Waste-to-energy ‘won’t work’

| 23/09/2010

(CNS): Despite the fact that government appears committed to dealing with the country’s landfill problem by burning it, experts have revealed that not much more than a quarter of the million tonnes of rubbish at the dump can be burned. A group of local activist has said that while waste-to-energy can form part of a solution, it falls far short of addressing the country’s growing garbage problem. Aside from being environmentally unsound, expensive and long term, WTE will also encourage us to produce more waste rather than reduce it. Walling Whittaker said Cayman doesn’t produce enough rubbish to make a WTE project cost effective andthat an integrated management programme is the country’s best hope. (Photo a view from the dump Walling Whittaker)

At its first in a series of public meetings to drum up support for a more holistic approach to dealing with the George Town dump (aka Mount Trashmore) and the country’s future waste problems, WISE (Waste Initiatives and Sustainable Environments) told a small audience last night (Wednesday 22 September) that the government’s approach is unlikely to be a real solution for the country, but that officials have not yet completely closed the door on other ideas.
The group’s committee members include Pilar Bush, Berna Cummings, Rayal Bodden, Jude Scott and Theresa Broderick. They have received input from both Whittaker, who is a former director of the Environmental Health Department, and Denise Murphy, another expert in rubbish, who both pointed out some of the pitfalls that government’s current proposal for burning trash will present.
The duo explained that in order to incinerate the garbage the dump would have to be mined, which would cause considerable further environmental pollution, with leaching, pollutants thrown into the air and increased bad smells. This, they said, would continue for as long as the dump was minded for stuff that can be burned, which could be more than a decade. The experts pointed out that government’s hope of burning around 45% of existing garbage and future rubbish is also an over-estimation and a more realistic figure is less than 28%.
WTE is also an expensive option, the activists maintained, and estimated that the set up cost of the WTE facility and mining of the dump would be around $120 milllion with annual running costs of over $18 million. Whittaker said Grand Cayman residents produce less than 100,000 tonnes of rubbish per year, which is not going to be enough to make the WTE worthwhile, and that the idea of encouraging us to produce more rubbish to burn is exactly the opposite of what the country should be doing.
Whittaker said Cayman could benefit from an eco-waste-management park, where 60% of our rubbish could easily be recycled and reused through various methods, including composting and glass crushing for fill. He said some could still be incinerated and a smaller, lined and properly engineered landfill could be used to dispose of rubbish that cannot yet be reused or recycled. He said that around the world properly managed eco-parks are achieving close to 100% re-use and recycling and almost zero disposal — a goal that Cayman could strive towards.
The activists thought the best solution for the current dump would be to remediate and professionally cap the giant garbage pile. While controlling and treating the garbage mound, which is now over 80 feet high, an altogether new facility could be created elsewhere on the island that would focus on more on recycling and reusing rather than disposal and burning.
Pilar Bush told the audience that WISE was not advocating moving the dump as it would simply be impossible to do that. Facing the recent speculation that WISE is merely a “Trojan Horse” for the Dart Group, which has long made it clear it wanted to buy the current dump site, she said that Dart was one of a number of sponsors of the project that had an interested in resolving the country’s garbage problem.
The group acknowledged that a new waste management eco-park or properly engineered facility would need around 100 acres to house the different elements, such as the recycling centre for plastic, paper and cardboard, the composting heap for waste vegetation and glass crushing for fill, as well as a smaller lined landfill and an incinerator.  Whittaker explained that most of the facility would be under cover and surrounded by vegetation as a buffer from the neighbouring area. He said there should be no leaching and no pollution from an eco-park.
Whittaker also pointed out the comparative costs for this more integrated solution. The creation of the eco waste facility would run eventually to around $60 million for a fully engineered and integrated site with remediation at the current dump costing around $23 million. Annual running costs were estimated at around $4 milllion, all of which adds up to considerably less that the proposed WTE.
Noting the controversy over where this proposed site should go, however, the activists pointed out that the new and altogether different waste management facility would not be a recreation of Mount Trashmore.
WISE were also at pains to stress that their goal is not to offer a definitive solution as it will not be submitting a bid when the tender to deal with the dump is eventually opened (though Whittaker is likely to tender his alternative to WTE) but to encourage people to consider and support alternatives to the current assumptions made by government.
Bush pointed out that whatever happens Cayman has to find a sustainable solution to its waste management problems and that the WTE route could be a costly mistake which will not really address the problem of the growing landfill and cause further waste problems in the long term.
WISE will be hosting a second meeting next Wednesday and encourages everyone to come and express their views about the future of rubbish in Cayman. For more information long on to www.wise.ky.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ministers come and Ministers go, but who has had policy and administrative level responsibility for the subject the longest?

