Ministry ignores questions over dump

| 10/10/2019 | 95 Comments
Cayman News Service
Recycling skips at Grand Harbour

(CNS): This Friday marks the two-year anniversary since government picked the DECCO-led consortium to deal with the long-awaited waste management project and tackle the ever-growing dump in George Town. But despite the passage of 24 months, no contract has been signed and the ministry continues to ignore questions about the status of the talks or what it intends to do about the problem that many see as a top priority.

Two weeks ago CNS contacted DECCO, the Dart-owned general contractor that was selected as the preferred bidder, as well as the Central Procurement Office and the minister and ministry responsible for the landfill and garbage collection, with several questions about the state of the talks and why, after two years, no contract has been signed.

The query has been ignored by all parties, though yesterday when we sent a follow-up the chief officer acknowledged receipt and said she had passed the enquiry on to others.

Despite the silence from the senior ministry staff and the minister on the issue, the public is increasingly concerned about the state of the landfill in George Town as well as persistent problems with garbage collection.

The ministry also appears to be struggling to move forward on the recycling front; it has not implemented the long-promised composting project and has made no moves to do any kind of promotion about encouraging people to reduce their consumption and waste or reusing things wherever possible.

Since signing the contract, whenever the planned integrated waste-management project has been raised in public forums, the ministry has indicated that talks were ongoing and that the issue would be resolved in a few months.

The last formal statement from the ministry was in November last year, when it said negotiations between CIG and the selected bidder were going well and the target for signing the contract was the first quarter of this year. Premier Alden McLaughlin also stated in his New Year message that the government would be moving this project forward this year.

In this year’s strategic policy statement delivered to the LA in April, almost six months ago, McLaughlin said he expected the contract to be signed in “the coming months”. But the project, which was supposed to integrate all of the modern aspects of garbage management, from reduction to waste-to-energy, appears to have stalled without any explanation from government.

CNS has attempted to find out why the negotiations have failed to bear fruit after two years but has been unable to confirm any specific problems, with some unofficial sources claiming the preferred bidder is too expensive. Other sources suggested that the problems were due to technical issues which have led to the contractor wanting to take a different approach to that specified in the original bid.

In the meantime, concerns mount about the impact on students at the now expanded Cayman International School, which is very close to the growing dump, the continued leaching from the unlined landfill, the ongoing fires from the decomposing garbage and the failure of the ministry to manage the waste being produced by our growing population.

This week the recycling collection also seems to have been hit by the Department of Environmental Health’s collection struggles. CNS submitted questions about that, too, but we have had no response. While a growing proportion of residents are willing to take glass, paper, metal and certain plastics to the recycling skips at the local supermarkets, scenes such as the one above could very well put people off making the effort, adding to the landfill problems.


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Category: Local News

Comments (95)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    OLEA has the dump as it front yard. You see all that development going on down by the dump?? My good people this will soon be taken care of

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  2. Anonymous says:

    They need to remediate it and cap it. And set a new waste facility away from major populations. Which is another reason they should run the new Highway East to facilitate ease of movement of the waste. Once children start getting sick there will be major lawsuits against government.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    The existing Dump:

    1. Relocating it is not an option.

    2. Burning it is not an option. The entire island, every square inch of it, would be heavily contaminated with deadly toxic byproducts.

    3. WtE plant, the way they operate it in Japan, IS PRACTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE in the CI. You won’t trust Caymanians to run an atomic plant, won’t you? A modern, state of the art WtE plant isn’t much different. It must be built, operated and monitored to the highest standards established in a civilized world. To start with, the are no rules and regulations in TCI.

    4. Capping won’t prevent leachate and management cost would be astronomical. A long-term monitoring system must also be implemented. Landfill caps do not lessen the toxicity, mobility, or volume of hazardous wastes, but they do limit migration. Both management and monitoring would require educated, skilled and experienced professionals. In Cayman the jobs would be given to Jacks of all trades and consequences could be catastrophic (such as an explosion).

