Miller questions health ministry garbage policy

| 21/09/2018 | 39 Comments
Cayman News Service

George Town landfill, Grand Cayman

(CNS): Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller is questioning how the health ministry is handling garbage, as he believes officials are privatising parts of the collection process outside the parameters of the law and missing out on the collection of commercial garbage fees that are due to the public purse. Miller filed a freedom of information request seeking details about the private sector operators that are collecting garbage from commercial premises, and told CNS the responses show that government is once again breaching its own laws.

Miller said that no request for proposals (RFP) has been conducted to give contract work to private sector waste management firms. He further noted that the private sector firms being given this work are not passing on fees to government and that these contracts and fee waivers are being approved by people simply not authorised to do so.

He said there was no provision in any of the relevant legislation to allow the ministry to contract out this work in the way it is being done or to waive the collection of fees.

The opposition leader has raised concerns about the procedural issues that are falling foul of the law and that government is planning to privatise garbage collection, which would result in a significant increase in the already high cost of living in Cayman and hit the general public hard.

“I think that what they are doing is a gradual handover to the private sector but the government is not following the legal process to do that,” Miller said, noting that such a policy to privatise the garbage collection would also be very costly. He said that during his time in the Cabinet back in the 1990’s, government was quoted costs in excess of twenty times the level of fees the public was paying to government at the time.

The opposition leader said that privatising garbage collection would increase the cost of living for everyone because the fees would be far higher, and as well as paying for their own residential collection fees, the public would end up paying indirectly for the increase to businesses, who will pass the fee increase on to their customers.

Miller said that where people don’t pay fees, government would end up funding the collection anyway because garbage cannot be left lying around and the private companies would not collect if they are not paid.

Although Miller said he does not oppose the idea of privatising the management of the landfills and processing of garbage, he does not support the policy of privatising collection.

He said that the government needs to disclose what has happened regarding the former director of the Department of Environmental Health, who the ministry confirmed this week has retired from the civil services. He pointed out that early retirement from the public sector is reserved for medical reasons, which does not appear to be the case with Roydell Carter.

As chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Miller noted the recurring situation in the civil service where people are laid off secretly because of “wrongdoing, incompetence or a way out because the ministries can’t manage people”. He said that there were clear directives in the law relating to how public sector workers should be terminated.

“The Public Accounts Committee has been concerned for some time about these settlements that are in some cases in the millions of dollars buried in non-disclosure agreements that are hidden from public scrutiny,” he added.

See the FOI response in the CNS Library

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Category: environmental health, Health

Comments (39)

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  1. Dan says:

    Sell Commercial garbage business with condos, hotels to private sector. They will collect trash on time as they have to make money. Goverment employee dont care at long they get wage cheque! That where they are failing the garbage collection. Government only collect houses garbage. They can get money from Duty fees like we pay Battery, tyres, vehcile disposal fees.

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  2. The Dump says:

    I don’t care if you don’t want me, I’m yours right now, you hear me? I put a spell on you, because you’re mine.
    Signed: The Dump

    The Dump is here to stay. You think you are smart? Nope There’s nothing you can do about the Dump. It has no proper lining underneath, so capping would fix nothing. You talk about waste to energy? All you’ll achieve is toxic emissions.
    So she is yours, for good.

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  3. Andreas Marcher says:

    These people can’t even figure out how to run the dump…..how are they gonna build a dock??

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh foolish people that we are…..

    “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. Rev 11:18”

    I guarantee that every one of us will stand before God. I have already had the privilege and I can assure you, I was completely unable to stand. He is so holy, powerful and just pure truth, yet tempered with compassion and love for the humble.

    People, it is not a joke. We will ALL die one day. We should not be so arrogant. Prepare yourselves. Money does not buy the eternal, only the temporal.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh go away with your ghost stories and get a real life!

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    • Anonymous says:

      AMEN
      . . . knowing the Bible is not living the Bible which is obvious with many who ‘faithfully’ sit in Congregations.
      A God-fearing person would not do the things they do, especially blatantly showing their only god is Money. Oh my, the things they do which hurt their bretheren, without a care.
      God sees. Does he forgive those who sit in Congregations?

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    • Jotnar says:

      I am curious. How did you appear before God but you are still around to post on CNS?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Hi Jotnar,
        It was a spiritual experience referred to in the Bible and occurred first on the day of Pentecost. The experience was so powerful that the bystanders accused the recipients of being drunk. You can read it in the Book of Acts, chapter 2.
        I did not say I saw God, I said I was in His Presence.
        Now I am not a church-going individual, but I am sure if you tap up a few pastors who claim to be “Full-Gospel” they may corroborate my story.

        As to the person who told me to go away with my ghost stories, that “ghost” would be the Holy Ghost, aka the Holy Spirit and it is the same spirit within you, the one that keeps you alive.

        I really don’t mind you ridiculing me because I have nothing to prove. God has proved Himself to me. I have no further important questions in life. I know where I came from. I know why I am here and most importantly, I know where I am going. I really wish you all the best because that it exactly what I would have said years ago, so no harm done and no feelings hurt.

