GT dump continues to burn

| 24/05/2020 | 33 Comments
Cayman News Service
Small fire at the George Town dump

(CNS): A deep-seated vein of burning waste at the George Town landfill is continuing to cause trouble for firefighters. Cayman Islands Fire Service crews who returned to the dump Saturday morning to put out what was described by officials as a small but challenging fire and were still there Sunday. Working alongside Department of Environmental Health staff, who are excavating and dampening down the affected area, CIFS said the fire was persistent.

This deep hot spot is said to be releasing only minimal smoke at the scene with no impact to surrounding residents and businesses but has been burning since Wednesday.

“This deep vein of fire is requiring a significant volume of mixed waste to be excavated, turned over and dampened down,” said Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker. “Our joint crews are working hard to prevent the chance of re-ignition through their painstaking efforts.”

The landfill has faced some of its worst ever fires this year. It is now considered one of the most urgent local infrastructure problems to address. But the near decade-long plans for the creation of a waste-to-energy facility as part of a national strategy to manage Cayman’s garbage has stalled yet again.

Even before COVID-19 came along and shut everything down, the negotiations between government, the Dart-owned DECCO consortium, which secured the contract, and CUC had reportedly hit a major snag. CNS understands that while DECCO was about to start the remediation work at the landfill, the other central planks of the project are far from agreed among the partners.

The talks between government and its private sector partners began in October 2017 after DECCO was selected as the third bidder. But more than two years later, almost none of the details of the project agreement have been revealed.

CNS recently asked the government if the COVID-19 situation created an opportunity to allow government to take a different approach, in particular making this a full publicly funded project to not only solve the long-term failings of managing the country’s rubbish but to provide new jobs and economic stimulus for Cayman as it pulls itself out of lockdown.

However, Premier Alden McLaughlin said he “would hate to throw-away” the current project as the government would have to start over, and he would be “a real old man” by the time it was done. Even though the last two administrations have failed to move this essential work forward, he said that the project should proceed.

Earlier this year he had said that there was still a chance that the proposed contract would fail but would not confirm what the main stumbling blocks were.

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Category: Local News

Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the DartDart Islandssssss

  2. Anonymous says:

    He truly is unable to understand why it would be the right thing to do. But what really shocking is his “justification” arguments.

    It is like (figuratively speaking) “I burn your house because I feel like doing that”, then ask when you knock on my door for a piece of bread or a shelter, “why do I have to help you“?

    This is borderline mental.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Guess I have to say it again. One dump headline news a week is normal now.

    Organic compose generates tremendous amounts of heat, enough to heat your entire house and water.

    Now a chemical compose that is highly flammable? I think you get the heat picture, if not as the Fire department for the FLIR heat camera footage they take from the helis.

    Now after we close the schools for covid the next will be another fire.

    If we do not shut down this toxic zone it will continue to effect all of us, and unlike the virus can be gone in your system in a few weeks/months.

    The half life for these compounds are hundred of years just to reduce to half of the exposure levels.

    Stop Dumping In the DUMP!

    Half-life (symbol t1⁄2) is the time required for a quantity to reduce to half of its initial value. The term is commonly used in nuclear physics to describe how quickly unstable atoms undergo, or how long stable atoms survive, radioactive decay. The term is also used more generally to characterize any type of exponential or non-exponential decay. For example, the medical sciences refer to the biological half-life of drugs and other chemicals in the human body. The converse of half-life is doubling time.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We fixed it. It broke, We fixed it. It broke. We fixed it. It broke. This is how Caymanian culture works. Watch how they fix the economy after breaking it. If your personal economy is tied to Caymans economy you are in for a hard few years.

  5. Anonymous says:

    CNS can you run an article on JUNK? What they do, how it works and their overall contribution to reduction of garbage volume in Cayman.

    Also, why it seems impossible to run an article on hazardous and medical waste disposal? Where and how it starts and ends and what steps are taken and by whom to monitor the process.

    Was Health City incinerator functions ever inspected as well as emissions tested? We all know the answer: NO. DOE doesn’t have equipment, staff, regulations, but most importantly knowledge of what to inspect and what to control and how to do that.

    They’re are still in a stone age when it comes to anything more complex than just unloading garbage trucks at the Dump.

    But they MUST know and monitor how hazardous and medical waste is disposed. We are talking about not just infected materials such as thousands c19 swabs for example, but radioactive and other HIGHLY toxic waste.

    I mean it is criminal that in 2020 all garbage still being dumped in one pile and this is it.

    Nicely groomed and well compensated big boys and girls sit in their ironed shirts and expensive suits, drinking free coffee all day long and feeling important and proud literally NEXT to a stinking, rotting, radiation emitting; toxic spewing pile of garbage.
    Are they all born deaf, blind and dumb? Or like children pretending their sand castles sit in a picturesque island where air smells of rose petals?

