CIG focused on burning garbage

| 01/10/2018 | 36 Comments

garbage collection failures on Grand Cayman(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government remains committed to a waste-to-energy solution for the islands’ mounting garbage problem, according to the minister with responsibility for solid waste-management. Dwayne Seymour said in his message on the United Nations World Habitat Day that recycling will not solve Cayman’s garbage problem. The minister said it had long been recognised that the local landfills need proper management, and that includes waste-to-energy as well as capping and closing the existing dumps.

This, he said, is under discussion with the preferred bidder — a Dart-led consortium that won the bid over a year ago. So far, however, nothing has happened.

“The ministry believes waste-to-energy is the future of solid waste management and we’re striving to make it happen as soon as possible for us here in the Cayman Islands,” Seymour stated in his address.

This year’s habitat theme is ‘Municipal Solid Waste Management’ and Seymour said his ministry had “made significant strides” toward addressing this problem — a point that is open to question.

He said that work was going on to reduce the trash going into our landfills by reducing, reusing and recycling. However, there is very little evidence that government is seeking to enhance and promote these more environmental elements of solid waste management.

Seymour claimed that between 2014 and 2016 there was a three-fold increase in the tonnage of recyclables collected, even though officials have previously stated that less than 3% of Cayman’s garbage is recycled.

The minister commended volunteers from Plastic Free Cayman, a group that has been engaged in focused beach clean-ups but gave no indication that government will be helping them.

“The government and our private citizens are acting on a daily basis to tackle this worldwide challenge head-on in our own backyard, ” Seymour said. “A group of concerned residents, operating under the name Plastic Free Cayman, has taken it upon themselves to clean up our local beaches once a month. The group has collected thousands of pounds of garbage since it began last year.”

The minister said volunteers had also been involved in an audit of the trash collected, which is part of an international review looking at the types of plastic going into the world’s oceans.

“We at the ministry tip our hats to this group and wish them many successful future beach clean-ups,” he said, without indicating any plans his ministry has for recycling more plastic, reducing the amount of plastic imported into the islands or any possible bans or restrictions.

For decades the issue of garbage has been a major cause for public concern, which has recently been compounded by numerous equipment problems, staffing challenges, significant delays in garbage collection and undisclosed scandals surrounding the management of the Department of Environmental Health, including paying off former director Roydell Carter.

Seymour concluded by saying that one  of the most important aspects of the country’s waste management scheme was the men and women who work each day at the landfills and on the garbage collection trucks, diligently serving our communities and keeping them safer in this regard, as he offered his appreciation for their service.

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Category: Environmental Health, Health

Comments (36)

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  1. Naya Boy says:

    Do you notice how this government thrives on failure? Driftwood and Garbage is just polluting our government now too! What a real Mess eh?

  2. Ron Ebanks says:

    I think that these politicians needs to be holding town hall meetings to keep the public more informed on these capital projects . But I guess why they don’t is because like cruise ship pier meeting where the people learned too much of what is really going on . I believe that they could be doing a lot more people and Islands , if they were being honest/intelligent and transparent about it, they will get the projects done faster .

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have a great idea! Lets increase tourism by bringing in mega ships so we can add more garbage given that we have such a great success story getting our dump and littering under control. I mean this whole “managing the dump” debate has only been kicked around for the last 10 years or so, so surely there is a quick solution available to deal with increase in garbage

  4. Anonymous says:

    mount trashmore tells you everything you need to know about caymanians attitude to the environment.

  5. Anonymous says:

    mount trashmore….a monument to the incompetence of the civil service and CIG.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am Amazed and Confused. What is the point of this article other than perhaps attack the Minister and Governnent.

    Is more recycling needed. Perhaps yes but have you gone to see what recycling is actually happening and what are the future plans to recycle? Your article indicated no.

    The fact is that no matter how much more recycling we do we still need to burn most of the garbage generated here. If not we will need ever increasing landfills.

    Your article should have encouraged government to get on with the job and plans at hand and acknowledge the need for waste to energy to keep future landfill sizes to a minimum. At the same time ‘recycling’ trash as energy. And yes note the need for more recycling.