    A common name keeps coming up with thes things


  2. Richard Wadd says:

     Dear ‘Truthseeker’,

      Once again this comes down to Common sense, or lack there-of.

     Leaching is not only about the permeation of rainfall, it is also about the ‘Migration of ground-water’.

     The water-table in GCM is less than 4 ft in the vast majority of the island. The ‘Dump’ was swamp-land, that means IT IS PERMANENTLY in the water-table. Even IF one ‘Caps’ it, there will always be seepage due to the ‘Wicking-effect’.

      Capping will NOT solve the problem. 

      A long and costly program of Excavation, Incineration, and Reclamation IS the only solution.

     SOME (but not all) of the Cost can be off-set by Waste-to-Energy recovery, recycling, and the Land Reclamation Value.

     So it really isn’t about what the solution is, just HOW, IF and WHEN we begin the process.


    • Truthseeker says:

      Flushing, due to tidal rise and fall (normally only about 9 inches) will certainly continue, but it will be confined to the very bottom of the pile, and, over time the soluble components will be dispersed and the pollution will taper off. ! acknowledge that some wicking would likely occur, but surely this would  be several orders of magnitude less than the present situation.

      Perhaps excavation, incineration and reclaimation are the only way to totally eliminate the problem, but at what cost, and in what time frame?

      Capping, resulting in the ceasation of rainfall percolating down through that 60 ft pile, and the resultant hydrostatic pressure which presently forces the leachate into the water table would, in my estimation, have a dramatic and almost immediate impact, at a comparitively low cost.

  3. Sam says:

    The waste management in Cayman is sadly typical of most things here; in the past with few people living here and no government money the simple solution was the best answer – landfill.  However Cayman become a tiger economy and grew and despite experts coming and going nobody listened to them and so now we have a population of a medium sized town we are still doing what we did as a village.

    I read this page and see all these comments and what I don’t see is personal commitment as a civil engineer and an environmentalist I see waffle.

    The problem will Cayman is the people who live here and their throw away lifestyle – Used – throw it in the trash – some other persons problem. Well the only reason Mt Trashmore is there is because you put it  there and we need a group hug to be proud of ourselves.

    Ever since I came here 12 years ago I have been suggesting ideas to people how to live sensibly with the environment. In our household all organic waste (not meat) goes to compost along will all garden waste. All our newspapers go to the humane society. All aluminium cans go to government recycling. We reuse our plastic and glass bottles and jars for other purposes several times if possible before disposing of . Other waste food goes to feed our local chicken which in turn provide us with fresh organic eggs ( and some times meat).This reduces our waste stream to the landfill by 50- 70%.

    We use the compost produced for improving the soil and we grow some of our own food so thus reducing food mileage and fresh food is better for you ,costs less and saves packaging been sent to the landfill.  Yes we rain harvest for non potable water usage and we don’t drink bottled water because the VOCs from plastic bottles leach into the drinking water when these containers are heated or left in the Sun and once used tossed to the landfill.

    My firm bid on providing technical services to DEH in a tender about 4 years ago but sadly the tender had been written in such a way that it was smoke screen to meet CTC requirements and the firm had already been chosen I would guess as global firm I was partnering with said as much themselves when they read the tender. 

