Garbage collection delays negate DEH claims

| 06/10/2018 | 63 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has apologised once again to residents in Grand Cayman for more delays in garbage collection, despite claims last week that the ministry and the department had made many changes to improve the service. But rubbish pick-up was missed in a long list of neighborhoods, from Central George Town to East End, because, officials said, staff were absent from work. “The management of the DEH is working to ensure that normal collections resume on Monday, 8 October,” the department stated in a release Friday. 

This follows the revelations on Tuesday that three audits of the DEH had turned up a catalog of abuse and mismanagement, especially surrounding overtime claims and staffing issues. But the health ministry, which has responsibility for the dump and waste collection, claimed that it had already implemented many  of the recommendations and things had improved significantly.

“For the past several months the DEH management team has focused on strict accountability and performance management to deal with the issues of poor attendance and unsatisfactory performance that helped to create the overtime overspend,” the ministry stated. “We believe the success of these efforts has shown in improvements to the regularity of the waste collection service across the Cayman Islands.”

However, the department admitted Friday that it missed collections because of absenteeism in a significant number of places, including the centre of George Town, Windsor Park, Banana Walk, most of Crewe Road, Prospect Point Road, Mangrove Avenue, Mahogany Way, Patrick Island, Prospect Drive, IMP to Morningside Drive, as well as areas from the intersection of Shamrock Road and Prospect Point Road to East End, including homes off the East-West Arterial and Hirst Road.

Offering another apology to residents in the affected areas, the DEH asked residents who continue to experience missed rubbish collection to call the office on 949-6696 or email

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Comments (63)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    7:35 are you doing so great at work?. Oh my you must have your newly mansion built next too the grave yard in Northside.

  2. Anonymous says:

    7:35am you must be a manager or a worker that is well taken cared of. Oh no i cannot forget someone seeking employment with environmental health and your application always getting refused and you are taking all of your frustrations out on everyone. Go take your frustrations out on the HR manager, environmental health management, chief officer for healh or the staff in the ministry of health not the garbage worker’s that eat your stinking garbage every day. You are a damn living unthankful.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We used to get a pickup twice a week, no problems. Why not go back to doing whatever they were doing before that worked? Of all the things that government does this would seem to be the simplest.

    • Anonymous says:

      True point. The garage truck collected my garage at 3:45am this morning. But I wish the pile up of my garage was my only concern as we are still dealing with that quarry fire in Bodden Town that has been burning since Sep 24th, emitting toxic smoke which is causing various health issues for residents. Like another poster said, we supposed to be a 1st World country, but yet we don’t have the resources to out a fire that has been burning for so long or collect garage on time. WHAT IS GOVERNMENT DOING WITH OUR MONEY?. Pray everyone, that you don’t experience this kind of situation whereby you are forced to breathe in toxic smoke day in and day out for almost two weeks and be told to simply lock your doors and windows as they are letting the fire burn itself out.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The public talk is that the garbage collectors needs to go on a strike starting at the deputy governors house. The public talk is that maybe they will get treated like humans and not animals or like the garbage that they have to pick-up daily.

  5. Bertie : B says:

    They do not like being called garbage men ! its sanitary engineers thank you .

  6. Anonymous says:

    Lets dump our garbage in front of immigration or cigov building everyday!! Bet una would find sulutions then. Shame on this government.

  7. Erin Brokovich says:

    Before you blame the workers and force them to work, read this:

    *The decomposition of municipal waste produces methane gas and carbon dioxide.
    *Fires and explosions are a potential danger at landfill sites as methane gas is highly combustible.
    *Nitrogen, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen, and volatile organic substances are usually present at sanitary landfills.
    *Landfill workers are also potentially exposed to high levels of dusts containing microorganisms spread during dumping or moving of waste, or when debris is blown by the wind or equipment.
    *Coliforms and fecal streptococci may be found in the air at landfill sites in concentrations equal to that of sewage treatment plants.
    *Fungi, including Aspergillus, Penicillium, Cladosporium and yeasts, have been identified in the air samples.
    *The drivers who dump the waste at the landfill sites are at risk due to hazardous roads resulting in overturned vehicles.

    Regulations should effectively address chemical and biological exposure risks, but since landfills receive many waste types, there are always unknowns.