    Once solution for the existing Dump is found, new, state of the art waste management system should be up and running. But the way things look right now it is not going to happen in the near future. As if this is not depressing enough, add to the mix sargassum disposal, taking into account that decomposing sargassum seaweed generates toxic fumes that have been linked to hydrogen sulfide poisoning and also corrodes copper in air conditioning units, plumbing, and electrical systems.

    If things are left as is, the consequences could be catastrophic. Therefore, solutions must be found. To do so, the brightest minds who have proven expertise in the waste management field on small islands must be employed. I suggest Japanese.
    Everyone else would just spend money achieving very little.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Why is relocating not an option ? That should be the priority !

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    • Anonymous says:

      Those may not be options but there are many other solutions that the Government could implement but has taken NO action on. Instead, their primary focus is bringing in more cash, smh. Our island is suffering! Our people are suffering!! Why is it being left to ‘the brightest minds’? We all have sense! Instead of Caymanians being so idle and complaining about there being things not to do, we should all be making a major effort to do our part and force the government to act on this. Actions speak louder than words.This can be dealt with NOW, it doesn’t need to wait another 2 years.

  4. gee says:

    We need to run the government and place all them to work in the dump for a 4 year term!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    This is the hold up. Dart want to cap and make the dump a green space overlooking the school and development.
    They want to move it out of George Town, now comes the problem our $ loving MLA’s are now shit scarred it might be in there area and lose the monthly $

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    • Anonymous says:

      There?

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    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      If the core of the project is still to move the dump, that is still a terrible solution. I don’t live in Bodden Town, but wouldn’t wish that on anyone. The dump must be mitigated in place, along with the very necessary recycling.

      Lined pits do not work, particularly in areas with a high water table/lens. It would be true to an extent that the pits would be a marginal improvement over the ever-growing Trashmore that we have now; I hope the “hold up” is seeking a more sustainable solution.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Big Beau, I can assure you that the hold up is not related to the seeking of a more sustainable solution. The other misconception is that the dump would be put in Bodden Town. The original proposed site is not in an area with considerable population although the closest major population area is in Bodden Town.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Here we go again, there was never a plan to move the dump, the RFP circulated called for the dump to be fixed at its current site. DART finished 5th, so why should the government bypass procurement regulations to appease a developer who found the dump in its current location? We have a rule of law in place, how about we try following that for once

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          • BeaumontZodecloun says:

            I very much hope you are correct. In-situ mitigation is the only responsible solution, along with aggressive recycling, in my opinion.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Aggressive recycling? Perhaps we should focus first on regular garbage pick up. In South Sound there has been no garbage pick up for 2 weeks.

          • Anonymous says:

            If there was never a plan to move the dump then DUMB, DUMB, DUMB.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Never a plan to move the DUMP and CIG is going for 100,000 plus people and 50 storey buildings in the neighborhood? This is sheer lunacy.

      • Waste not want not says:

        I agree somewhat with your argument but a but a leachate collection system, or LCS takes care of any liquids including rainfall that percolates through the trash pile. That is to say, in a lined landfill engineered to first world standards.
        Cayman has never had such a thing, well at least the whole system. Recall back about 25 years ago the Little Cayman landfill was constructed with a liner? They never planned for a LCS so only half the solution was implemented. Then it was someone’s bright idea to punch holes through the liner to drain the leachate.

        There is still room however on the existing GT dump to construct a liner landfill by moving the oldest waste piles and or using the land taken up by the old, defunct Sewage Plant retention ponds. This together with a first world sorting facility, composting area and small waste to energy plant should at least take us through the next decade.

        The bottom line is politics has always prevented a practical solution. Maybe a minor catastrophe might change things, then again Ivan just made things worse. We need something like a Dorian to wipe our slate clean.