    If the people of Cayman composted there waste organic food and garden waste then the growth of the landfill would slow down and so would the amount of chemicalsbeing spread on the land and usage of potable water to keep this island ‘green’.

    Ask the members of WISE about their personal waste management of their own household and companies waste and if they live the way the preach?

    Cayman’s public service is too large at present, so readers and writers on this page step up to the mark and create either a community based or private company recycle and create a privately funded solution to our waste problem. By the way recycled glass cannot be used in structural concrete but can be used for road fill as in Bermuda.

    I have spent many hours looking at feasible studies to set up a profitable recycling  firm for plastic, waste paper and glass in Cayman and with the current pricing from the two shipping firms on the island it is not viable as they charge the same price to ship a container to US as they do to here even enough they are returning empty.

    So  small enterprise solution to use the waste products must be done locally to make it work. The current UBC price is quoted on the markets and this option is very profitable with an aluminium smelting plant only 28 miles of port of mobile, Al.

    Sell Mount Trashmore to privately funded waste management firms to deal with it and let market forces find the solution as it is a gold mine. 


    • Oui B fooked says:

       Sam, I don’t doubt you in many respects – I am in the industry in many ways.

      BUT – be factual.

      There are 4 (FOUR) carriers heading northbound now.  And at least 1 (ONE) is willing to buck the trend.  STAY AWAY FROM THE GUYS WHO HAVE BEEN HERE FOR AGES – THEY ONLY WANT TO GRAB THE BUCKS AND (rhymes with it – BUCK, that is) – US….

      Kudos for your efforts – hope they don’t roll you over before you make a difference – LOL.

      Reality is, WE CAN ALL make a difference.  Recycle, reuse, redo it – compost (google it) and do your part.  We are all too quick to throw stuff in the trash.

      In the USand Europe, they realise and address the laziness aspect of it – they have government do the sorting after the fact.  We don’t have that option – we need to sort BEFORE we trash it – what we throw away should ONLY be trash.  Look for ways to recycle the rest – government here is not going to help – WE NEED TO DO IT!!



  4. Anonymous says:

    We have come for over 20 years to Cayman. This Mt. Trashmore has become a disaster every year more and more. Now it is leaking into the sea. If Green Peace comes around you can close this island,. There will be no mor cruise ships or tourist coming, because there are millions of places in the world which are much nicer and have also beaches like the 7 mile beach. Already 10 years ago there was an attempt to solve this problem, nothing happened and we are sure nothing will happen during ther next 10 years except if you have again a hurricane and all the dirt flies around your neck. We in any case do not come anymore and likewise there are many tourist thinking alike. Good luck to the Caymanians!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mt. trash more on Grand Cayman is the perfect landmark for Cayman.  It can be seen from all the cruise ships, and air planes as they come in and pretty much tells the story of what kind of place it is.  No one has ever been able to figure out how to stop it because not enough of the population wants to.  So it goes.  Educating the public (or maybe the leadership) is the only way and that is way way off in the future maybe.

  6. Anonymous says:

    the dump is a time bomb!!!

    the best way to get rid of it, is to get a waste to energy plant period. the leeching in the ground, the smell in and around gt, smb, has been going on for years, just go to the north sound side of the dump by boat (or car on the bypass) and look and smell for your self. recycling is great and we need more of it, but its not the end all be all solution. in my opinion the new plants are clean, produce energy, and are eviromentaly sound and sure wont take 10 or more years to get it mined and burned.

    it is also hard to belive that walling w. and denise m. know anything much about waste management and are the new experts on the subject. the sad thing is most people in cayman dont give a rats ass and or are afraid to say anything……….hence i dont sign my name…..expat…resident…status…paper caymanian alike  

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       Readers should listen to this group. Most people have no idea how bad the Mt T is. The longer you wait the more corrodes and leaches into the small and delicate eco system. Mt T will be the death of The North Sound. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Please don’t take my free dump away from me!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Once again we can act like this is a debate however it should be understood that the decision has been made and this is about making it look good.

    Look at the political affiliation of this wise group.

