Waste eco-parkwill make bid

| 08/10/2010

(CNS): The concept of an eco-waste park, which focuses on the reduction and recycling of Cayman’s rubbish rather than incineration and disposal, has not been ruled out under the terms of the government’s request for proposals on the dump. The RFP issued by the Department of Environmental Health on Tuesday opens the door, Walling Whittaker said, for an eco-park that could revolutionize the future of waste management. Whittaker told CNS that his proposal would mean capping and remediating the current dump, which he says could be prevented from leaching into the ocean via a containment trench and wall. He explained that work on the George Town landfill would run parallel with entirely new methods of waste management in the future.

Whittaker said the proposal from his firm, Malcolm Point Environmental Engineering, would put a stop to the leaching of the “garbage juice” from the existing landfill and capture the methane pollution currently coming off Mount Trashmore, not only giving Cayman carbon credits but also enabling the gas to be put to other use.
“There are two major problems with the current dump,” said Whittaker. “One is the polluting gases coming off the top of it going into the atmosphere and the second is the garbage juices leaching out from under it into the North Sound. We will have to dig a containment trench all around the dump which will siphon off the liquids that can be processed. The methane gas can also be captured and put to useful purposes instead off adding to global warming.”
He explained that the remediation and capping of the landfill would be a long term project which would run parallel to the development of an entirely new waste management eco-park, where recycling and reuse would be the leading methods of dealing with garbage, as opposed to disposal into a landfill.
Whittaker said that although the preference would be to limit incineration, the government has specifically asked for a waste-to-energy element in the RFP. “In order not to get disqualified, the Malcolm Point bid will include some incineration and we will partner with a WTE specialist to do that,” he explained.
The bid will also include partnerships with people on the island who are already involved in recycling, Whittaker said, adding that Malcolm Point was not competing with recyclers but hoped to work with those already involved in the recycling business here in the Cayman Islands as well as generate new entrepreneurial interest in specialist areas of recycling.
Although his firm is an environmental engineering company, it will also be focusing heavily on the education part of future waste management, Whittaker revealed. He pointed out that Cayman had to re-think its whole approach to waste and reduce the amount it produced.
It was as a result of his commitment to promoting less waste that Whittaker became involved with the local activist group WISE, which includes interested parties from across the Cayman community that want to see a more holistic approach to dealing with the country’s garbage.
Whittaker spoke about the importance of a multifaceted solution to waste management which would depend heavily on reuse processing rubbish at a new eco-waste park, where composting, glass crushing and a re-cycling centre would turn rubbish into something useful. Whitaker estimates that around a third of the country’s waste could be recycled almost immediately, even before specialist recycling projects get underway, such as those that recycle plastics into a material that can be used as lumber.
The location of the new eco-waste centre is the most controversial element of Whittaker’s proposal because wherever the new site would be its neighbours are unlikely to be particularly welcoming.
However, Whittaker has said that, given the ultimate goal of zero disposal, any new landfill would be a fraction of the size of the existing dump. Not only would it be a properly engineered and lined site, with the introduction of reuse and recycling as well as waste-to-energy incineration, it would also be taking a fraction of the garbage currently going to Mount Trashmore.
“Our proposal is to revolutionize waste management and rethink our entire approach. There is no one solution. Everything from reduction to reuse needs to be part and parcel of the future waste management strategies for the country,” Whittaker added.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Waste to Energy does work. 

    It has been working in Europe for many years processing trash and producing Green Electricity and where needed, heat.  It is a proven technology and is the only solution for Cayman.

    Two things that Cayman need badly, Waste to Energy can provide.  1.Waste managment and to get reid of Mount Trashmore and 2. Electricity and Green Electricity if possible.

    A lot of the negative comments about this technology cannot be back up.  I have seen WTE Plants that are processing twice the waste that Cayman produces.  These plants are located in Urban areas and one I know of is located beside a school.  They have been working for many years with no problems and no complaints from the residents in the locality.  They can be constructed to any design spec. One I have seen pictures of looks like a Class A office building, another looks like a comtempory modern building.

    In Cayman the plant could be construted to blend in with the surrounding buildings or even the comeercial buildings in Georgetown.

    This is the only real solution to Mount Trashmore and will be good for all of us.

    Constructive comments are what is needed here.  Lets not try and find fault with every proposal and stay positive.

    • Anonymous says:

      Being constructive and positive is great but so is being realistic.

      Of course waste-to-energy works.  But like most technologies, there are various methods of WTE.  Mass burning is the most common and traditional method of WTE.  "Gasification" which is the focus of the RFP is new and a not very common method of WTE.

