$20M dump works to start but still no full deal

| 13/10/2020 | 63 Comments
Cayman News Service
(Standing, L-R) Premier Alden McLaughlin, Governor Martyn Roper and Health Minister Dwayne Seymour (seated, L-R) DECCO President Cameron Graham, Chief Officer Nellie Pouchie and Peter Granger, Chief project Manager, PWD Major Projects Office

(CNS): The Dart-led consortium selected as government’s preferred bidder for the national waste management project over three years ago has signed a sub-contract with government worth over $20 million. But there is still no full deal agreed for the entire project. This preliminary works contract is to cap and remediate the George Town dump, create a new temporary landfill, deal with tyres and scrap metal, and what were described as legacy issues.

In a symbolic signing event at the Government Information Service TV studios on Tuesday, government officials and representatives of the consortium signed the deal and described this preliminary move as a significant step. But they also admitted that negotiations on the full contract were still not concluded and that even if the deal is signed before the end of this year, it would be 2024 before the proposed waste-to-energy plant will be completed.

This deal will see Dart’s construction company, DECCO, and its partners begin work to properly cap the current landfill, put on a new liner to reduce the leaching and begin taking off the gas. They will also create a new landfill area, which will be where Grand Cayman’s garbage will go for the next three years or more until the WTE plant is up and running, officials said.

This new ‘dump’ will be adjacent to the Esterley Tibbetts Highway. When the WTE plant is finally built and operational, that too will be capped and the residual waste from burning the rubbish will be placed in a third landfill spot elsewhere on the current site.

Environmental Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said that the work Dart has been doing over the last year was not really capping or remediation, although this is what had previously been implied. It was instead emergency work to address the fire problem. But the minister said that now the real work to cap the dump would begin ahead of the main deal, which he and the premier both believed would be signed before the year end.

The minister said he was unable to give any idea how much this project would ultimately cost and that this sub-contract would not be made public until the entire agreement was fully negotiated.

A significant part of this future project is the WTE plant, which will burn rubbish and capture the gasses coming from the capped landfills to create energy that will be used by CUC.

However, Grand Cayman’s power provider was once again absent from today’s event. Despite its intrinsic part in the project and the minister’s insistence that CUC remains on board, officials from the company have never been present at any of the events relating to the project.

While CUC has said in other forums that they have factored in the idea of using the energy from this project, they have said very little else about their part or made any firm public commitments to it.

Nevertheless, government made much of today’s signing, which officials said would also allow design details for the project, including the WTE, to be finalised ahead of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and the planning application.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said he was pleased the project had reached a point where the people of the Cayman Islands could begin to see the realisation of government’s vision for waste management in the country. Seymour, however, said he understood the public frustrations with the length of time taken over the negotiations.

Cameron Graham, the president of DECCO, the Dart-owned company leading the private sector consortium, said the company was committed to ensuring the project was implemented to provide a long-term, environmentally sustainable and value-for-money solution for the country.

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Category: environmental health, Health

Comments (63)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Easy solution. Relocate the people living on Little Cayman to either Brac or Grand Cayman, then turn the entire island of Little Cayman into a new dump / waste management facility and ship the contents of Mount Trashmore and all future refuse there.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It would cost at least $200mil just to cap theDump, not including post capping monitoring, maintenance,repairs, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      $80-500K USD per acre. 2011 site is 68 acres.

      Old news, but still gives you a perspective on the Dump “fixing”and WtE plant cost:

      “His company has proposed to cap Mount Trashmore and build a new waste-to-energy facility to dispose of future garbage, which it would manage for the next 25 years, at an estimated cost of nearly ❗️half a billion dollars❗️.

  3. SMH says:

    “The minister said he was unable to give any idea how much this project would ultimately cost”

    This sentence alone should give reason for concern.

    This man is clearly out of his depth.

    • Anonymous says:

      While this is off topic it is related:

      Cayman Concrete was recently embroiled in a dumping in mangrove investigation. Apparently the company returned and cleaned up, and is being eased up as the law was only passed recently.

      However, this is common practice for Cayman Concrete. If it is not dumping in mangroves it is dumping on privately owned Bush.

      I have seen them with my own eyes.

      Environmental Health needs to have a serious discussion with the company as exactly what its plan is to cease dumping.

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly, I see it everyday, they just pull over and rinse out in the mangroves, happens all the time in the Yacht Club.

      • Anonymous says:

        In 1:12 pm: In third paragraph, second sentence, I had inadvertently omitted “only”: “It is not only dumping in mangroves. It is also dumping in privately owned bush.”