    • Anonymous says:

      All that money they want to build the port so the mega cruise ships first view of arrival to Cayman is our lovely dump! That money should be going towards resolving this issue of the dump which has been going on and on for years! We say that we are recycling. Where is it all ending up? At the dump! This year all we see is spending on roads that go to no where. Traffic worst than ever! Talking and writing about it changes nothing. Parents of students at CIS
      should take action of their concerns and boycott the school. All the independents we voted for need to get their act together before the next election. The people of the Cayman Islands need to make demands and ensure they are fulfilled in a timely manner. You don’t perform You are out! Money’s spent going to Monaco for what??? Add it all up and we would have had a decent recycling system by now! So much wasted and no results!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Very much disheartening to see the government not acting on such an important issue that faces our country….”world class management”

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    • Anonymous says:

      If I was premier I would start a military to deal with all the screw ups. Oh wait, this just in – Cayman is getting a military service. SOS

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  7. Anonymous says:

    The ministry is as useless as ever.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Ha! The real damage is how much money they are robbing from the Environmental Fund to prop up their own inefficient departments.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    They are waiting for the first case of cholera or typhoid.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    It is the school kids in the foothills of the dump that are really suffering

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Kids at CIS are going to start getting sick. This is getting ridiculous. They are already subject to all the dust being kicked up from the construction of OLEA and the Highschool.

    Worst part is when they finally get around to remediating the dump, all that mess is going to get in the air.

    We desperately needed a school like CIS to accommodate the growing student population, but why the hell did they build it next to the dump?

    And yes I can appreciate kids at CIS are generally more fortunate, but no child deserves to be sick when it can easily be prevented.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent school but I wouldn’t send my kids there if it was free until the dump is sorted.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Who the hell want their kids next to a garbage dump???? Rich people in the Cayman islands thats who.

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    • Anonymous says:

      No one told dart to build it there

      • Anonymous says:

        8:42, At the time the school was built Dart was led to believe the dump was going to be moved by the CIG. Remember, for 30 years the CIG has talked about moving the dump.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fake news( the best caymankind). Kids are not getting sick because the dump is down wind. Are people who actually live and work down wind from the dump getting sick yet? The dump issue will never be fixed or even acted on as long as third world edumacated people are the only ones qualified for the jobs as management. In other words not in this life time Bobo.

    • Anonymous says:

      12.50 Well blame the parents who send their kids there. There are other private schools on island.

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  12. GTS Voter says:

    I cannot wait until MAY 2020 – To get rid of the lot, especially what is left of the PPM lackies. They were the life of fresh politicians and political stand in these islands after the distraction of the UDP cronies….now no more. What ever happened to their slogan, For The Love Of Country 😬😡

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  13. Anonymous says:

    We can’t figure out what to do with our waste and simultaneously our politicians work to increase the population of Grand Cayman and bring in more tourists every year.

    Why? Is it incompetence, greed, or corruption?

    #lame

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    • Anonymous says:

      I believe all three.

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    • Anonymous says:

      11:55 Been posted before but happy to repeat it – the politicians can’t see any profit in waste management and recycling. If you told them they’d make $1million each from solving the problem they’d be running round in circles fixing it.

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      • Anonymous says:

        So true. Its not difficult to see which projects are going to make a few connected people rich and which ones aren’t.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    2 weeks as of today with no garbage pickup in South Sound

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  15. Anonymous says:

    “Ministry ignores questions over dump”

    !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Again! We see absolutely NO ACCOUNTABILITY on the part of this government.

    Disgusting.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    This ppm government has accomplished NOTHING! They are the regressives and not the progressives. Theres still the garbage collection and landfill dilemma, the traffic saga, the failure to educate our children, the cruise berthing fiasco and the escalating cost of living!!!!!! Is there a light at the end of this tunnel? 2021 cyah come too quick!

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  17. Anonymous says:

    As a potential source of renewable energy, I say OfReg should be put in charge of the dump.

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    • anon says:

      I think the applicable term here is renewable agony.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That would require several more new SUVs, hiring more Heads and Vice Presidents, and ALOT more training trips and seminars across the globe

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      • Anonymous says:

        We do not need anymore Chief Officers or Head of Chief officers or Chief of Chief officers. The money we waste on sending government individuals on seminars around the globe could be better spent on solving the problem of the dump and the traffic issue.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    “in the next few months”… let’s make that our new Go To statement, for how much longer until we kick these worthless govt officials out of office!! Time to clean this mess ourselves! Register to VOTE and GET THEM OUT!!!

