventory. NOT rocket science!! Assuming it is not a budgetary problem that is.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not really. The simplest solution is to take to the dump ourselves. Why wait on government. Do we need everything for “free”?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Probably easier to pick up the trash in BT if there was a dump near by……..

  16. Anonymous says:

    Direct action = actually picking it up yourself. More lip service as they say around here.

  17. Anonymous says:

    CNS Mr Saunders represents BTW not BTE, easy mistake but we are fond of our Rep here in BTW we aren’t just going to give him away 😀

    CNS: Apologies to Mr Saunders and his constituents! I’ve made the change. And thanks for pointing it out.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t the people pay to have their bulk waste removed and stop leaching gov for everything (even though they will waste the money elsewhere). Maybe it is better to milk um dry…

    • Anonymous says:

      its called caymankind….

      • Anonymous says:

        Up yours 12:18. Stop generalizing, you sound like an idiot, with a chip on the shoulder.

      • Anonymous says:

        Its why we pay 22%-30% tax plus disposal fees. You can at least expect it to be collected. Happy to throw it away myself id they peel off the disposal fee to free up some cash for s skiff rental.

        If they got clear of the consultants bet they could pay staff to compete with private sector..or they neef a consultant to tell them wages are moving with inflation anf your staff are leaving.

  19. Anonymous says:

    DEH should exit the commercial garbage business (skips & grabber trucks) and focus their resources on household collection ONLY, i.e. residences with <5 households. The days when government had to do all tasks are gone. Let private enterprise flourish.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cost of living is already drowning most families on these islands and your great idea is to privatize garbage collection to create a for-profit system. You think that the poverty stricken are going to bother paying a private firm to collect their garbage, they will continue to do what they are doing tossing the trash and driving away as quickly as possible.

      Let me let you in on a little secret, taxes (indirect in our case), fees and duties are collected by the government in order to pay for services that the people need.Garbage collection is one of those services, just because the government seems to be incapable of collecting it efficiently and without incurring additional costs.

      Perhaps the government focus should be on collecting the over $9 million owed in collection fees

      We know for a fact that people would rather not pay for the service and dump the trash in the environment so let’s come up with a sensible solution with the government that doesn’t involve creating a profit incentive for private entities

      • Anonymous says:

        Did you read the comment??? Which poverty stricken person do you know that would need commercial garbage collection? How many own a business? That is what commercial means!

        • Anonymous says:

          Commercial collection fees are supposed to pay for the free residential collections. It’s obviously not working as the financial offset that was originally intended. That is the problem. Privatizing commercial would only raise prices in both categories of collections, without necessarily resulting in any concurrent performance improvement.

          • Anonymous says:

            This was never the case. Don’t know where you got that pipe dream from. Privatising commercial would mean that it gets collected. By DoEH focusing on residential maybe these current issues will not reoccur.

    • Boggy Sound man says:

      Government should get out of the garbage business all together and have private companies do it. The Public Works department is a complete shambles XXXXXX. They can not fix anything so they just keep buying new equipment till it breaks. How can the local paving company, both concrete companies, the block plant, the various container trucking companies, the different quarries all keep there old equipment working yet this PW bunch just sit on their behinds using the same old excuses expecting us to pay for more new equipment? This is a total waste of our tax dollars; time for some senior civil servant heads in that PW department to retire.

    • Anonymous says:

      Au contraire, commercial is the ONLY portion of DEH ministry that actually generates cash through garbage collection fees. Commercial collection revenue is supposed to pay for the “free” residential collections, and if it’s not being covered, the commercial prices should be raised.

  20. nauticalone says:

    The trash situation in Cayman is embarrassing! The CIG and business class are certainly pushing a consumption based economy so I can’t see how an increase in trash was not foreseen? It seems more a lack of effective planning and then execution of a plan.
    It seems that a new waste management facility (middle of island and off main road) should easily be seen as a necessity.
    And it also seems clear that the bulk waste collection should be twice a year.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Look at this, a MLA going out and doing something for his district, if only more MLAs would do this, solve problems, don’t just meet and discuss them. Thanks Chris!

  22. West bay Premier says:

    I agree with Mr Saunders , but thinks that all Politicians should go around and see how their voters are living . Maybe that would touch their heart if they do have one .

    • Anonymous says:

      You do realize that most of the MLAs don’t care about how their average constituent lives, Mr Saunders has his flaws but he is a shining example of the new breed of MLA that these islands desperately need

      • Anonymous says:

        Seems like Bodden Town got the best of the best. I saw Mr Eden and Mr Suckoo out last week and they were visiting people all over the district not just in their constituencies. They were in Bodden Town East when I ran into them. Glad to see politics and single member constituencies haven’t changed them.

        • Anonymous says:

          G.t.centrel got some good cleaning too ,don’t know how long it will stay that way.

        • Anonymous says:

          Prospect and Red Bay (sent Frank to represent / due to travel) representativeswere out assisting the Prospect Community Group in their clean up efforts. All garbage collected was removed the same day approximately 175 bags of trashed was removed no DEH assistance over two weekends. Red Bay and Prospect is well represented!

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh please, he just loves the sound of his own voice. He knew that the DEH were out early in the morning( albiet days uverdue) taping off the piles and getting ready to collect before he made his announcement. Having said that it is not MLAs job to take care of your garbage, it is the job of the DEH. Or individually we should take care of it ourselves. DEH really needs to enforce recycling and show these nasty people how to properly dispose of garbage. I can’t really understand how so many people are complaining that they don’t have money to live on but they can still generate so much garbage.

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