      And WTE at the existing landfill site might not be a bad idea IF it was the traditional method of mass burn and did NOT attempt to mine the existing landfill.  Otherwise, there is simply not enough area at the existing site to accommodate all of this activity.

      What is very clear is that mining the existing dump will be a 20-year nightmare of odours, public health risks and significantly more leaching into the North Sound and a serious financial burden for this country to bear.  The easiest, safest and most environmentally sensible waste-to-energy method would be to simply cap the existing dump and capture the methane gas and use it to power DoEH vehicles.  As for "new garbage", let Walling Whittaker have a chance to develop his eco-park and create jobs and business opportunities for Caymanians.  Any WTE provider as proposed in the RFP will require overseas developers and operators to develop machinery and technology that takes jobs away.  Surprisingly the RFP doesn’t even mention the importance of local labour and investment.  This is because Waste-to-Energy can’t accomplish that.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why not wait and see what the tender process results in. 

    Only comapnies that are qualified to provide a Waste to Energy solution can win the contract.  All the information will be for the public to see.  This is the format that is used in Europe is regulated by the EU and it is very transparrent. 

    No matter who is related to who or who can provide backhanders it will not have any influence on the ultimate result as the companies will have to meet all the criteria as per the tender document.   By default if a company can meet all the tender requirments it will have the capacity to provide the sevice that the Cayman Islands need and this is what we all want.

    • Anonymous says:

      In theory, these statements are absolutely true and on the face of it, this RFP does seem to follow a rigorous and transparent process.  However, a much closer read of the document reveals that it is full of inconsistencies, false assumptions and makes only passing references to a comprehensive solution. 

      I hope potential bidders go into this with their eyes wide open.  It is clear that Government placed too much faith in whoever wrote this RFP.  If Government were paying real attention to the document, they would not have released it in its current form.  Or am I giving Government too much credit?   The cynic in me says that Government has sold its soul to the latest (but yet unproven and highly suspect) technology known as "gasification" and that the RFP was purposely written to elicit a proposal from whoever Government has secretly promised the contract too….but I still doubt that Government (and the preferred contractor) have any idea what they are getting themselves into.

      A serious review of the RFP is in order…..bidders beware!

  3. Rafaelle says:

    Failure: is described as non performance lack of success unsuccessful person or thing. Prove us wrong Mr Whittaker prove us wrong?

  4. The Incinerator Cop says:

    Whatever they do I certainly hope that the government dosen’t let anyone fool them into ripping us off with experimental plasma or gasification incinerators !!

    According to the United Nations Environment Programme:

    "The vast majority of attempts to use these technologies have been unsuccessful and ceased, however, and most experts agree that they are not currently a reliable, cost-effective alternative, especially for developing countries" 


  5. Mario Brothers says:

    Walling Whittaker was asked to leave? The man left the civil service and came back twice, so I dont think he could’ve been that bad.

    I guess the first poster is right. Wally better get a bodyguard cause the haters are out in full force.


  6. Caymanians for Good says:

    Good luck Walling, Take on the multi-nationals.

    Thanks for creating WISE. I learnt alot. Here is a plug for the website. http://www.wise.ky/

    Saw your presentation and think you are on the right path… ignore these folks here. You know Caymanians hate to see another Caymanian get ahead. Unfortunately, they also hate to see foreigners get ahead either.

    Not sure there is much love (or common sense) in the blogs for anyone.

    (And before the hatred starts, I have nothing to do with WISE, Wally or his friends. I have nothing to do with waste or garbage. I just think that someone needs to offset the nonsense that will be on this blog tonight.)

    • Anonymous says:

      The amount of hatefulness some Caymanians show toward other Caymanians is beyond belief. What is that about anyway? It was mentioned in one of the contributions in this thread explaining some other really negative hateful comments.

      This has nothing to do with Expats and is a Caymanian phenomenon and I have also heard it described as "crabs in a bucket" mentality.

      Whatever and where ever its cause, it is extremely unattractive and those hateful people involved need to get over it.

  7. dumpking says:

    I hope he manages the dump better than his radio show.  We in real trouble Cayman

  8. Wally says:

    I would like to point out that I am not the Wally referred to in this article.