    Why is an x government employee here (as a tourist) while waiting for the contract to be let.

    This is not about lining the dump but once again about lining pockets. And with the peoples monies as always.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Export our trash on barges. Sort, compact into bales and ship from new Port site (preferably at night).

    It may add a few $ to your strata fee, but is one way to sole a growing problem.

    Existing dump, not an easy one to deal with.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mining the dump would be like taking a dead decaying carcass and slowly taking it apart in order to seperate the bones the flesh and the bowels.

    Several heavy equipment operators have told me that it will probably take over 10 years to mine the dump. Imagine the stink that will cause in George Town while they are doing it. WHEW!

    Please dont stink out the people of GT just because a few people see an opportunity to line their pockets!

  10. Richard Wadd says:

     Dear "Thu, 09/23/2010 – 19:23."

      How does putting a Band-aid on an infected wound stop it from oozing puss?

     How will ‘Capping the Dump’ prevent what is underneath from leaching into the North Sound? 

     This is why Land-fills are lined to begin with, to CONTAIN the seepage / ground-water.

     Also, Excavating the Dump to solve the problem will not take 20 – 30 years. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know what they are talking about. What they may be is an ‘Expert B.S. artist’. 

    This is a ‘Common-sense’ problem that needs a ‘Common-sense’ approach and solution …. but then again, Common-sense just isn’t as ‘common’ as it should be.

     Dig a moat around the perimeter, and line it. Then manage the drain-water.

     That won’t stop the Drainage entirely, but it will control far more of it than we are doing now.

     If you are so worried about the smell, then we should have stopped using it 10 years ago when it was deemed to be + 90% full.

     The biggest issue is the Hazardous waste already in the Dump from decades ago.

    Lead batteries, old cars, waste oil, old MRCU Chemical drums (and others), old tyres, rusty iron (can you say Tetanus?), arsenic from pressure treated lumber scraps, 

     This is what happens when we procrastinate, things ‘Bite us in the ass’. If we Ignore the solution, it will bite our children and grand-children. What a Legacy for us to leave behind.


    • Anonymous says:

      I couldn’t have said it better myself! 

      Driving the bypass is like going through a sewer!  Also the smell expands into central George Town.  I don’t know what the tourist must think.

      Just get rid of the bloody thing!  What’s taking so long

    • Truthseeker says:

      "How will ‘Capping the Dump’ prevent what is underneath from leaching into the North Sound?"

      I went to the presentation.

      Leaching is the process by which rainwater percolates through the dump pile due to gravity. On reaching the watertable, the leachate is forced sideways (including into the North Sound) by additional rainwater percolating from above. Cut off the rainwater with an impermeable barrier ‘Capping the Dump’, and the leaching dries up.

      Nobody is going to argue that this is an ideal solution, but it is a bit late to line the dump at this stage.

      "If you are so worried about the smell, then we should have stopped using it 10 years ago when it was deemed to be + 90% full."

      Any other "common sense" ideas for closing the stable door after the horse has bolted?


      • Anonymous says:

         Thank you for posting — very helpful.  I am curious to know whether capping is as effective in stopping leaching when the water table is as high as it is here in Cayman.  Does that make any difference?  

  11. Anonymous says:

    I have long since given up on waiting for Cayman to come up with recycling options, so I do what I can with what I have at home.  I keep my old paper products separated with intentions of recycling into home-made paper very soon. Old coffee grounds are great fertilizer.  I use old glass jars (pickle jars, pasta jars, wine bottles, ect.) as decorative vases as well as to store trinkets. I try to keep what I can out of the trash, but it is very challenging, especially for the aluminum cans, all the cardboard, and plastics. I feel guilty every time throwing these in the trash.  I am only one person but do what I can to also educate my children to not be so wasteful.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Absolute fluff, more harm than good. Any WTE representative present?

    Where in all of this was the solution for the present dump? The present dump cannot be left and capped, it is incorrectly installed without a lining bed, it is too large. The dump has to be mined, period. it is not just WTE that decress that, it will have to be mined to be processed whichever processing method you use. It requires processing as it is already out of hand and cannot be left as is. 

