Dart: WTE won’t hurt incentive to reduce or reuse

| 10/06/2021 | 24 Comments
Cayman News Service
Artist’s rendition of the waste-to-energy facilities and GT landfill (from ReGen.ky)

(CNS): Dart executives have stated that the plan to incinerate and convert the bulk of Cayman’s future garbage into energy will not undermine efforts to reduce and reuse the 100,000 tons of rubbish that the Cayman Islands produce on average each year. The projections for the anticipated increase in waste have emerged from government’s predictions about the growth in population and the expectation that waste will grow in tandem.

Dart representatives said the incentives to encourage a reduction in the amount of rubbish residents create or reusing and repurposing it is not in contradiction with the need to fuel the waste-to-energy facility to generate power.

At a public meeting on Tuesday about plans for the dump and the required environmental impact assessment, Andrew Small, the operations director for DECCO, Dart’s general contractor, said CUC was very close to confirming an agreement with them regarding the purchase of the power.

Small told CNS that while the final terms and conditions of the agreement between Dart and CUC had to be ironed out, given that the WTE is part of government’s national energy policy, there was no question that the company would not take the power.

Although fuelling the burner to generate the maximum amount of power will be one of the main revenue streams for Dart when it takes over the management of waste at the new facilities, Small said this does not mean that reducing, reusing and recycling will not play a continued and increased part. He said the profit motive will not act as a disincentive to encouraging a wider approach regarding cutting down the amount of waste generated and the reuse of the waste in future, as government expects the population to grow.

Now that government has signed a deal with a consortium led by DECCO to transform the dump and how Cayman deals with its rubbish generally, the next step is the environmental impact assessment. Dart is now holding a series of public meetings so that people can ask questions and submit comments about the Terms of Reference (ToR) for this EIA. The aim is to ensure that everyone impacted by the creation of the new facilities is confident that every aspect of this project is properly scrutinized before the work begins.

Around three dozen people attended the first meeting in West Bay at the John Gray Memorial Church hall. Dart executives, the Department of Environment (DoE) and the Department of Environmental Health (DEH), as well as the consultants that will undertake the EIA detailed the process for assessing the project, which includes the construction of the waste-to energy facility, a recycling processing centre, a composting site and a new much smaller lined landfill for the small amount of waste that cannot be reused, recycled or burned, which is expected to be as little as 5% of the garbage currently generated.

DEH Director Richard Simms said the landfill is almost at capacity and would be full in less than five years without this project.

DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie, who is the chairperson of the Environmental Assessment Board, explained what an EIA is, how the Terms of Reference are arrived at and the role of the board as the oversight authority. She also explained the importance of the public input throughout the process.

The ToR document for the EIA is in the CNS Library.

The public can submit comments in writing during the public meeting,
or via email to emu.doe@gov.ky
or regular post to Department of Environment, P.O. Box 10202, Grand Cayman KY1-1002
or hand-delivered to the DoE offices at the Environmental Centre,
580 North Sound Road, George Town.

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Category: Environmental Health, Health

Comments (24)

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  1. REAL Representation says:

    All very sensible comments – all very encouraging.

    Now can we get government to procure stellar, independent, international environmental NGO advice even if it advises gov’t to the contrary? Who knows maybe it won’t. What is the government so afraid of? Time for steel courage if you ask me.

    The fundamental problem seems to be the basis for this project. When was there a referendum that asked if citizens wanted to increase the population to such a degree required to fuel WTE. Lack of discipline has already resulting in outnumbering of the Caymanian people and intense strain and expense on infrastructure.

    As the basis for the project is invalidated it really is upended. The other particular prejudicial issue is that Dart is again proposing to take profit away from the hands of Caymanians and majority-owned Caymanian businesses.

    When bids at any level do not including a variety of Caymanian businesses (including for solar power – the former CIG/PPM man in London is a huge supporter) best Caymanian practice would require the tendering process to be halted and the right kinds of businesses need capacity building. Then when everyone has had a chance to get their ducks in a row as a result of clear government assistance and objectives they can then bid and reap the benefits, increase their profitability and family life chances to both survive and thrive.

    The relevant commentators are absolutely right – this project will absolutely have no effect on the importation and reduction of non-recyclable material and single-use plastics. This is where we need a coherent government strategy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Polypropylene (#1) and HDPE (#2) are the only plastics which are collected and sent off island for recycling, or so we are told. Plastics represent a high energy waste stream for a WtE plant so I can’t believe that future efforts to encourage the segregation and collection of PP and HDPE will continue once the plant is in operation. This sounds like typical environmental double speak to make it seem like the 3Rs will still be satisfied. Especially when Dart’s manger of solid waste has been continually saying over the past 5yrs that he supports mass burning of household waste. There are many ifs in this project to guarantee its viability. Population growth is a primary factor. I guess we as consumers will be encouraged to use more Dart styrofoam containers just to support the energy production part of the new WtE plant?

    • Landfills are bad, but incinerators are worse. says:

      Fly and bottom (residual) ash is more dangerous to health and environment than an open air Dump in a current state.

      A SIGNIFICANT volume of TOXIC ASH containing concentrated heavy metals remains when municipal waste is burned – about 10% – 25% (❗️❗️) the original volume of waste and it MUST BE managed and disposed of as a HAZARDOUS (☠️ 🚫).