  9. Jonathan says:

    If Dart and his corporation are given the dump in a supposed bid to fix the problem it will just be another part of the country (albeit a smelly one) which his entity controls.  I do not think that Mr. Dart would give a damn about the dump if it did not directly affect his massive interests.  Here is a good FOI request for those of you out there;  Just exactly what percentage of the Cayman Islands land mass does the Dart corporation own directly and indirectly?  It was and is a very bad thing for one person/entity to own a majority of any country.  He already is heavily in command of the George Town retail establishments, is about to be given virtual ownership of the port facilities and on and on.  His influences in countries such as Argentina etc. have already been felt there to the extreme yet still this country has allowed itself to be lowered into the position of seemingly having to rely on him as some kind of sugar daddy.  It is a lie from a very dark place.  The fact that McKeeva Bush regards him as this is a fact which is certainly not even arguable at this point.  While it sounds almost comical I really have to wonder at just exactly what point will the Caymanian coat of arms be pulled down to be replaced with his.  At this point in time our country needs to hold on dearly to what we collectively have left and to allow anyone to hold such sway over a country is completely and utterly wrong, stupid, and exceedingly damaging to the long term health of this/any country.  This goes for the good, the bad and the ugly.  Remove the exploiters and replace them with true leaders who have the true interests of this country at heart.

    The issue of the dump is a pressing one and it needs to be addressed.  The shipping companies need to be taken to task regarding the costs to ship the recycleable and toxic types of waste to where it can be dealt with properly.  The separation of vegetable matter from the other types of waste does not need anything other than a chipper/shredder to convert it to a mulch which could then be sold as a byproduct.  Neither I nor this country needs to pay anyone to tell us this as it is bloody common sense and it only requires people within the system of administration to put aside the greed for personal profit to achieve this.  Both private people and the government are so intent of bilking this country for everything that they can that many good ideas/solutions have been destroyed because someone in power could not make enough of a profit from it and it is this that has led to the seemingly insurmountable problems we face as a nation regarding waste disposal and management along with everything else.  The face of corruption is what it is.  It is uglier than the dump itself by far.

    I can only wish that this was a lack of foresight at this time but it is blaringly obvious that the comprehension of this problem was very well identified but ignored and covered up on purpose because it got in the way of those whose only concern was and is their bottom line, period.  In my humble opinion the lack of concern for the education of the youth of this country was also a concerted effort to keep the population unaware and unable to stand up for themselves and challenge the injustices which we as a nation have been subjected to.  It is within our own ranks where the true enemies of the Cayman Islands are because it is our own who have sold us out.  To blame Phillipinos, Jamaicans, et al for all of our problems plays right into the hands of those truly to blame here and who need to pay the price for it.  Why is there no trade school in Cayman teaching blue collar proffesions?  Because those in power would be in less of a position to screw everybody that is why.  An educated, literate and somewhat enlightened population is one with the ability to identify their internal and external enemies.  It is much easier to put a fake add in the newspaper asking for 15-20 years experience for even low grade positions in an attempt to disallow the local population the chances for gainful employment as much as possible.  The list of examples are too numerous to mention. The question of just exactly who has this trio of islands been developed for is a good starting point. 

    The only ones who do not deserve the right to be in the fight for the solutions of our country are the ones who created the problem in the first place.  Mount Trashmore is only the tip of the iceberg.  Look at yourselves in the mirror people of the Cayman Islands and ask yourself are you part of the solution or are you part of the problem?  It is not easy but I promise you that it is worthwhile.  Both we and our future generations depend on it.   

    • Calm and Collected says:

      Young man, you seem to have an awful amount of hatred in your heart. May I suggest you deal with some of that before you end up spreading it.

      Face facts, the Cayman Government and this country would have been broke along time before last year had Dart not pumped a Billion dollars in here since he arrived. While it is obvious that such a corporation, with unlimited resources, is a threat to all local businesses that they want to be in, we should not miss the following points:

      1. Without their resources many, many more would be crying hunger here a long time ago.
      2. Most countries are out searching and begging to have someone like Dart given the state of the world economy.
      3. Dart is the only entity locally, and that includes the government, that could actually spend the Cayman Islands out of the world recession.

      And If Dart wants the dump…I say great, take it!..are you kidding??…let us not cut off our nose to spite our face. If they want to fix it…go right ahead unless you know something about the CI Government that not even the Premier seems to know…that we all have the money to do something about the dump.

      So Jonathan, when you ask who the country has been developed for, let us not loose sight of the fact that it is their money in the first place, not ours, and we should be darn glad they are here rather than in BVI, Bermuda or Turks. Yes, we created some laws to attract them here but it is their money.

      Let us all work to ensure that the Caymanians constantly move ahead and that we get our fair share but this type of sensational diatribe is not productive. But I will grant you this, Caymanians should be much further ahead but vilification of our investors is not the way to go…we need to blame our own politicians for that.

      And lastly, get rid of some of that anger, you only start to sound like the typical Caribbean politician who is trying to get elected and decides to work the “them and us” angle. Dangerous path my friend…sooner of later you will be the “them” also.