    You have to be very careful here not to give the politicians another excuse for another decade of procrastination, a ball left in a bowl will fall to the bottom unless you shake the bowl. I sincerely hope that the tone at the meeting was not that conveyed by this article. 

    Yes, WTE is only part of an overall solution, it is not the magic bullet. However WTE presents in most cases a greater benefit to the environment than years of methane production (very potent greenhouse gas) and toxins leaking into wellwater and the North Sound. WTE will not be totally economically self-sustainable and we will have to pay fees but that isa levy on our crass consumption we will have to accept. 

    So we have 10 years expected for processing this garbage, this is a viable lifetime for a plant, sounds reasonable to me. Add in extra time for the cayman factor and then consider the garbage that is also being produced within that 10 years timescale and we can propbably double that 10 years to 20 years. 10 years isn’t that long considering the term Mt Trashmore was coined over 5 years ago. Why not stage the plant, bringing in an initial size to deal with our backlog then reduce the size of the facility during the maintenance phase. Consider the land reclamation value to offset the cost of the plant.

    Other islands are getting results from furnaces, fluidized bed furnaces can burn hot enough that no toxic gases are emitted, they even safely process medical waste (thinking ahead, we hope) and you are left with considerably less material than you started with that can be added to aggregate as an easy method of disposal.

    WTE should be part of a managed and integrated solution. Farmers in lower valley and north side are getting great results from mulching using composted waste from imported foodstuff leftovers.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The people behind WISE should be commended. To maintain the status quo and leave the dump as it stands is toforce future generations to solve a grim un-natural disaster.

    Capping the existing mountain of garbage and leaving an unlined toxic  landfill or incinerating the mountain and placing the ash created in a lined landfill appear to be the options, WISE is doing the public a good service by setting out the options, Government should now avail itself of the facts to make an informed decision.

  14. Green Hornet says:

    The trouble is we need to grasp the bull by the horns (excuse the cliche) and actually DO something. We can talk, man can we talk in this country. We can meet and we can discuss, we can eat and discuss, we can drink, even sleep and discuss, but actually DO something. Nope.

    Now here’s an idea: let’s hire a  self-appointed foreign expert to write a report that we can talk about until we’re blue in the face and not do anything about. See, if it don’t make money, we ain’t gonna do anything. let’s face it folks, are we?

  15. Richard Wadd says:

     The FIRST thing is to call it what it is …. A DUMP !

     That is not now, and never has been a Landfill.

     I wish I had been able to attend last night. What are the Credentials of the so-called expert/s with regards to Waste-management?

     There is only one solution for the Dump, but there are two (2) different methods.

     Excavate, Classify and Incinerate.

     The issue is Cost versus Income, or in simpler terms, the Economic Viability of the undertaking.

     The MORAL and Environmental issue is another matter which we frankly don’t want to face, now do we?

      The Dump IS leaching into the North Sound. Take a water-sample and Test it if you don’t believe me.

      Can it be Fixed? Yes. What will it take? $. Why should we do it? If for no other reason, our ‘Moral obligation’ to our children, and those who come after us.

     It was our fault, why should they have suffer because of it? 

     Yes, the ‘Caloric Value’, ie. the Potential Energy that can be recovered is LESS than the what the equivalent expenditure to recover that Value would be. But the Environmental Cost of not fixing it, will be IMMEASURABLE.



    • Anonymous says:

      Yes of course the landfill/dump is leaching into the North Sound.  The WISE presentation acknowledges that and provides information on water sampling.  Excavating & incinerating the dump won’t stop leaching but capping it will.  Excavating the dump will take 20-30 years.  Do you want to risk 20-30 years more of leachate into the North Sound?


      As for economic viability, clearly the comprehensive waste management solution is best.  But if you want to bankrupt the country, go ahead and preach the virtues of waste-to-energy and incineration.  