    Hazardous wastes, even a small volume, when combined with various waste types, can form complex chemical combinations, and it is impossible to analyze every complex chemical or necessarily know the health risks. So, it’s important to always be aware of exposures to the Dump’s employees and subcontractors.

    DO YOU WANT TO APPLY for the job?
    If not, don’t blame the workers for the absenteeism.
    Such jobs must come with generous compensation and benefits package, and enforced compliance with regulations guarding workers from the toxic exposure risks.
    I bet there are no regulations. Even during fires, not a single person wears hazmat suit, let alone a proper respiratory mask.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      So then Erin we could have a major disaster worldwide for sanitation workers , but we don’t . How are other Countries able to cope with their garbage collection problems ? Other countries don’t have any problem collecting their garbage . So then Cayman islands garbage problem is all on the Government hands . I don’t see or understand why the government can’t handle the garbage collection in such a small Country like Cayman islands with such a small population , when other small Countries can do it .

      Like I said before the government and the DEH should all be ashamed of their disgraceful behaviour. Other countries must be laughing at them . I believe that if so much corruption wasn’t involved in everything you would see that alot more could be accomplished .

  8. Bayer not happy either says:

    Hey they forgot West Bay both in pickups and the article. Monday’s trash was picked up partially on Thursday!!!!

  9. The garbage never leaves the Dump says:

    Nice try 735am you little ministry stooge did they write down the post for you or WhatsApp it? Aaah but 7:08pm and 8:16pm know exactly what time its !Blaming the collectors yet again eh?, the “Franz” excuse! XXXX

    CNS: I’ve deleted the last part of your comment but if you can send details (anonymously by comment is OK) we will look into it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Besides the failure of the DOEH, can we also please point out how utterly nasty so many people are who seem unable to put their garbage inside a plastic bag and properly secure them to prevent chickens, cats and dogs from ripping them apart???!!!! Just look at the picture, garbage cans upside down and garbage next to it. Totally disgusting.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Blame the colllectors, not DEH management. If the collectors dont want to work, then bring in people who do.

    The 2 temp managers are doing the best they can with the people they have to work with. But the collectors are trying to manipulate the system all over again by calling in sick in groups or actually coming to work and telling the bosses that they are not working. The excuses range from one with a pinky toe or middle finger hurting to another worker with an ear hurting to another with a head hurting (maybe from a hangover eh) to another with a knee hurting – and thats just one crew.

    Fire them quick Franz!! And hire people that want to work.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Absentism? Let’s think why.

    Like I already said in my comment, garbage collection and the Dump’s jobs, due to extreme health hazard, must be highly compensated and come with:
    – free lifetime medical insurance
    – shorter workweek
    – early retirement
    – at least 30days paid vacation
    – compensated annual trips to health/wellness detox facilities elsewhere
    – funeral benefits ( none will live long)
    – protection gear from hazardous elements
    – free laundry for the uniform
    — monthly allowances for wellness IV therapy
    I bet, there would be no abcentees.

    Lastly!!! And very important!
    All incinerators must be turned off. A crime is being commitment against health of people who operate it and the entire population of the country.

  13. Kman says:

    It’s so simple to see that the problem late with the Ministry of Health with this government and previous ones under CDP are to blame for this mess. Mac with his genius mind stopped the fees for garbage collections because many couldn’t afford it well I smelled a rat and now we’re looking more and more like a 3rd world country runned by incompetened politicians. Where is the national waste management project, recycling, composing etc and what about finding a qualified professional ( best expat or Caymanian) to manage DEH?