    But instead you chose to paint a negative slant on something that is needed to protect the future of Cayman.

  7. Jotnar says:

    “Seymour concluded by saying that one of the most important aspects of the country’s waste management scheme was the men and women who work each day at the landfills and on the garbage collection trucks, diligently serving our communities and keeping them safer in this regard, as he offered his appreciation for their service.”

    -which according to the Internal Audit Service, is responsible for an 800% overspend in overtime due to “the exploitation of a cultural practice, whereby overtime is routinely accrued before the completion of regular contracted hours,” Thanks indeed. How about managing the department instead of praising service which is not only shambolic but apparently involves “intentional abuse” by some and the potential for a “formal fraud investigation”.

  8. Anonymous says:

    1:20 pm as fast as of like right now.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Garbage on the Islands beaches . I am not hearing any discussion about where this garbage problem on our beaches are coming from . What ships carries the most people and most garbage on the ocean ? Cruise ships . Is our politicians/Ministers advocating for better stewardship of these cruise lines , to have there garbage identified by having it marked .
      I think that the cruise ships are the biggest polluters of the ocean . Has anyone been able to pinpoint to where any of the garbage on beaches came from ?

      • Soldier Crab says:

        Yes. It comes with the current from N.E. Brazil and surrounding countries. Read the labels on the stuff: nearly all are in Spanish or Portugese. All ships are subject to strict rules governing what they do with rubbish, only food waste may be dumped into the sea, everything else is logged and put ashore at ports where disposal facilities are available.

        By collecting stuff off the shore we are simply acting as the non-resident garbage collectors for other countries.

  9. Anonymous says:

    A stellar speech from yet another “haven’t got a clue” and “don’t give a damn” minister. This was most likely drafted and spoon fed to him by the Dart elves just in time for Christmas. This sounds like its all playing into the Dart plan for a “mass burn” incinerator, but his comment about recycling implied it was to be put by the wayside in the final plan.

    Well if you don’t get people to separate out metals, glass and other non combustibles there will be more energy (diesel) required to get it to burn in the first place. Then good luck with getting any net energy out of the process. On the emissions side of things, I suspect they will begin by doing startups and shutdowns at night to lessen the visibility of the plume. I’d like to see DEH adopt first world air quality regulations and enforce them before this facility comes online but that might be problematic as CUC would need to fall in line too.

    This is going to get about as interesting as the proposed port project, but if done right it will definitely be a tremendous improvement on what we have now. We just need a competent minister to see it through and one that genuinely champions our environment. You hear that Wayne, I hope you tender your bid for the next election?

  10. Anonymous says:

    It doesn’t seem like you’re doing much to me. One way to reduce the garbage amount is to start a serious recycling program that works in other parts of the world. Bigger countries than cayman recycling can’t solve cayman garbage problems what are you kidding me.Government should try reduce the bringing in of people on work permit also. Most people more garbage you don’t have to be a genius to know that.

  11. GOAB 4th Flr says:

    Is Seymour the worst health minister ever? Making things worse he’s supported by Ahearn the most incompetent Chief Officer ever. Cayman is in real trouble

    • Anonymous says:

      GOAB 4th floor…what is your claim to fame? Oh wait you needed Anwar to come and get you to work.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The public talk is that the minister and his ministry are a bunch of chickens running around without necks. The public talk is that the minister is all promises and not sure if the deal with Dart will still be going on. One year and no progress with the recycling of the garbage at the landfill. And the minister continues to cover-up for who suppose to be managing the environmental health garbage. The public talk is where is the three months back pay that the premier announced that the environmental health staff suppose too have got in September 2018. The public talk is that after it would be followed by a review for a pay raise.The public talk is when will the Audit report about the over-time at the landfill and solid waste and the other problems that is going on in the environmental health be released to the public. The public talk is that the audit report suppose to have being released to the public sometime in September 2018. And the public is excited and still awaiting for the release of that audit report.

  13. B says:

    Your best “Striving” is pathetic. It amounts to doing almost nothing.

