DEH records 24% increase in recycling

| 13/02/2019 | 13 Comments
Cayman News Service

New recycling skips in North Side (L-R) Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn; Councillor Captain Eugene Ebanks; DEH Acting Director Richard Simms; Michael Haworth, Assistant Director, Solid Waste; and Mark Bothwell, Acting Assistant Director, Solid Waste (Operational Support) (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS): The Department of  Environmental Health collected and processed 96 tons of recyclable items last year, all of which were shipped overseas, officials have said. This was a significant increase over 2017, when 78 tons of recyclables were processed. As a result of this 24% growth in one year, the DEH is trying to better accommodate public support for taking their plastics, metals, paper and glass to recycling stations by increasing skips. This week it added collection bins to its North Side depot as part of the drive to provide more services, according to a news release.

With no sign yet of any deal between government and the DECCO-led consortium that was selected nearly 18 months ago as the preferred bidder for the national waste management system, the DEH is relying on the public to keep items that can be recycled out of the landfill.

With a steady increase in demand throughout 2018, the department began to expand the number of recycling containers in December at the existing depots. Since then, it has installed seven new recycling containers.

The latest additions in North Side provide recycling skips for glass and certain plastics for the first time, as previously only aluminium cans could be recycled in the district.

West Bay backbench MLA and the councillor in the health ministry, Captain Eugene Ebanks, officially opened the upgraded depot, stating that the DEH was helping to tackle an important waste goal.

“I would like to thank the DEH for ensuring that as a country we are on the right path to addressing the matter of recyclable waste on our islands, both with educating our communities and ensuring that we do our part as a ministry with ensuring that the service is effective in achieving the goal of recycling waste whenever possible,” Ebanks said.

However, he did not take the opportunity to update the public on what appears to be seriously stalled negotiations about the wider national plan on waste management.

In the meantime, without a full integrated system in the foreseeable future, government is relying on the goodwill and voluntary actions of members of the public, who are voting with their feet on this matter by taking their paper, cardboard, plastics, tin, aluminium, glass and ceramics to the existing seven depots, where the skips are often overflowing.

The DEH said that it empties recycling containers on Monday, Thursday and Saturday of each week and urges members of the public to drop off only clean items and to remove plastic bags before placing them into the recycling containers.

For more information call DEH at 949-6696 or email

The public can also visit the DEH website or Facebook page.

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Category: environmental health, Health

Comments (13)

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  1. anon says:

    This is the only time I’ve seen any Caymanians around a recycling bin.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How about real improvement by having curbside pickup of recyclables?

  3. Two Cents says:

    Now if we could just get a bulk waste tipping site like at the entrance to the George Town Landfill somewhere in the Bodden Town area so people from North Side, East End, Bodden Town and Savannah could have a more convenient option than going to town, we could no doubt reduce illegal dumping in the eastern end of the island.

  4. Anonymous says:

    24%? Not 22 or 25! Who is calculating? As if any number that comes from DEH has real meaning.

  5. Anonymous says:

    why do i see only expats at the recycling facilities???

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wonder whose recycled goods and whose getting paid? Hmm..well our govt doesnt have recycle bins around folks. Mr D

  7. Anonymous says:

    Are the individuals in the picture the same people that are responsible for the ongoing trash collection problems and failure to manage the dump facilities as required?

    • Anonymous says:

      Theyre all clueless and the pic is clearly for thrills. Straight up. Psyco 101 facial rec.

  8. Anonymous says:

    When I was taught math at school many, many years ago 35% of nothing = nothing. Where I come from every household generates, both directly and indirectly, roughly half-a-ton of recyclable material every year and about 90% of that is recycled. Put in context – these 96 tons would only fill eight to ten 40′ containers. This isn’t even scratching the surface of the problem.

  9. Tom says:

    If we have road side collection from homes, it will jump 200% as some people are too lazy to take to supermarket to recycle.

    • Anonymous says:

      exactly! and think of all the extra jobs that could create as well! I’ll be happy to even pay for my curb side recycle bins if that means they’ll collect it- save me some time on my weekends, instead of spending it loading up the car w/ all our recycles

  10. anonymous says:

    I visit the recycling bins at Kirk Market twice a week and I am sorry to say that 95% of those using the bins are not local. Those that do use them have been accustomed to recycling in their home countries, but Govt really needs to get Caymanians on board if they are serious about recycling.
    To those who will assuredly denounce this post please go and see for yourselves.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Great news. Better public education is needed on a consistent basis. For example – don’t deposit your metal/glass containers inside a plastic bag; only #1 & #2 plastics; etc.

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