    • Anonymous says:

      I really don’t understand all of the noise here.

      1. This is a huge win for the people of the Cayman Islands.

      2. The plan seems really straight forward. Stop using the existing landfill . Which is exactly what we have been asking for. Cap and remediate the current land fill.

      3. Create a new landfill to be used while the waste to energy facility is being built.

      4. The waste to energy facility will take waste from all 3 Islands.

      Thank you CIG. I understand that what is going on is too complicated for many to understand.

      • Anonymous says:

        1:55 Whatever you’re smoking it’s not good for you. This is another very expensive fiasco in the making.

      • Jotnar says:

        I did. Twice. Zero mention of the new “temporary” dump site next to the ETH being lined. Only reference is to a new liner on the old site. Perhaps an idea to read the article yourself before mocking another poster for not reading it?

    • Hubert says:

      Really not sure how the CIG can sign a contract and not know what the cost is going to be.
      Is this an open ended contract? This leaves all sorts of room for massive cost overruns everywhere during the project.

      Have no idea why a government would sign a contract like this. Just not the way it is done in the modern world. Who is advising CIG on this project?

      This does not smell right.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Waste to energy is not going to make a profit. It will have to be subsidized by the government. That’s just the way it is. Alden, you will have to pay Dart or whoever runs it. Get used to it.

  5. Ian Kirkham says:

    The new dump is in Bodden Town, where daily trucks dump trash and junk alongside Pease Bay Pond and beside a solar panel farm. Interesting juxtaposition with the garbage clearly becoming the dominant player.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you happen to know if this new location has been properly lined or will it leach into the ground and surrounding areas just like our present situation?

      I’m not sure how much longer our North Sound will be able to continue flushing what has been leaching in there since the inception of the dump. Since that one was never lined, it will continue leaching for eternity. Can’t do much about it now…
      What is that saying about closing the barn door after the cows have escaped?

      • Anonymous says:

        It isn’t a government sanctioned dump. It is a dumping site with no regulation nor control. The one attempt to stop this irresponsible dumping was to put up a “No Dumping” sign. The sign is nearly obscured by rubbish.

    • Sherri says:

      So many landfill experts on this site.

      Huge congratulations to CIG this is a long awaited achievement.

      Thank you PPM. You really are the Government that gets things done.

  6. Anonymous says:

    easy money-making partial solution:
    bring back garbage collection fees where people pay for the weight of garbage that they want disposed of. this will incentivise people to reduce waste and recycle.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or just burn it in their back yards…….

    • Anonymous says:

      This makes sense of course, however many people in Cayman do not follow rules, and will do anything to save a buck. There are no police, because it is seen to be politically unpopular. Thousands of private homes will then be free to either (a) leave their trash in a large anonymized public heap on park or common land (already doing that with free service), or (b) drive to a convenient private paid dumpster at a neighbouring condo strata, and rob them of their paid capacity.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nah… There are already people burning garbage in their backyards or illegally dumping trash.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would agree but the problem is that this would only increase people dumping their refuse wherever they feel to avoid fees. I called the cops on a person who dumped a load of old furniture on the beach, took a photo of the license plate, and the cop only called the owner and told them to pick it up and they were never fined. I’m sure they just took it to a more secluded beach and dropped it again.

      People from 3rd worlds aren’t taught to recycle or throw their trash in bins that animals can’t get in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Garbage fees don’t work. The cost of collection and administration outweighs any benefit. Also, it would lead to (more) fly tipping.

      • Anonymous says:

        caymankind response….too much like hard work and people will brake the law in other ways…etc……yawn.

  7. Anonymous says:

    total nonsense as usual from cig…who have now decided to create a second landfill in the same area as the first landfill which they are now trying to remediate…….
    anybody got any headache tablets???

  8. Anonymous says:

    this is classic cig waffle….very surprised dart put their name to this.
    this is the inside story:
    waste to energy is not viable in cayman due to low population and would be a huge loss maker for anybody who runs it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Once the current heap is burned through, we can import the garbage fuel we like from elsewhere, like Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Jamaica, Honduras, Cuba…they will pay to give us WTE fuel.

    • Anonymous says:

      Shhh! Make them find that out themselves.

      When money is involved, common sense and self-respect goes out the window.