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  19. Anonymous says:

    If the government devoted the same dogged determination to the landfill instead of the port, it would be fixed.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    There is always capacity for another overseas trip.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Hold tight good people of Cayman. The class action law suit we have prepared will be filed in mid 2020, just in time for the height of election season.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    People are going to start getting sick or dying.

    Here a just a few to worry about:

    Bubonic plague

    Typhoid

    Cholera

    Be scared. Way bigger problems are on the way for Cayman.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Zimbabwe fell pretty quickly too, it can happen in Cayman.

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      • Anonymous says:

        In Zimbabwe they took to the streets, however, we are only a colony of keyboard warriors.

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      • Anonymous says:

        It’s true!! I don’t know why more people aren’t up in major arms over the dump situation.

        Disease!

        Nobody is even checking the bacteria levels in the water that people swim in!!

        The new tourism headline for Cayman:

        “Grand Cayman is Toxic Government Cares Less”

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    • Anon says:

      Caymanians are already dying 6 per week mostly caused by all the stress related to the influx of foreigners & the sad fact that they are now sideligned in their own country. The dump will just hasten their total demise which should please many.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    What is the elected member for George Town North, where this national travesty resides, doing about it exactly?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Where is the Minister Of Infrastructure, Joey Hew, who has the good fortune of having the DUMP in the middle of his constituency, George Town North? Make him accountable people of Cayman. Find out what he has been doing about the problem the past few years. Accountability, accountability, Minister.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile actual MILLIONS have been wasted on consultants and lawyers fees!

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    • Anonymous says:

      And the rest! Tens of millions. Remember the first contract that was signed with the successful bidder (Wheelabrator I think they were called) about 10 years ago and then McKeeva Bush suddenly unilaterally and 100% illegally cancelled the contract and gave it to one of his buddies? That whole fiasco led to a huge legal case that was settled for a confidential sum before any public hearing could happen. That alone must have been many millions.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    More prayer. Prayer can move mountains. Ame

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    • Anonymous says:

      I hope this was sarcasm because if not that’s the problem with Cayman now. Too many people closing their eyes and talking to themselves thinking that it will make a difference. Eg – thinking that prayer will divert another Ivan.

      Ghandi said be the change you want to see in this world.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Something must be already in the works! Dart has been marketing OLEA for months and that is right next door to the dump. Why would Dart market this multi-million dollar development unless they know the dump is definitely moving? But to where?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because even among rich there are imbeciles.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They’re just waiting on the trade off which is approval for the iconic tower

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    • Anonymous says:

      The dump is moving? Is there an earthquake or do you think they will actually pick it up and move it somewhere? Would they use dump trucks or the Starship Enterprise to beam it to Bodden Town or East End?

  27. Anonymous says:

    When does Olea break ground?

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    • Anonymous says:

      At least it will kill rich people instead of all us lower class that seem to be living far outside of the dump.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Started months ago, the top of the first building can now be seen from Camana Bay

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh wow. Hard to see they would start that without some inside knowledge that a solution was imminent for the dump no? “Stunning dump views” ain’t going to sell milllion dollar apartments.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Roper? Good Governance? Ombudsman, Good Governance?

    Are you as inept as the government you are supposed to curtail the ineptitude of?

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  29. Kathleen Bodden-Harris says:

    It was my understanding from the Department Manager that Island Waste was to be contracted to do recycling pick ups??? Why has it changed?

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Idk how the island and it’s government doesn’t see this as a legitimate issue? Like, the place XXXX stink ya’ll can’t smell beyond your top lip? How are we going to bring more tourists here when the whole place is a dump; makes no sense. The whole lot will be voted out, if we can last till then.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    classic stuff from the do-nothing ppm.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If we had any guts, we’d call for a new election now! Before Christmas as it seems to be a good time for elections! Then we could sing ‘Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

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      • Anonymous says:

        Good idea. The polling stations will all be set up and operating on 19 December. Governor, what do you want us to do to make that happen?

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