Dump needs no more research

| 18/02/2014

(CNS): The president of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce has taken the minister responsible for rubbish to task over his decision to set up a committee to deal with the country’s pressing waste-management problem. Johann Moxam questioned Osbourne Bodden’s courage to make a decision about the growing George Town dump and said there is already a plethora of information out there on how to address it. The Chamber boss said there is no need for this latest group of people to go off visiting more landfills to find out what is already known. Moxam and the Chamber are not advocating for relocation but believe government could begin the process on site using local expertise without a new round of analysis.

In a letter to Bodden written last month, to which the minister has still not replied, Moxam asked what value there was in more “fact finding missions and exhaustive research” because the islands cannot afford more time wasting, waiting for the latest government administration to decide on a solution for this urgent, public health matter.

“The public sector facts, data, reports and expertise assembled from 2005 to 2009 and again from 2009 and to 2012 are easily available on island or accessible through desktop technology,” he wrote, adding that during the request for proposal (RFP) process in 2010 a wealth of information on best practices and possible solutions for the local challenge were given to government. 

“There are several local companies, stakeholder groups and private citizens who continually keep abreast of best practices in solid waste management and practical options for addressing our local problem,” he said, as he urged the minister to tackle the issue now.

Moxam said government lacked not information but clarity about what it is trying to achieve.

“It is lack of courage to make a decision in thebest interest of our Islands. On 29th January the (Chamber) Council wrote to the Chief Environmental Health Officer Mr Roydell Carter seeking the government's policy on solid waste management in the Cayman Islands. We await his reply,” he wrote, making it clear that the Chamber does not believe government has an effective policy of any kind in place.

Urging Bodden to set a deadline of September this year for an agreed national solution, he said the minister should use the well-established, credible public-private sector mechanism under the Chamber’s Future of Cayman structure. He said members could help government arrive at a practical, implementable solution to this long standing problem.

Moxam told CNS that he has not received a reply from Bodden to his letter, in which he does not advocate moving the dump. He said that over the past 15 to 20 years the reports and assessments had all indicated that government could tackle the problem of "Mount Trashmore" on the current site.

The solution to the dump which was arrived at during the previous PPM administration, via a cross party committee, was for a waste-to-energy and recycling combination programme at the George Town site. An RFP was conducted through 2010 and at the end of the year in December the Central Tenders Committee announced that the US garbage experts Wheelabrator had won the tender and would begin talks with the Department of Environmental Health in January 2011.

However, even before their first meeting, then premier McKeeva Bush overrode the CTC decision and announced he was going to swap the dump site with Dart for a new lined landfill in Bodden Town. When government began its talks with Dart, Wheelabrator withdrew from the picture and the dump grew.

Significant opposition to the decision to move the dump as well as problems with the talks between Dart and the UDP, and then the interim Cabinet after Bush was ousted from office in December 2012, derailed that plan. With the PPM taking office in May having campaigned against a move, Bodden took the Environmental Health portfolio and promised he would be following the process set out in the fiscal responsibility agreement that Cayman has signed with the UK.

Bodden recently told CNS that he has no option but to follow this process unless the UK gave him permission to move more quickly. He said that government first had to present the business case for the new waste-management solution, something which, despite all of the research and reports, has never been done. 

Then, as with any project involving public assets, government must piece together an RFP based on its policy decisions and the justified business case. It will also need to conduct an environmental impact assessment. It is at that point that the request for proposals can be published, which will in turn be considered by the Central Tenders Committee and a contract awarded.

Bodden stated that he believed this process cannot realistically be completed in anything less than two years.

See letters below.

Category: Local News

Comments (59)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    In 2006 CIG was offered a proposal that would have created a permanent re-cycling facility as an alternative to what turning into the post-Ivan Matrix scrap metal fiasco.

    The plans (which I saw) would have resulted in a permanent re-cycling facility being established at the dump, creating income for CIG and jobs. It was based on proven experience clearing up after a typhoon in the Cook Islands and was a relatively low investment option offering potentially good returns.

    It wasn't even considered. CIG didn't even acknowledge receipt of the information package because it fell foul of NIH (not invented here) and, in my opinion, the fact that no one could see a percentage in it for themselves.

    That facility could, but for what looks to me like blatant political intererence, have been up and running in 2007 – over six years ago.

    The bottom line is, and I don't care what politicians claim, that the only thing holding up sorting this mess is the cynical 'what's in it for me?' mentality that is slowly destroying these islands.  l

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    Our water also comes from the sound.  I've checked CWCO's web site and see no QA test results.  How do we know that the leaching isn't already impacting our water?  

    • Anonymous says:

      If you read the commentary on CNS on a regular basis, you found your answer.