    • Anonymous says:

      The DOE doesn’t handle garbage

      • Anonymous says:

        Source: CNS(Ask Auntie)

        “While the DEH has provisions in place to monitor the construction and operation of incinerators, the official explained that the regulations do not include the “guidelines indicating what pollutants one should test for”. In addition, the DEH does not have the “necessary equipment to allow for adequate monitoring of such emissions at this time”.

        As for when the DEH will be able to test for these emissions, “It is hoped that (the department) will be able to do so in the foreseeable future.”

        DEH = Department of Environment? Perhaps?

      • Anonymous says:

        No but they have to work next to the real garbage department in the same building.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Civilians continue to burn as well.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Pay Cuba to take our garbage.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Due to the serious public health hazard the dump fires cause, we need to go back into full 24 hour lock-downs – this is the ONLY way to free all the resources we can to battle this new crisis!!

    • Anon says:

      LOLL. I know you’re kidding but don’t give them any ideas!

      I wouldn’t put it past this knee-jerk government….especially since the constitution no longer matters!

  9. Anonymous says:

    FFS Fix the damn dump! That’s the real killer we should be focusing on!

    • Anonymous says:

      They do not possess what is needed to fix the dump. Not now, not ever. Get used to the dump just getting bigger and bigger and smoking and burning. It is Caymans never ending legacy.

  10. Anonymous says:

    CIG has no foggiest idea about what is coming after masses of expats leave. With education at standstill well off Caymanians would also leave.
    CIG continues paying civil service employees salaries, but if I was one of them, I would stash as much as I possibly could and check expiration date on my other passport. Golden days of Cayman are coming to an end.

    As if financially destroying businesses is not enough, CIG is kicking those who are already on their knees with “isolation fee” and other bureaucratic requirements for returning work permit holders. For good measure employers must continue paying if after 14 days someone is still positive. Speaking of adding insult to injury.

    Who would want to return? And how a financially ruined business would be able to pay “an insult aka isolation” fee?

    The worse part is it won’t be Alden who will have to lead the territory from the ruins of economic self annihilation. He must be prosecuted for completely destroying Cayman education system which is guaranteed by Cayman constitution🇬🇸.

    • Anonymous says:

      In civilized countries immigration calls the houses and the police make random visits to ensure isolation is taken place. There are extremely steep fines for breaking the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let me guess, 12:42, you not happy. So you “forecasting” dome and gloom for Cayman now.


    • Anonymous says:

      I think they know how much of a population drop they are facing and they are running scared of revealing the numbers to the public. The loss of revenue will be staggering and they sat their whole financing of the civil service on a consumtopn basis and that gravy train has come to a grinding halt. Most of Caymain’s expansion in the recent years has been fueled by debt AirBnB superhosting for tourism , I would not be surprised some nasty surprises are yet to come. (Hike in Utilities etc).

  11. Dan says:

    If Cayman had a proper recycling plan in place the dump would be a third of the size that it is… but not sure what you can expect from such a myopic government.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can always recycle with Junk. We do and they are great.

      • Dan says:

        This is true, but over 90% of the island does not use JUNK, because you have to pay. Maybe the government could use some of the $600M surplus and institute island wide recycling for free…. then again they are too busy being a police state to do anything that would benefit the people or the environment.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are correct. But the inept government is the reason you have to pay for junk to recycle. They employ people so they must get paid. And they have to pay to ship the recycling to the Florida. We can afford to pay and want to do our part. It’s cheap if your strata does it. A few extra dollars per household a month.

          • Dan says:

            Yes, it is cheap, but unfortunately that’s not enough to motivate most people to implement it. It would be a better allocation of resources to pay pay a handful of staff to research how to do this cost effectively across the island than to station 4 police officers at every grocery store to police the ridiculousness of who can shop on what day of the week.

      • Anonymous says:

        1:51 but, but…does the garbage volume become smaller after you separate it into different piles that still remain on cayman ground?
        Did a word garbage even exist 50-75 years ago in Cayman? Everything was reused and recycled.
        While it’s impossible to entirely get rid of garbage today, significantly reducing its volume is possible. For that to happen you have neither a strategy nor the means to accomplish it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Junk sends off island… so yes that has helped the garbage pile from growing faster than usual. From what I understand it’s sent off because we don’t have facility to recycle. Sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      CIG was offered a re-cycling option during the tendering for the post-Ivan scrap metal clear up and it was ignored. I saw the proposal (complete with a DVD showing how the facility would work) and a copy of the covering letter sent to the Minister responsible in 2006 – it was just a very basic, easily doable plan. If they’d responded, we’d have had a fully functioning recycling facility that generated income and provided jobs for at least the past 12 years.

      • Anonymous says:

        We all know about all the plans to make this island more efficient. But we can only hope for the best in what is an actual dumpster fire.

      • Anonymous says:

        2:08 I remember Net News running a couple of stories about that.

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