Action group gets WISE to waste debate

| 21/09/2010

(CNS): A cross section of people from the Cayman Islands community have come together to trigger debate about the future of the country’s waste. Hoping to gain support for a sustainable approach about how Cayman will deal with its current waste management problem and how rubbish can be managed in the future, WISE will be holding a public meeting on Wednesday evening to encourage the community to start talking about the solutions. Although government is pressing to begin a waste-to-energy programme to tackle the George Town Landfill in the short term, WISE believes that the problem is far greater and needs a holistic long term approach that includes cutting down on the generation of waste in the first place. (Photo by Kerry Horek)

Members of WISE (Waste Initiatives and Sustainable Environments) say that the group’s goal is to find a comprehensive solid waste management solution that can work for the Cayman Islands. Committee members include Pilar Bush, Berna Cummings, Rayal Bodden, Jude Scott and Theresa Broderick
Speaking on behalf of concerned citizens from across a broad cross section of the community, the committee said it is now actively lobbying the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) to consider a sustainable approach to managing the country’s solid waste.
“The group is researching the array of options for dealing with solid waste to ensure that WISE Cayman’s position is informed and focused on the best, long term end result,” Pilar Bush said in a newsletter circulated to promote the planned public meetings taking place on Wednesday 22 September and again 29 September upstairs at AL Thompsons at 5:30pm.
“These options for dealing with solid waste include land-filling, incineration, recycling and composting amongst others,” she added.
She explained that an emerging idea which on early indications is receiving interest in the community is the concept of a purpose-built Eco Waste Recovery Park in a less densely populated area that will include a recycling centre, incineration, a composting facility and properly engineered and lined cells for non-burnable waste.
“Whilst a multitude of options are being discussed and debated, the common denominator for WISE Cayman supporters is that they all believe that the CIG must make this decision now so that it can address and mitigate against current and future environmental and health risks posed by the George Town Landfill,” Bush added.
 The coordinating committee said it has already met on two separate occasions with the government this summer and continues to have “a positive, cordial and open dialogue” with CIG.
WISE said that government backbencher Cline Glidden, who is spearheading the government’s landfill project, has indicated that government may consider receiving proposals that go beyond Waste to Energy (WTE) as a solution to the landfill. The action group acknowledges that government has a preference for WTE on the existing site.
The country’s premier reiterated government’s hopes last Thursday that a Waste to Energy project would be underway shortly. Speaking at a town hall meeting in George Town, McKeeva Bush had criticised the bureaucracy that he said was standingin the way of getting the project started, but that he hoped to have more details in a few weeks about how Mount Trashmore would be tackled.
Although government appears committed to the WTE, WISE hopes that the recent signal from Glidden means government may still be open to persuasion to take a wider approach if the action group can make a difference with the support of the wider public.
The WISE public meeting will take place on Wednesday 22 September at A.L. Thompson Conference Room at 5.30pm.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Science and Nature

About the Author ()

Comments (24)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Peter Principle says:

    Why has the policy people over the last 25 years done nuttin about this.

    Or are they too busy with trivial things dat dey are best at.

    sound like the Peter Principle at work again

  2. Anonymous says:

    They lost me at "holistic approach." Sorry, but all this has no credibility. The alleged facts (particularly the costs) seem to have been plucked from thin air.

    Capping the mountain will do no good because it is unlined on the bottom and already leaking into North Sound now. It will not stop just because you spread dirt on it.

    Trucking it somewhere else on the island just relocates the problem. Then it can leak straight into what’s left of the freshwater aquifers.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Whatever the intentions …

    Whomever has the money to pay …

    At the end of the day does it REALLY matter? Surely we just need to get this taken care of? If it is an issue today – imagine what it will be for our children in 5 years if we don’t stop worrying about the who, the what and the why and just take action to get it done. Sell our souls? No. Negotiate – give a little to get a lot? Absolutely!

    Stop focussing on the why and the who and focus on putting your voices behind WISE and getting a solution to the dump in our lifetime!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    There are many options available for dealing with waste, but they come at a price.

    One option could be to export the trash on a barge to another country, who may have the technology or land available to better deal the trash.

    Compact the trash into bales, load it up and send it away. Preferably from the new Port site out of town!

    There would probably be an additional cost to residents, but who knows it may be just a few dollars a month onto a strata fee.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How aboutactually implementing a system similar to Canada and the UK, where households sort their rubbish. This way we can reduce our carbon footprint, through recycling, and also the amount of rubbish sent to mount trashmore.

  6. Anonymous says:

    HMMM  I remember when Dart offered to take it over and manage the dump and include recycling…..Why was that not not accepted?