  3. Anonymous says:

    IF B.T is the best place where the DUMP can be relocated., SO BE ITTT. Why not? At the end of the day is going to be in the middle of the BUSH where no one is going to see ittt, smell itt or even think about itt or how disgusting it is. Unless one goes to THE DUMP and how many goes there an way?.

    In th other hand it may also create more jobs in the BT area and other better plans may arise for the Bodden residents for doing us all in Cayman the  BIG FAVOR of getting rid of the DUMP in the middle of our city.

     

  4. Anon says:

    1. Start tendering process for a waste mgmt facility.  Let participants propose their solutions 

    2.  At the same time, Start Bo miller idea of raising funds by setting up the infrastructure fund tomorrow. Start raising funds in anticipation of the expenditure.

    3. Fund and its participants decide which project to invest in and let's get it done.

    private sector built a state of the art hospital in 1 year.  Dart built a whole city in 7 years.  Enough political interference.  Let private sector take over.  Same for airport and cruise ship terminal.  

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ozzie opposed Dart yet does not have a solution for this MESS.. now that is a mess

  6. Anonymous says:

    ACT COURAGEOUSLY

    When DART or someone similarly qualified, starts the effort to totally eliminate the stinking, dangerous heap we call the dump, I opinion that our leaders support the effort and open doors to make things progress as swiftly as possible.

    This is where they can really help the country rid itself of the sore plague of filth on the land and it's poisons inour bodies by granting the special permissions, provisioning a fast track for certain requests and possibly easing red tape bottlenecks etc..

    Those who govern should go confidently, weilding the great power they've been trusted with to act swiftly, S.M.A.R.T.L.Y. , and with the knowledge that the health of our children are affected by their actions – act to defend the country.

    Finally… When the courageous act – The rest of us should not become their detractors and armchair cynics by speaking out of the other side of our mouths – Instead, support those who choose to do the good thing.

    Thanks for the opportunity to express these thoughts.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think the REAL question should be "is Minister Bodden the best person to handle this responsibility and provide the leadership required"?

    With the apparent unwillingness to take decisive action, and the continued mess in education/employement overseen by Minister Rivers, I foresee a cabinet re-shuffle.

  8. Anonymous says:

    there is no reason not to start at lease having people separate their garbage, for crying out loud they aren’t even charged for pickups nowadays. At least they can start new piles of trash in the dump that are separated and can be processed later. Pickup garbage on one day and recyclables on another. What the heck is so hard about that. And why wait 2 years to start it, they should immediately stop piling things on top of MT Trashmore. If they say there’s no room to put the separated trash then how in the heck is there room for a WTE facility at the GT Dump. There are metal recyclers on Island and Dart has a glass crusher and has already offered to take recycled glass products, why not put these resources to use right away.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ozzie,

    Send out for bids from established recycing compaies to set up a mandatory recycling progam. The program when establshed will effectively run and Caymanians will be trained over time.

    Regardless of the future of the dump recycing is necessary. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    Waste to energy on the current site with recycling.  End of discussion.  Put it out to bids and lets get going!!!!!!!
    We do not need two years more of talk lets move to the action stage.

    Also don't forget OMOV.  You promised the voters.  Do it!!!

    • Captain Obvious says:

      That is a very short sighted solution, how does that stop the chemicals leaking into the sound? The waste on top of the land isn't the only problem, the land needs to be properly treated to ensure the damage to the environment is minimized and corrected for future generations.

      • Anonymous says:

        Covering the top and planing grass does not stop the leaching either.  We need to mine the current waste down to ground level or below to stop the leashing.  Just opening a new problem in BT will not solve the current problem. 

        It must be done on site.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Totally agree. NO MORE RESEARCH! Enough with the talk! Let's walk!

    We need action. We need to educate/train  people to recycle  We are years behind.

    I witness everyday  my neighbors ignoring  JUNK bins and trowing  recycling itens  all over!

    Start a serious program with the schools. Children are a effetcive vehicle to make this a sucess.  Go to  public events. Raise awareness!

     

     

    • Anonymous says:
      • Increase the import duty of pesty one-use plastic cups, plates, cutlery and ziplock bags ten fold
      • Pass legislation that forces bars and restaurants to use reusable dishes as there is dishwasher save plastic available!
      • Recycling bins should be at all public venues and functions
      • Bars, restaurants, hotels need to be forced to separate their garbage and recycle (especially glass bottles, paper, aluminum cans – there really is no excuse that those can't be recycled)
      • All office buildings (government of private) should have recycling bins.
      • More ongoing education of programs available to businesses, schools etc.