      If you’re really interested, then attend next week’s WISE meeting on 29th September, 5:30 pm at AL Thompson’s Home Depot to get the answers to your questions. And if you don’t believe these experts, challenge them…ask them questions.  It’s important to be engaged in the debate.


      • Oui B fooked says:

         Experts or Expats – SERIOUSLY, as a concerned REAL (whatevadaheckdatis) Caymanian, I want ot see more of MY PEOPLE out there in their numbers showing THEY, US, WE give a $H!T about our island.

        It sickens me the number of my own fellow Caymanians who spout off about every expat-this and furinner-that but WILL NOT step up the the plate to protect OUR island.

        You complain that the EXPATS have taken over our onad and bought it out from under us – but then sit here saying how toxic it is and not trying to make a difference…

        HYPOCRACY and IGNORANCE should be the national passtimes…


  16. Real Scientists says:

    McKeeva’s gas would power a small nation.  Maybe we can use that to incinerate the trash?

    • Anonymouse says:

      That depends on whether it will free flow under natural pressure or has to be extracted by vacuum.

      If it has to be extracted by vacuum that will cost a lot of dollars.

  17. Voice of Reason says:

    Don’t hold your breath (unless you are standing too close to the dump).

    This elephant has been standing in the room for a long time now. Didn’t you know that you’re not supposed to talk about it? It will get you into trouble (people don’t like to reminded of the blatantly obvious because it makes them look stupid. Not a good look I think you will agree).

    The path of least resistance involves doing nothing about it and then leaving it for the next generation to deal with (it’s a worldwide cultural tradition amongst most of the baby boom generation).

    What makes me laugh most is how gardeners from all the condo developments load all the garden waste and take it straight to the dump!! This is stuff that could be easily composted and turned into good quality topsoil! If nothing is being done about an easy solution such as that then if you’re hoping for something to be done about the rest of the garbage then you’re in for a rude awakening. 

    Cayman in many ways is very materialistic. A materialistic society is going to have a huge waste problem when be buy things for the "now" rather than the long term. Fast this, disposable that ….. buy now….. pay the consequences later…. usual story.

    Move along everyone…… nothing to see here…. and certainly nothing going to happen. You can talk about it until you are blue in the face but it will not make one iota of difference. It will get bigger and nothing will get done.

    What elephant? In this room?!?!? Nah…..

    • Lister says:

      Yes, you are certainly right about that. It comes down to education of various recycling methods.  It pains me to also see when they do road cleanups of cutting bush and grass and putting in garbage bags!  Why not have a designated piece of land (govt owned) where this vegetation could easily be dumped and recycled as compost for their customers landscaping!

      I remember one night i went to the dump one large item and there were about 4 landscaping trucks that had the general wastebin packed to the top with vegetation and tree matter, I almost could not even find a place to dump my own stuff.  Really why doesn’t govt. start there?  A vegetation recycling program would be organic and we wouldn’t have to be importing so many fertilizers and paying a premium on.

  18. LivingCayman says:

    Shouldn’t our little island go green and find away to recycle our rubbish. Ships leave here constantly with empty containers.Work out a deal with the ships to load those ships with recycle material and sell the rubbish to a recycler. 

    Just a thought.  We already have the personell implace at the land fill to handle recycling and if not there is tons of unemployed person that would love some work.



    • John Evans says:

      As I posted earlier.

      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.

      It also goes without saying that the recycling programme would create jobs.

      One thing that really puzzles me is the fact that CIG employs (or is it employed now?) a Canadian expert on recycling to head up solid waste management.

      When I first stayed on Grand Cayman in March 1992 all the trash Metal, glass, paper, food, whatever) went in one garbage can. When I was last on island it was pretty much the same so what is the guy doing to earn his keep?

      Incidentally, WTE (like OTEC – if you remember that proposal) is one of the good ideas that doesn’t deliver the goods in real life. WTE might work very well if you are dealing with a massive population but Cayman is just too smalll to benefit from it.