  9. Anonymous says:

    wasn’t the original landfill mean to be temporary solution?….now we have temporary landfill #2????
    welcome to wonderland.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Dart is going to fix his problem so they can sell their expensive houses located next to the landfill by implementing this early deal. Then he is going to run down the clock for the new system, while the new dump fills up. He will run down the clock then negotiate a poor deal for the people of Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or he’ll cash in on the concept that the tip is in the process of being sorted out to inflate the property prices?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget us peasants over here on Cayman Brac.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ture dat. Not saying you don’t need a properly lined dump and a waste-to-energy solution, however, how does the GT dump affect Braca’s? Because that is what the article is about.

      • Anon says:

        “Premier Alden McLaughlin said he was pleased the project had reached a point where the people of the Cayman Islands could begin to see the realisation of government’s vision for waste management in the country.” Are the sister islands no longer part of the country?

  12. Anonymous says:

    more soon come nonsense that keeps kicking the can down the road….. many thanks ppm.
    real story is…that after at least 3 years of negotiation, the relevant parties still cannot agree on a workable proper waste mangement solution/
    this temproary additional landfill is an an embaressment to all concerned…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Capping the dump IS NOT a solution, this is just out of sight out of mind and burdening future generations with our garbage.
    The tragic example of this going wrong is last year, 2019, New Zealand’s fox glacier landfill, ‘capped’ 20 years ago, was exposed in a storm and garbage spewn everywhere in a National Park area, and volunteers were the ones who had to clean it up.

    The dump here is an unlined hole in the ground which will be subject to flooding during hurricane storm surge, becoming increasingly at risk due to sea level rise, and the height is extremely exposed to hurricane winds.

    Major hurricane risk occurs annually and could occur more than once a year, capping will only result in garbage across the whole island as well as release of dangerous projectiles during a storm.

    Old Fox Glacier landfill breaches; rubbish washes up along West Coast beaches


    Volunteers in tears as full scale of Westland landfill flood disaster becomes clear


  14. Anonymous says:

    Dump solution means election right around the corner. The. Nothing will happen for 4 more years. How many times are we gonna fall for this?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Christ. Is that Jon Jon in the picture. Bet he smackarooing his hands together.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if he signed in crayon.

    • banon says:

      PPM just won the election

      Fixed the dump. Tick
      Mental health facility. Tick
      Airport redevelopment. Tick
      500m cash in the bank. Tick
      Cruise Pier Tick. Blame CPR
      Separation of the LA from the civil service tick
      Defense bill. Tick
      Constitutional reform tick
      Regiment tick
      John gray hight school. Tick
      World class management of the pandemic. Tick

      No government in history has these many achievements.

      • Anonymous says:

        you probably think trump is a great president too…..zzzzz

        • Anonymous says:

          Trump is the greatest President in the history of the world. Only McKeeva comes close to him.

          McKeeva for Premier in 2021. The best and brightest in the Cayman Islands.

          Looking forward to a turkey and new fridge in December.

      • Anonymous says:

        And all 30 years too late and over budget! Cayman is so far behind the developed world still – no public transport for a start, government departments don’t reply to calls or emails. Absolute disgrace.

    • Keyboard Warria says:

      Jon Jon is thinking “Why am I here?”, “What’s happening?”, “Who are these people?”. Just a normal day for Jon Jon.

  16. Anonymous says:

    So the new 3 year dump is also at the same location?? Can we get more clarity on that please.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ministry of Environmental Health – Please put out a press release detailing the lining, etc., being done for the new dump section, especially as its going into swamp. – Thanks.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is great to hear but after 20+ years of promises I for one want the ‘full meal deal’. Is there a plan regarding mandatory public participation in re- cycling and composting within 3 years? We are a population of 65000 (maybe). How difficult could it be? Maybe it is since I am no expert.

  19. Anonymous says:


  20. Anonymous says:

    LOL, having worked with them before and if you ask anyone in the construction industry, nothing worked on by Decco can be value for money. Ive never seen such disorganization, lack of communication and wasted time/money in my 30yrs of construction. SMH.

  21. Anonymous says:

    … the people of the Cayman Islands could begin to see…that it is safer to have the Dump as it is than to have WtE plant built , run and monitored by local “expertise” in the absence of regulations or even people who understand that such projects start with Clean Air Act or its equivalent.

    “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”.”

    If they don’t know how to monitor incinerator emissions, imagine what do they know about WtE.



    • Breathing CUC’s soot in GT says:

      Do you think CUC monitors their own stack emissions? Absolutely not, why would they if there are no clean air regs? Put that together with DoE’s and Legislature’s complete apathy about the issue and we already have a disaster.

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