      There is a lot that can be done already, yet Government is hell bent to wait until the dump has been sorted.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said! My wish is to see  EDUCATION on the top of any list..Hopefully the Government is taking notes of all these free inputs.

         

  12. Anonymous says:

    FYI there are a few recyclers located along dump road that pay for trash and ship it off island Perhaps if more people really wanted something done the would do it themselves instead of demanding Govt to do it for them.

    As far as those planned cleanups have you contacted the recylers? Or are you shooting from the hip.

    Please stop telling people recycling dosn't exist in cayman its an insult to the 100's of recyclers in Cayman.

    FYI  some of the recycling on island  includes oils metals paper cardboard  e waste and brush.  

  13. Anonymous says:

    Your article says the Chamber is not advocating for a new landfill location, yet the letter to Minister Bodden says the recomendation from the Chmaber infrastructure committee  includes "opening a new solid waste facility." Which it is?

    • Far Canal says:

      You can have a new solid waste faclitity on the existing site.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mistake 1 – Assumign the CoC knows what they're talking about. they saw a chacne to get in on the news cycle. that is all. Please move on.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, if you refer back to Mr Moxam's first comments as President of the COC the article states that he made mention of the dump then – before both fires and before another news agency chose to make it their own personal issue.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Give the damn thing over to dart and let him relocate it, Dart will not make this project be a disgrace. Take a look at his design track record so far. The man is doing more for these islands than anyone else so let him take the dump over and give us an opportunity to breath when on SMB. Please stop the political bullshit now. He already has about 60% of the land mass in Cayman, so I would think he is the majority holder by now anyway. Quit the foolishness and get on with relocating this dump ASAP.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart has a good track record but doesn't want anything to do with the dump running.  It has been pretty clear that he is willing to move it which I'm sure would go good, but then it would be back on government to run it which will take us back to the same thing.  I think we need someone to takeover the dump completely, move it, fix it do whatever they want with it but make it not have anything to do with gov't.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why can't dart move it and another private outfit operate it. That way no govt mgmt, and the operators aren't trying to recoup enormous capital costs of set up through operational fees.

    • Foreign Devil says:

      Straight up!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Recycling program. YES!!! Do we really need to wait 2 years to start this? Why isnt government investing in compactors, paper and plastic bailers, tire shredders, glass refiners NOW, not in two more years. If they cant afford it, ask the private sector to invest but government agree to collect the materials and bring to them. They will profit. Setup a schedule for trash collection island wide. One day a week for general trash, the other for recycleable material. The public is ready to recycle, but it has to be convenient. We cant be driving all over the place droping off different bits of trash all over town.

    And please, lets get off the waste to energy nonsense. Its not sustainable! 20 million a year to operate and 6 million worth of electricity produced, the studies have already been done! Cap the landfill NOW to stop the leckage.

  16. tim says:

    It is so sad, bunch of chatter  tryin to make a big deal out of a little pile of trash

    trying to spend as much as can be spent so it has the biggest impact for everyones pocket

    I have been asking to fix your mess for almost 8 years. Getting a little fedup

    Come to reality and check me if you want your dump problem fixed

    tim

  17. Anonymous says:

    You all need to get out of the way and let some skill and experiance take over and show you how its done. Enough talk already.  Take your paycheck and go back to sleep.

  18. Anonymous says:

    PPM look foolish on this whole dump mess and will attack moxam for doing his job as Pres instead of fixing the problems now.

  19. ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

    Agreed.  Just resume talks with Wheelabrator and move forward.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I've got emails requesting information in with two CoC members that are older, and more repeated, than these. And these are with companies I want to give money to. (Silly me.) Perhaps CoC think they are more important than Government think they are.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The Chamber’s Future of Cayman structure? Credible? How many committees did the CoC create under this umbrella a couple of years ago? How many total meetings did they have? How any are still meeting? – Yes, I was on one. No they are not credible. Never were, never will be. (Unless you’re angling for a consultant contract.) – Nuff Said

  22. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the majority of Mr. Moxam's comments. It's time to pull the trigger on this and every Government is pussyfooting around the dump like it's covered in germs (pun intended).

    Mount Trashmore should not be seen as a goldmine of potential revenue. It is an eyesore and a health hazard that is affecting our daily lives and it's now offending our visitors. We just need to get whatever we can for it and move on.

    Stop with all of thefinancial projections. Profit should only be seen as a side effect of Government's efforts to actually remove the recyclables from this island. A few weeks ago a barge full of junk got shipped off and Government made $250,000. That's a win-win in my book. As long as Government doesn't have to shell out any money to remove the junk, then we have nothing to argue about. Let others pay Government for the 'opportunity' to buy our junk while we sit back and watch Mount Trashmore become an 18 hole golf course.