      • Jonathan says:

        In response to "calm and collected", I have considered what you have said and you are right that I do have a lot of anger.  It is because I have seen my country used and abused by people internally and externally to a degree which has all but destroyed the quality of life we all knew when I was young.  Unsustainable development has been the tidal wave for years and a gold rush mentality with all of it’s evils have done massive damage to this country to the point that the balance of pros to cons is very skewed..

        I have for many years seen Dart do whatever he wants to do by using McKeeva Bush especially to push through initiatives without regard for due process or the long term picture being taken into account.  The relationship between these two people has been a powerplay fiasco with far reaching consequences for this country as a whole.  XXXX

        The relatively small pie that we share in the economy of this island should not be shared out in such a way that such a monopoly is allowed to exist.  What good is it when true ownership, not fronters, of the majority holdings and jobs of the tourism industry for instance is not for the people of the country in the first place?  While it is certainly no excuse for criminality the level of frustration in this country is growing day by day due the fact that the multitude of imbalances in our society are becoming more and more apparent as the situation has been exacerbated by the global economic downturn.  It has however served to highlight the deeply entrenched inadequacies of good governance this country has been subjected to. 

        I do not want to deter investors or hard working, honest expatriates at all but if it is done in such a way that I have witnessed then I have no choice but to fight it as much as I can because the results of this corruption of the entire country are a threat to the very sovereignty of this country.  The very mention of the Turks and Caicos reminds me very clearly of what happens when extremely wealthy and power hunger people team up with corrupt politicians of the same calibre.  I am sorry to say that it seems to me that the Cayman Islands are on the same said path.  I do not see what is wrong in saying that the various governmental institutions (one of which is waste management) of this country should remain in the hands of this country.  To do otherwise would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire because Mr. Dart is a business man and that is all.  He and his corporation already, in my humble opinion, have way too much sway over this country and it is for that reason that I have taken this stance.  It has a whole lot to do with the way it is done.  I see this as a cleverly disguised land grab.

        The dump is the festering, putrid, toxic evidence of the unsustainable way that this country has been developed.  As massive wealth has been accumulated with no concern for the price to be paid tomorow, which is now today, the need for the various forms of infrastructure necessary to withstand the additional burden created by development have been all but ignored and stop gap at best.  Along with all of the other things which are poisoning the North Sound such as fertilizer and pesticide run off, siltation, the destruction of mangrove estuaries, poorly constructed sanitation systems and industrial run-off, the dump is the proof of the lack of or the disregard for foresight. 

        All of the various ways to deal with this problem highlighted by this group of "activists" are and were needed a very long time ago.  My issue is with the implementation of this and the implications inherent in the handing over of the dump to Mr. Dart are something that I find unacceptable.  I believe in true democracy and if that is the route that this country really wants to take then so be it but I know that in the Cayman Islands today we do not have democracy except by name and certainly not in reality.  I remain unconvinced that it is "wise" to hand over controllership of the infrastructure of this country to such an international corporation as Mr. Dart’s.  You are right that I do need to do something about my anger but I guarantee that the root of my anger is righteous indignation.  Thank you and I will do my best to remain "calm and collected". 

    • Pauly Cicero says:

      FOI is not a personal "do my research" button. If information is in the public domain it is our responsibility to collect it before submitting any request under FOI. If information that we seek is not public and it should be then that is what FOI is for. I will leave it to another to comment on the content of your post.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I hope Wally is prepared for the Haters who will ultimately try to take him out!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Walling Whittaker????? That really is bs!!

    If I’m correct Walling ran the Environmental Health Department for many years which encompassed the landfill. From what I heard he was pretty much asked to leave that position for various reasons. Now what? ……… after mismanaging and being a part of the problem in the first place the Government and us Caymanians are supposed to turn around and pay him for his so-called solutions?! He’s now an activist? This is pretty sick humor!

    The frustrations continue ……….


  12. Wise old dump lord says:

     Is it just me our all of a sudden the dump has just got a whole lot sexier "Garbage Juice" who the H#@* is this sitcom star Malcolm in the middle?. Eco park it should be called Echo mountain from all the sound waves coming now from these WOD Wizards of the Dump the only abbreviation i don’t see PTC price tag Cayman. My question is was Mr. Whittaker not employed by DEH ie CIG sometime back? What was the dump doing then why weren’t these ideas and solutions not put forward or put in place back then. Not that i don’t support the current solution to deal with it now but prevention is better than a cure.

  13. Anonymouse says:

    Take a look at the RFP on the Govt. website. We’re prvatising solid waste management (at least in part). Get ready for the garbage fees to rise appropriately as the Government will no longer be subsidising waste disposal from other income streams. (At least thats my read.)

  14. Anonymous says:

    What a load of bs.