        Keep pressing in until you find.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What a load of BS. The best move government could make would be to turn over COMMERCIAL garbage collection to the private sector. That is the collection from establishments using skips/dumpsters. The only fee payable is for the rental of the container and the emptying service. There is NO garbage fee. That is the same as DoEH charged and I doubt that they were breaking even. The private companies actually show up. The company I work for switched a couple of years ago.
    Not one missed day since.
    Now that we have several private companies willing & able to provide this service, DoEH should get out of the way. Sell off the front-loader trucks & containers. Let those employees go to work for the private companies.
    DoEH : focus on household collection; focus on getting ALL commercial and multi-unit residential properties to have the same collect requirements, regardless of when they were built; focus on getting the Waste-to-energy process finalised and under construction.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller. The Hon Roydell Carter made history he is gone on a well deserved retirement away from his greatest enemies the environmental health managers that requested all of the over-time that were approved by Mr. Roydell Carter. Mr.Miller for your information the enviromental health managers the lepards that never changes their spots can answer your quesrtions now.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    My Garage has been collected on time. One thing I agree with is that giving garbage collection to the private sector will not make it better. Just look at how the private sector board members have messed up the Port Ofreg and other Public Authorities.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Was your car inside?

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      8:24 pm. , you must live on the street near one of the politicians for your garbage to be collect on time , when everyone else is complaining about theirs not getting picked up at all .

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Did not some time ago the cayman government do away with charging garbage collection fees as a result of increasing import duties??? I think they said something along the lines of everything that is imported has to end up at the land fill and they couldn’t get people to pay their fees so the solution was to increase the import duties and that percentage increase was to go to the deh for garbage collection. That increase amounted to millions of dollars per year yet the garbage collection and management has gotten worse.

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  9. B says:

    Getting work done is not the important thing in this culture. Getting paid to pretend your doing it is.

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  10. Robert Anthony Bodden says:

    Ezzard please keep up the good work of holding the Minister responsible accountable. This haphazard method of garbage collection is a result of campaign promises by the Minister to privatize garbage collection. This will turn into a nightmare of rising cost if we do not hold the minister accountable.

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    • Anonymous says:

      4:10pm – At a meeting in BT before election, certain persons came to the district to support the Minister. Was the people fooled by their presence, or that was a push to take over the garbage circus. Are we so stupid to believe that it was only support? Figure for yourself.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Questions with no changes means it is just posturing. Many people have had his questions for years now, just because he has decided to take up the issue now does not mean he is serious about finding a solution.

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Now people , do you see how Mr. Ezzard Miller is the only one of the 19 elected officials who are looking and protecting you the people . Why couldn’t one of the other politicians see this issue , and bring it to the attention of the government ? The politician don’t have to be the Opposition to take care of these kind of matters .

      Like Miller said privatizing the garbage collection would cause the cost of living to go up for you . Do you see the kind of representation that you are getting from all of the other politicians .

      I think that the corruption issue is a big problen in the Islands , and you registered voters have to drain the swamp , and tell them that’s why we are draining the swamp .

      I also don’t see why the government can’t handle the garbage collection of the Islands . I suppose they could if it wasn’t so corrupt .

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  11. Anonymous says:

    One thing Ezzard is good at, talking a load of garbage.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Whose going to pay a collection fee if the government lazy asses wont collect it?

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Is it legal for commercial establishments to choose who collects their garbage?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Public Health(Garbage and Refuse Disposal) Regulations (2011 Revision) states in Section 4 subsection (1): “The use of the garbage collection service is mandatory save for large commercial establishments specifically exempted by the Department” and in 4 (2) ” Large commercial establishments may deliver garbage and refuse in private vehicles to landfill disposal sites designated by the Department”.

      The same regulations in section 5 (1) ” A collection service will be provided in residential parts of service areas at least twice per week on days which will be notified, from time to time, in the Gazette, and containers shall be placed as required by regulation 3 (c) before 6 a.m. on each day of collection

      Section 10 of these regulations deal with fees and there is no provision for the Chief Officer in the Ministry of Health to waive or reduce fees subsection (8) allows the Minister of Finance to abate fees if a there is a recycling scheme being carried out by the premises that is approved by the Director.
      This si simply more maladministration by Jennifer ahearn

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Your country seems…. interesting.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard seems to be the only MLA Opposition member earning his keep to sniff out things that don’t add up and call them out. Shame the others sit there like mushrooms.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yup! Thank god they won’t find it as easy to ship ol Ezzard off to the UK for a replacement!

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    • Anonymous says:

      More like the remainder don’t have the brains to see the wrongdoing

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    • Anonymous says:

      1:16 Love him or hate him at least you can’t complain he’s not doing his job.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Who is the Chief Officer? Ohhhh never mind… Let’s see if a letter of apology from her biggest supporter will be provided to the public again. How can such a senior officer in the Civil Service maintain her job after such incompetence and/or blatant disrespect for the law? Given her track record it appears she is unable to do her job but I’m sure her “boss” will say she is a “World-class Civil Servant”. Only in the Cayman Islands Government…

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Garbage collection in Cayman is a disgrace. Living in the SMB Corridor I cannot believe how so often we pay for a service that is not delivered. We never get a refund for services not delivered. The U.S. Canada and the UK have privatized their systems and we should here.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Please honorable Miller our Unity government is sorting all this out and once CHEC and Decco get going on it you will see a wonderful project. Give honorable Seymour some time.

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