     

     

     

  23. Anonymous says:

    About bloody time!!! 

  24. Foreign Devil says:

    Alden should give Ozzie the full authority to close that stinking dump and open a new Waste Management Facility anywhere he wishes too, then give him six months to make his case to the people as to where is the best place to have it, then, get ER done.

  25. Anonymous says:

    If Ministers did what Ministers should do and set the goals to be achieved and left the Ministries, Portfolios and Departments to achieve it, there would be no need for further research, as no matter which government or which Minister was leading the charge, the data and information would reside in the respective agency.  When Ministers go gallovanting off to become experts in the ministries and portfolios assigned to them, only to have their "expert" position stripped from them in 4 year cycles by the voters, we are only going in an ass-fore-most direction as the old people would say.  The way government is run along with the roles and responsibilities of Ministers really need to be defined in the Standards for Public Life.  Leaving Ministers unbridled is taking and has taken this country nowhere.  So I agree with the Chamber when they demand that the Minister Sh-t or get off the pot!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Chamber President Moxom for speaking out on a matter that is very important to Caymanians.

     

  27. Anonymous says:

    CoC is correct here. Ozzie, get 'er done!

  28. Anonymous says:

    well said johann!….its great to see the chamber and c4c start to question the stupidity and incompetence of the CIG

  29. Anonymous says:

    Stay the course Mel would be proud of you 

  30. Anonymous says:

    What I don’t not understand is why they need to start off from scratch with this whole thing. Why does and RFP need to be pieced together when this was already done. Just reissue it. As for as and EIA, why is this needed when there’s already a dump there. The Wheelabrator RFP was estimated to cost 100 Million Dollars in initial investment and 20 Million Dollars a year. They won this the last time so why not just reopen talks with them if they already won the RFP. Most likely because they know they can’t afford the wheelabrator deal anyway. From what Ozzie said the new RFP would be for a solution that wouldn’t cost any more than what’s currently being spent on Waste Management in Cayman. Idon’t see how that is possible when all they do is pick it up from your house and dump it in a pile.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Good to see the Chamber really getting involved in important discussions but unfortunately this lot in the LA have no idea how to answer the questions and engage in constructive dialogue  so will ignore them and continue to pretend that GT isn't burning. Come on down 2017!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Finally somebody with brains and balls like Moxam said what we all thinking that is leadership

  33. anonymous says:

    The true solution?…MOVE THE DAMN THING!!!!

    No matter what you do there LEACHATE WILL CONTINUE TO POUR INTO THE GROUND WATER AND INTO THE NORTH SOUND!!!….its that simple, truly is.

    Lead, carcinogens and other evil stuff will continue to pour out of it. Not to talk about the methane inside that one day will blow up.

    Forget politics, forget the promises to voters…do what is right!!! Move it!!!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Johan thanks for providing a commonsensical approach to the gt dump and challenging this stupid idea of another two years of research and globe trotting by government and friends of the ppm.

  35. Anonymous says:

    On this matter we agree, Johann.

  36. Anonymous says:

    If Johann wants fast(er?) answers to his questions then he should have used FOI.

  37. Anonymous says:

    The only research needed is "Where in Bodden Town was the dump going to go?"  Answer that question and put it there.  Simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      Put it West Bay.

       

      It will provide jobs for all the Boswains Beach workers who should be laid off.

  38. Anonymous says:

    There are thousands of papers on Waste Management topics avail free on the internet from Government and Corporate leaders in the space.  It really isn't that hard to assemble info.  The central thrust of these papers is that having no comprehensive management plan (not least of which fire prevention) and leaving an unlined landfill to leach into the water lense, fisheries, and recreational waters is extreme negligence with very real health and environmental consequences.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Call Wheelabrator, apologize and tell them to come as soon as possible.  This is a NO BRAINER!  As I recall they were going to basically do it at no cost to government and recoup their own investment through selling waste or selling the beefy they created.   

    • Anonymous says:

      The Wheelabrator RFP was estimated to cost 100 Million Dollars in initial investment and 20 Million Dollars a year.  If it was free as you say, Ozzie would have already called them..

    • Anonymous says:

      Where are we going to get the money to pay Wheelabrator???

      Werent they the ones that wanted the job to take care our refuge ? what were their plans for getting paid??

      • Anonymous says:

        Sort out the dump now and airport with the money available. forget about the port in GT 

        • Anonymous says:

          What Money, that's the problem there's no money for any of these projects..

  40. Anonymous says:

    The GT Dump is here to stay..by the time this process has been completed it will reach 100 Feet and the North Sound will be a big Green swamp..