    Caymanians starting demanding more from your elected officials and if necessary push to privitatise garbage collections asap.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Okay this is still the same Chief Officer? What has she done right since being in her position? Will the DG ever hold her accountable? If not, then who will hold him accountable for this sinking ship? This is why the Civil Servants get a bad reputation because of poor performers like this who are rewarded instead of held accountable for their poor performance. As long as you stroke the DGs ego you are all good and this is surely colonialism alive and well because he was quick to get rid of the other Chief Officer last year. Is this “world class” leadership? There needs to be a change in the leadership of this ministry and quite frankly the leadership of the Civil Service. He actually wanted people to vote for him to me Governor??? He needs to wake up and start doing his job and I don’t mean the DG run or any other events where he praise himself instead of the Civil Sevice. The run should be called the Civil Service run with recognition going towards all civil servants and not a single position.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the current minister is so glad to JUST HAVE A CABINET POSITION, he is clueless to what’s going on.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Absenteeism! I honestly think a person working on a truck to collect garbage should not work 40 hours a week. Smelling 7 day old garbage for 8 hours a day for 5 days is week not the most inspirational of careers. Perhaps hiring more collectors and keeping the work week to 28 hours will provide more motivation and better results.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good point. Also, every job at the Dump and garbage collection must come with the lifetime government paid medical insurance. None of them would live long. There is no protection of any kind for the Dump’s workers. It is a very hazardous job.
      In the former Soviet Union people who held hazardous jobs were paid more, had shorter workweek, retired early and got free milk every day. Healthcare was free.
      Occupational Safety and Health administration does not exist in the CI. Where should workers file their grievances?
      Lastly, garbage collections before 6am is banned in most civilized countries to protect health of its citizens.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why can’t they work a 40 hour week? That’s less than most people work on this island. It’s a job after all. You know they aren’t digging in the garbage every moment of that time? They are in the truck driving to collect trash, then driving to empty, then breaks and lunch.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I have not seen the garbage truck in 3 weeks in Spotts Newlands!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Let’s have a referendum!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sack them ALL, Caymanian or not, and put people in who actually want to work. World class civil service? Do me a favour Guv’nor.

  19. Pure Rubbish says:

    Fire Jennifer Ahearn and Minister Dwayne Seymour for this latest mess in DEH the same way Roydell Carter

  20. Anonymous says:

    Trash collection isn’t brain surgery and years ago it worked well now for whatever reason is isn’t fit for purpose. So this is the same government that expects people to believe they can successfully build a multi 100 million dollar port when they cannot manage trash collection not even mentioning the dump.

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought that’s why ther brought over a “yes man”……to clean things up! Oh well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Years ago the workers weren’t exposed to as much chemicals and toxic materials as they are now. These human beings are working without being provided with any safety equipment whatsoever. They breath in and handle all sorts of hazardous materials which are actually making them sick- even the little pinky- toe is likely to hurt worse when the entire body is being poisoned. Unless you are wearing their shoes and handling the toxic waste, don’t be so quick to judge them.

      • Anonymous says:

        So maybe the brainiacs working should strike together for better safety materials instead of effing around? Sounds like a cop out.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The job of garbage collector is one which not many persons will do. However, we have a compliment of individuals who have signed up to do so. It’s a nasty and disgusting job but one that has to be done. If the Ministry/Dept treated these members of staff with the level of respect they deserve, (instead of like trash), then maybe there wouldn’t be so much absenteeism. Just think about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s called having a job. You think everyone is treated with respect at their jobs? Give me a break and suck it up buttercup or do something about it and strike like real workers do when they are honestly being treated poorly.

  22. Ron Ebanks says:

    To the people of Cayman islands , wake up and stand up like upstanding Citizens , unless you like living with your garbage collection problems , and do something about it except sitting down and write comments about it .

    Here we have the News Media CNS that has brought the garbage collection issues to our attention publicly , and ask ourselves what are we doing to fix the problem ? CNS can only do so much , but we the people can do allot more . There’s so many things that Citizens can and should do to help fix this problem , but we have to do something to help ourselves and not depend on others to do it for us .

  23. Anonymous says:

    Franz promised to fix this mess several months ago.

    What in the world has happened again?

    Muppets in another boondoggle, perhaps.

    Who will be the new Roydell we must wonder

    • The All-seeing Eye says:

      People just don’t understand. Our government has to cut back in this area to get the necessary funds to build a superdock!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I hope that photo at the top is just a stock photo, and not a reflection of garbage cans here. Regardless of whether trash is picked up or not, our collection areas should never look like that.

  25. Anonymous says:

    This is a well organized scam to privatize the collection.
    I am sure contracts have been signed behind the scenes.
    The public just needs to be manipulated, so a privatization will be generally supported by the people.
    Just like with the latest constitution, you make people scared of gays coming, and you can do whatever.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Ineptitude of collosal proportions. There seems to be nothing that is done right in this country. And your government tours the world promoting it as…..what????