      • Anonymouse says:

        It would seem that neither you or Mr. Costeau have a clue about how the local shipping companies operate. Put your garbage in their empty containers and you better be prepared to dish out big bucks or you can eat it for all they care.

        The Government is well aware of this because they do export some of the batteries and aluminum cans.

    • Anonymouse says:

      Shipping waste from here is more expensive than shipping gold from Fort Knox.

      As far as the shipping companies that do business here are concerned we could eat our dam rubbish and they could not care less, unless of course you are going to dish out big bills to pay them. Trust me I know. I have been faced with this situation for many years.

  19. Shock and Awe says:

    I was appalled when I first saw Mt. Trashmore.  This, after moving to Cayman and making enquiries about where to take my re-cyclables.  I assumed it was because of Ivan but no, I found out that’s where the rubbish had been taken for years.  Rubbish, garbage, trash, whatever you want to call it, is unavoidable and unfortunately a part of society.  Just piling it up is not a solution and never was in fact it is the most short sighted idea anyone could possibly imagine.  If not dealt with properly, eventually it will overtake you, and become the elephant in the corner.  Although Trashmore is an environmental disaster waiting to happen it is still not too late to catch up with the rest of the world and begin a comprehensive re-cycling program on Cayman. 

    Note to Premier:  You can’t go out trying to sell Cayman to the world without first dealing effectively with an eyesore like Mt. Trashmore.

    • Anonymous says:

      We hold our garbage in high esteem here in the Cayman Islands. We have even elected and appointed it to hold high office.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The lack of political will to vote in legislation in the form of the new conservation law and the lack of political will to deal with the landfill is related.

    Everyone knows the landfill is a ticking timebomb. Why do the most expensive and exotic solutions costing 100s of millions of dollars seem to be the perferred solution to Cayman problems?

    Every Expat and tourist that comes to Cayman are shocked and dismayed that recycling does not exist in the 21st century in Cayman.

    The politicians don’t have the political courage to shut down the existing landfill and create another site for the future along with mandatory recycling. But people cry out I don’t want it near me, place it with a buffer and move it now.

  21. Jensen Intasepta says:

    "…Denise Murphy, another expert in rubbish" This just about sums up our government leaders and prominent business people on these so-called (In-)Action Committees.

    Experts in Rubbish! It’s all they talk.

    Not a single solution between them, yet all well off and getting more well off by the day at the expense of the people.

    We are still waiting for this eco-friendly promise to be fulfilled and it is nearly the end of September, so time is running out.


    You are all so busy doing nothing.

  22. John says:

    When these folk figure out how they can line their own pockets, then we will see some action. Until that day, it will continue to be a "National Disgrace" and a monument to our selfish, selfish nation.

    It is ironic that the highest structure on our island is man made and stinks to high heaven.

    I mean seriously, come on you people!

    And ourPremier wants more immigration. I think not? He will turn this place into a fourth world slum country if we continue to let him run this place into the dirt.

    Who is pulling your strings?

    • Anonymous says:

      Are we negative! Put some of that energy into solutions. Life is good.

      • Call it as I see it says:

        What the hell have you been smoking? Life "could" be good if we were honest with each other and worked transparently together to find solutions to these problems. Then we would have something to pat each other on the back about and say, "Life is good".

        Being alive is wonderful for sure, but let’s improve the quality by addressing our problems.

        I propose that we….

        1. Re-institute the garbage fee collection.

        2. Put the clearance of Trashmore in the contract and outsource the whole damn thing (including collection). 5 years to clear it.


        Please take a look at this. This could be funded from garbage fees and we would be Trashmore free!

        Back to smoking that stuff! (Just kidding)

        I am an expat and I love these islands. I am not ashamed to admit it.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so right. I didn’t see the dump before the UDP came to power. 

      • Mickey Mouse Too says:

        The dump was 55 feet high at the beginning of the PPM term and when they left it was 100 feet- doubled in height….Blame PPM?? No, blame hurricane Ivan mainly and the follow up building boom.

