Fire fighters douse small landfill blaze

| 14/03/2019 | 5 Comments
Cayman News Service, Cayman Islands Fire Service

Cayman Islands Fire Service responds to Grand Cayman landfill fire (file photo)

(CNS): Government officials have confirmed that a small blaze at the George Town landfill on Tuesday has been extinguished after firefighters, who were on the scene immediately, were able to douse the flames of the surface fire. The fire crew monitored the landfill throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday, when the officer in charge confirmed the fire was out and there had been no re-ignition. Although the improved management of the dump and an investment in resources, such as marl and crush equipment, has seen garbage fires decrease, as the dump, aka Mount Trashmore, continues to grow, the risk of combustion continues.

There is still no news on the status of the current talks between government and the preferred bidder selected to implement government’s long-awaited integrated waste management system. A consortium of bidders led by DECCO, the Dart Group’s general contracting firm, was selected back in October 2017 to begin talks with government on how its future vision for garbage management could be implemented.

However, some 18 months later, those talks continue and there is no indication when work to install a waste-to-energy plant might begin. Since the talks began, the health ministry, which is responsible for the landfill, has done nothing regarding the promised projects to reduce the amount of garbage Cayman Islands residents generate, to encourage more reuse of stuff that would be discarded.

So far, only small steps have been taken towards recycling the bulk of garbage generated, and there does not appear to be any formal move towards the long-promised commitment to composting.

Ideally, only a small amount of waste should be going to the waste-to-energy plant, with just a tiny fraction ending up in the landfill. But given that no progress has been made on most of the alternative options for dealing with waste, Cayman is continuing to dump well over 80% of its waste into the landfill.

The plan to remediate the dump, after mining was ruled out, is also stalled as Mount Trashmore continues to grow.

However, attendees to the RICS conference Friday may be able to glean some information as a session with some of those involved has been scheduled on the agenda.

Category: environmental health, Health

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    An interesting statistic for public awareness would be, “How many tons of garbage is added to the George Town landfill every week?”.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CNS for placing an article about the ever growing dump as part of the ongoing discussion. Certainly the government is unhappy about the people being reminded that the disastrous dump continues to grow in toxic depth and breadth. The dump has outgrown the tree cover and can now be seen from the roadway.
    Would that this government spent the same amount of time to resolve the toxic dump time bomb as that have spent pounding a square peg into a round hole with the cruise ship dock.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you don’t like the dock then you could just leave. How are we going to pay for a dock without the dock?

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      • Anonymous says:

        You don’t foster discussion with your “just leave” comment. It is simple don’t build the dock instead focus on the landfill and the rehabilitation of George Town without the dock which has been proven unnecessary and will only benefit a few.
        Government hasn’t been very successful in fixing up George Town in past years and off the top of my head I could offer suggestions but will leave it to government. Ask Dart to design something for downtown George Town.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dump*

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