  27. Anonymous says:

    Privatize it! Government is proving inept at or incapable of doing almost anything.

  28. Anonymous says:

    My garbage was picked up in EE New Year’s day after weeks…I did wonder why at the time…Overtime?

  29. Anonymous says:

    This is a simple problem to fix but the government and the leadership at the DOE just don’t want to do what needs to be done.

  30. chadowick says:

    Start separating your trash folks cause charity begins at home not abroad.

  31. Lomart says:

    Someone higher up the chain of command should take responsibility for this. Where were the chief officer and/or chief financial officer who were approving all of this overtime spending? They were either approving or ignoring this while it was going on. Roy dell is gone and he should be but there’s someone higher that really should go as well. Sort this mess out now. We can’t figure out what to do about a $2 million screw up but rushing headlong into a $200,000,000 disaster port? Just doesn’t withstand reason.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Apologies not accepted. When people start to die due to viruses carried by rats what will you then say? This is absolutely nonsense! We are one of the richest country in the Caribbean and this what your residents are subject to? Those at the head should be ashamed of themselves and get a grip of this issue before it festers into a soar that cannot be cured! The residents of these islands deserves better!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Say what you may but the service is now worst than it was under Carter. But I guess he was just made the token scapegoat to protect the inefficiencies of the Chief Officer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said 2:44pm. It just shows you Mr Carter wasn’t the problem after all. The crap in a river doesn’t go uphill does it.

    • Uncivil Servant says:

      The great apologist. We love your type, costs us millions. If you sign up to be a refuse collector, you must expect unsociable hours. It’s not their fault, it’s the system’s fault. Gloria, every job does not fit the status quo requirements, think about that for a few.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Chief Officer for this ministry seems to be made of Teflon. Why all the protection Franz????!!!

  34. Ron Ebanks says:

    The DEH has apologised to the people/public for 100th time , they should be ashamed of themselves for allowing the Islands to look so third world-class . I am sure that these visitors/tourist who spend big money to come and vacation in Cayman , don’t pay it to see garbage everywhere on the Islands .

    The government should also be ashamed to be talking about a 200 million cruise ship pier , but can’t get the garbage collected and disposed of properly .

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      To the people of the Cayman Islands , how many apologies are you going to take from DEH before you say enough is enough , and make them shit , or get off the toilet and pick up your garbage. If you don’t , be prepared to get more apologies and live in your own garbage or take it to dump yourself .

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      If five thousand Cayman Citizens went to the DEH Office and told them we want our garbage collected and disposed of properly , wouldn’t that make them shit ?

    • Anonymous says:

      The apologies come from the Ministry of Disinformation

    • Anonymous says:

      I like you, Ron. Wish there was more of us with a backbone! They give us rubbish and we continue to take it. It will not change unless the people force the change. We need protestors outside DEH and Gov Admin each morning to meet those in office before they start their day to force them do their job.
      … I bet neither of their homes have a pile up of garbage…..but we do!

  35. Anonymous says:

    It is just as bad now, as it previously was!!! North Side still has garbage waiting to be collected from Friday morning!!!

    I went to a Government Department five days ago and noticed that their dumpster is overflowing. Went back there Friday gone, still overflowing!!! Poor poor!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the Cayman Trash Islands. Don’t forget to visit Mount Trashmore, our mountain of trash.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Apologies are all that will be offered because apologies are free and no one is held responsible

    When heads roll, things will change until then the people of Cayman will have empty promises, worthless apologies and lacklustre service

    • Anonymous says:

      All this is the result of poor leadership!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      It seems to me that the root of this problem lies in Governments failure to plan. They keep adding more buildings, more businesses, more people and therefore more trash, but they haven’t made plans or provided adequate resources for trash pick up and disposal. It’s easy to blame the civil servants, and whatever their failings are they shouldnt be expected to cope with today’s demands with yesterday’s tools.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Carter was replaced by two highly paid civil servants who promised that Cayman would be clean and pristine within two weeks. It is Saturday morning and there has been no collection of garbage in Savannah. Must we become a third world country because there is no one in that ministry with any leadership abilities.

      • Anonymous says:

        Highly paid, but incompetent trust me! Worked with one of them….knows how to play the game though.

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