  14. Anonymous says:

    CIG and focused should never be used in the same sentence. It’s an oxymoron.!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    dwayne…the garbage minister.
    he needs to be replaced asap.

  16. Ron Ebanks says:

    Why can’t the Government come up with a solution to handle every aspect of the garbage problems that the Islands and beaches are faced with . Here we have three components of the garbage , garbage that can be used for renewable energy , garbage that can be recycled to make products/souvenirs , and cardboard which can be recycled to make more boxes .
    What is taking the Government so long to do something about either part of this garbage problem . Are they trying to figure out what aspect of it will get the best deal and most profits for them .

  17. Anonymous says:

    Too stupid to transform it through chemistry, lets burn it. The super-genious-online-phds have spoken.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Burning garbage next to a school is appalling. Many of those children will get cancer and other diseases from this 10-20 years from now.

    The dump needs to be moved and burned away from human populations. It’s basic common sense.

    Government is going to get sued big time for this. And rightfully so.

    • Anonymous says:

      any evidence behind your ‘opinion’?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dude/Dudette, the one doing the burning is the one who owns the school. How do you feel now?

    • Anonymous says:

      Start suing process now before too late show the example of whom are hurt raise a community meeting put up road blocks stop paying useless garbage fees to government pay to private sector for collecting garbage within oust the collection by government pay directly to private sector sort your trash immediately for collection

  19. Anonymous says:

    This has been dragging on for nearly 12 years now. In 2006 the Minister of the day and his entourage visited the USA to check out WTE options. In 2007 the first stage in creating a WTE plant, including some screening of material at the dump, took place but since then nothing has happened.

    I suspect two things here –

    1. In line with its opposition to solar and wind power, the current monopoly energy supplier has been lobbying to put this on hold.

    2. We have yet again hit the ‘what’s in it for me’ barrier to any changes. Simply put if the people in power and their friends can’t see a percentage in WTE it won’t happen. This is what has hampered every move to clean these islands up for at least the last 25 years.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Anonymous 12: 03 pm , I agree , but you missed , the who and what is controlling the Government and stopping any progress , remember the profits for big CUC have to be big big or no dice .

  20. anonymous says:

    It seems most Caymanians have already come to the same conclusion as Mr Seymour regarding recyclables. I visit the dumpsters at Kirk Market twice a week, and almost all the people dropping of their cardboard, bottles, plastics, tin cans etc are expatriates. I hardly ever see a local there.

    • Anonymous says:

      that’s because locals, generally, are poorly educated and have a poor work ethic supported by a huge entitlement culture.
      aplogoies for the political incorrectness, but honesty in this debate is the only way forward.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m local I’m always there but who cares about locals…who you..OMG thank you foreigner

  21. Anonymous says:

    What substance did DECCO use to win “the contract” in their “bid” if there remains all of this ongoing discussion and hesitation? Certainly if this winning document successfully eliminated all the other competing bids, and satisfied CIG’s requirements, shouldn’t it’s substance be public domain by now?

    • Anonymous says:

      A thin green paper like substance much sought after and ubiquitous in higher circles of Cayman society. AKA “money talks”

  22. Anonymous says:

    If the Government would of let the people of the Cayman Islands continue to burn their trash in a drum as they used to years ago the garbage problem would not be as bad as it is today.
    But as usual the Government is always telling people what they must do or must not do and see what happens. Disaster

  23. Anonymous says:

    Capping it will not solve the disaster waiting to happen in the North Sound. The seepage into that area will continue.
    Nobody is talking about the elephant in the room that is the state of the water right there at the edge of the Sound (where the evidence of seeping is most evident).

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention that half treated $hit pumped into the ground at the facility close by. Where do think that stuff leaches to?

    • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

      Agreed. The WTE plant should be designed to process everything in Mt Trashmore until it is gone completely and the site is sanitised. At the same time it needs to be processing all garbage collected going forward even if it means the energy used to mine the dump exceeds the energy created. Once the dump is cleared the WTE plant will just process new garbage and energy produced should easily exceed the energy used. The environmental time bomb can not be kicked down the road any further.

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