      I’ll repeat: 10% of the volume of the input and around 30% of original waste weigh remains as residual TOXIC ASH. It must be managed, stored, treated, and disposed of as a hazardous waste.

      Landfills are bad, but incinerators(with ash landfilling) are worse. http://www.energyjustice.net/files/incineration/incineration_vs_landfills.pdf

      I am shocked nobody is talking about it. I am shocked
      COVID articles continue generating hundreds comments, but only 18 comments here and only about 30 people attended the meetings.

      Do people believe they are invincible to WtE ash and other health and environment destroying byproducts and that the only thing that can kill them is COVID??? UNFATHOMABLE🤯!

      • Anonymous says:

        So we should definitely keep dumping everything and anything for the rest of time as we have done historically… All that great stuff going into ground and air as things decompose and get rained on is way better than the small amount of fly ash that is created and captured on advanced filter systems in a new WTE plant. Why reduce what needs to be treated to 5-10% when you can build another mt trashmore with 100% of the waste generated on island?!

        • Anonymous says:

          “It’s not like the garbage just disappears into thin air.”(Carmine Trecroci, economist at the University of Brescia, Italy)

          If WtE plant has to be built in Grand Cayman, it must NOT be built in the heart of the prime tourism and residential area.

          It has to be built, along with the landfill for the bottom ash, in the area far away from residences and hotels with prevailing winds that blow from land to water.

          It is sheer absurdity, pure stupidity, idiocy, madness, insanity to continue with the “new” Dump and WtE plant in the same location where the Dump is now.

          It doesn’t matter if WtE is 10 stories high- can’t escape fly ash and still need a proper landfill for the bottom ash, unless utilization of the bottom ash as an aggregate in lieu of gravel, cement, and other
          construction materials/aggregates is planned.

          Relevant headlines:
          •”Tynes Bay [Bermuda] incinerator pollution increases”
          •”Incinerator’s [Bermuda] highly toxic pollutants exceed permitted level by four times”
          • “Waste-to-energy plants add to Delhi’s pollution woes”
          •”EU climate ambitions spell trouble for electricity from burning waste”
          •”Šoštanj municipality rejects waste incineration plan for thermal power plant”
          •”New Study Highlights Minnesota’s Use Of Trash Incinerators, Effects On Health”
          • “The folly of waste-to-energy incineration”

          Did anyone who attended the meetings ask about WtE disadvantages? And who exactly will be controlling WtE emissions and enforcing rules and regulations. Dart Co or CIG?

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. If we/DEH/media are blindly relying on and parroting Decco advertorials, supported with false assurances from disposal employees and paid consultants, then we almost deserve our future leachate problems. The zoo-keepers have abandoned the 800lb gorilla to run around throwing their own excrement.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We need a comprehensive approach to keeping Cayman healthy and that includes what we import. From CNN today

    Santiago, the Chilean capital, is to go into lockdown due to rising Covid cases despite almost 60% of the country’s population being fully vaccinated.

    More than eight million people in Santiago will have to stay at home from Saturday, as health officials warn intensive care beds are approaching full capacity, the BBC reports.

    Jose Luis Espinoza, the president of Chile’s National Federation of Nursing Association, has warned his members are “on the verge of collapse”, Reuters reports.

    Of the country’s 17.5 million people, about 58% have been fully vaccinated while 75% have received at least one dose.

    Chile’s lockdowns have been strict, with people needing to download permits online to be allowed out just twice a week for essentials.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And in other news

    Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Millennium’s first cruise of the season has resulted in Covid among the passengers 5 days into the Eastern Caribbean.


    This comes after Royal Caribbean quietly reversed its policy to allow unvaccinated guests to board with people who purchased the cruise on the basis that all passengers would be vaccinated.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Is that mountain that’s taller than the building in front of it made of garbage? Are you people kidding me? Is it right behind your famous 7 Mile beach where properties go for Millions of Dollars? Pristine beach on one side and a mountain of garbage on the other? My Gosh! What are you people doing? That’s disgusting!

  6. ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

    There’s no reason the composting can’t start now. All they have to do is designate an area and have all of the landscaping trucks unload there.

    • Andrea Calderon says:

      Also get glass, plastic, metal depots in ever district going from now and regulate the homeowner ways of disposal so it’s barely anything to pick up but incinerator items, provide each home owner restaurant outlets with biodegradable containers do they make their own compost or DEPT Agriculture pick up for their use!

  7. Anonymous says:

    burn, baby burn

  8. Anon says:

    PACT did not run as a team. They had/have no cohesive national plan or objectives on which you could judge them and it shows. The Minister clearly is just like John John – clueless.

    Lord Help us all. The Progressives were a bit better.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why was the Minister for Health not present at the meeting? Does this not speak volumes? Incompetent much?

  10. Anonymous says:

    WtE will hurt every single cell in a human body, flora, fauna, domestic animals, fish in coastal waters, contaminate sand, soil, ground waters etc.

    Only Japan can guarantee zero emissions and proper disposal of ash.

    Say what you wish, post as many links as you want, but if it is operated,controlled, monitored, and enforced ( non existing rules and regulations) by CIG workers, better start selling your RE today. Smart people have left the island already.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are we to assume that you are posting from outside CI? If not then what does that say about you?

    • Don Noitall says:

      Only Japan can guarantee zero emissions and proper disposal of ash? And smart people have left the island? Are YOU still on the island? Where do you find all this information?

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