    • Green Mango says:

      Because, IIRC, that wasn’t what he offered. He offered to take over the existing site. Solid waste managment would still have been someone else’s problem. i.e., the Government would have had to find a new dump. Dart would have paid for the covering over of the existing one.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well, I i don’t know what the whole answer is but we work with tourists everyday and almost everyone of them says to us what is the deal with the dump? A lot of the taxi drivers point it out to them, they say like it is part of their tour from the airport to seven mile beach. So im sorry if  BT,NS,EE doesnt want a dump, but come on, would it have to be on a road that almst 90 precent of our tourists would have to drive on in the first 15 miuntes in our country????? Well even the cruise ship people that sometimes we meet say it is the tallest thing on the island, ha-ha, they say! I hate to hear that and to have to laugh with them to not be crying. It is such a embarassing talk to have as the beginning  of their trip with ourcountry, when we are taking about the sea and mangroves and such.  please someone move this dump and do something, maybe make a park or something there and please find a place that is safe and out of the way of all our important tourists.  COME ON, IT IS SO CRAZYT THAT ANYONE WOULD THINK OF POLIATICS OR ANYTHING PERSONAL ABOUT THIS! PLEASE THINK ABOUT IT EVERYTIME YOU SEE IT CAYMAN. PLEASE.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Don’t allow them to pull the wool over your eyes Cayman. Do you see who the key players are ?

    This is a UDP operation in disguise……lets guess who’s fundingit…….who’s next door to the dump ??? Hmmmmm…….another UDP connection !!!

    Its all about the money people. Yes we need a solution to this pressing problem but come clean about your intentions.

    Enough games already !!!! 

    • Anonymous says:

      People should really start digging deeper before they hit the thumbs down on your comment without the facts.

      Ask questions such as who is WISE (really, ask yourself, do you you know)?

      • Caymanian 2 Da Bone says:

        OK who’s behind trying to improve the situation at the dump?

        1) Ritz- yep you can see the dump from the RItz

        2) Cruiseship tourism- what an eye sore

        3) Uses of the North sound and fishermen, all the pollution is not good.

        4) Residents of Cayman who care for their children, with all the carcenogens leaching in to the soil

        5) Most people on 7 mile beach with that horrible smell, including the tourism trade.

        6) people who care about Cayman, including those atDart


        mmm so who isn’t on this list, apart from yourself?


    • Anonymous says:

      Whatever the intentions…… something needs to happen! Big up to the guys taking action


    • Pauly Cicero says:

      So what? Come clean with your problem. Is it that Dart stands to gain from this project? Bin the idea so Dart makes no money or improves the value of his investments? Stop begrudging intelligent people the opportunity to improve your life. Dart is a businessman. Does he need to wear a sign stating "I intend to make money from my investments, even if it means that Cayman also benefits?" Bad mind people,chuh.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cayman should examine some more advanced systems of waste disposal such as thermal depolymerization. It would allow for on island reprocessing of a wide variety of waste, including plastics. Such a plant them produces light crude oil which could power electric generation facilities.

  10. whodatis says:

    What are we waiting for Cayman?

    Let us consult the Chinese, hire them, ship it over to their country and let them BURN it all over there!

    All the while patting ourselves on the back for a (green) job well done!

    Hey – if this process is good enough for the Brits and Europeans then its good enough for us too … no?


  11. John Evans says:

    I wish them all the best. I’ve seen recycling and waste disposal programmes on remote Pacific islands that put the Caymans to shame.

    WISE might consider getting hold of the recommendations made to the previous government as an alternative to what turned into the Matrix scrap metal saga.

    They are well documented in the Cayman Net News archives and would have created a self-financing recycling programme for the islands, not just for metals but for all recycleable material.

    They might also look at the interview I did with Jean-Michel Cousteau. He pointed out that every year the Cayman Islands returns hundreds of empty shipping containers that could be used to carry recycleable materials off the islands for very little cost.

    But a ‘holistic’ long term approach? Please spare us the fancy buzzwords, it just undermines the message you are trying to get across. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I was there last night, really interesting. But you’re right about the buzzwords! Made it seem cheap

  12. Anonymous says:

    well done wise…keep up the pressure on this pathetic government who have done nothing on this over the last 15 months

  13. Anonymouse says:

    So is it just me or does anyone else wonder which ‘dump neighbours’ are financing this ‘grass roots initiative’ to move the dump in to someone else’s back yard? Beware greeks bearing gifts.

  14. Anonymous says:

    In the meantime, waste prevention is key! Don’t wait to figure out how to deal with the existing waste as in the meantime only more waste (which could easily be avoided) will accumulate.

    Please ban plastic cups, plates and cuttlery from restaurants. If you are dining in, you should be able to eat from regular dishes. If you are located at the beach fron and bare feet are a concern, please use re-usable, washable plastic stuff!

    If you are worried that people may haul off your dishes, charge them a deposit. It is really not that hard and done successfully all over Europe!