        Let us get off the childish UDP/PPM nonsense and lets get to real contributions and solutions.

        You do not like them…they do not like you…do you even know why? Are there any real philosophical differences?…must be the perfume then.

        go do something…

    • Anonymous says:

      Your absolutely right!  The UDP caused mount trashmore, the PPM caused Global Warning, The Police is responsible for my back ache and my head hurt now so I should blame that on the Court System!

      Everyone is responsible for the country’s situation in some way or another.  We all need to come together and stop pointing fingures and start finding solutions…

  23. Ex-pat Eric says:

    Import rubbish from somewhere else and charge them. It would be a revenue generation as well as electrical power.

    Can’t believe someone in government is actually thinking about fiscal responsibility – that’s a first!

    • Anonymous says:

      There is something immoral about not dealing with one’s own trash, never mind importing the stuff.

      • Ex-pat Eric says:

        Sorry — should have clarified. It was stipulated in the article that there is not enough "trash" to validate a WTE system.

        So — allow other islands in the area to send theirs here for a fee.

        That would create the necessary demand for the WTE system as well as create a revenue stream for the government.


  24. Pauly Cicero says:

    Thumbs up to alternative solutions and reasoned discourse using realistic figures.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Has converting the landfill into a recreational area been considered? All of those parks along the turpike in FL were once landfills that have been converted to parks for public use. 

    Please see these links for more information:



    It is a coslty and time consuming initive but if Dart is really that interest make this a stipulation in the purchase agreement (granted having it available to ALL residents should also be in the fine print)

    Just food for thought…


  26. Anonymous says:

    I lived in Tuscon for several years and they are also building an eco-park to deal with their garbage. see the link here: http://tucsoncitizen.com/morgue/2008/07/23/91655-eco-industrial-park-wants-to-waste-not/.

    If the eco park that they are proposing is something like this it would provide a lot of jobs and put Cayman way ahead of other caribbean countries from an environmental perspective 

  27. Anonymous says:

    Just wondering why the landscaping debris cannot be mulched, or  turned back into soil  after it has been treated to properly decomposition? The mulch and soil can then be sold for a small profit to maintain the equipment. Additionally, all those mounds of tires can be turned to mulch with the proper equipment. The sad state the dump is in now, expecially if the tires would to catch fire, is extremely toxic.

    • The Truth is Out There says:

      The government spent a pile of money a few years ago for a tire shredder but all it does is turn a big pile of used tires into a smaller pile of shredded tires.  It does not have the ability toremove the steel so the rubber can be used for mulch and for safety purposes around playgrounds. 

    • Pauly Cicero says:

      Nice idea, but it’s the ‘turned to mulch" part that will be the sticky point.

  28. Anonymous says:

    "Denise Murphy, another expert in rubbish"


    Hahaha. Love it!

    • Anonymouse says:

      Hahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. That one really helped my lunch go down.

      What a mess  we are in.

  29. Anonymous says:

    It seems to me that we are looking at the entire big problem here which is most overwhelming. This is a huge Given the limitations on government finances maybe what would be more beneficial would be to have an overall plan and then break this plan down into a series of action events. I am specifically thinking about glass bottles. These should not go to the landfill, but rather to a glass crushing facility where the product could then be incorporated into concrete of asphalt. No paper should go to the land fill, paper and cardboard should be separated, shreeded and then composted and distributed to farmers and gardeners etc. All metals should be separated, crushed into bales and shipped for recycling when there is enough product to economically justify the cost of shipping. Also the same with aluminum cans. There could also be a small profit centre generated from this. Just a few ideas and I an sure there are many more people out there with more and better ideas.

    Public Education is also needed. As an example at least two of the supermarkets on island have a container for aluminum cans. Have you ever looked inside these containers? They are full of garbage. Quite amazing isn’t it? Not good!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Finally someone is talking about doing the right thing with Mt. Trashmore. Congratulations to the group for being WISE!

  31. Anonymous says:

     HOW ABOUT RECYCLING? Seems like an easy solution. Every household should have a recyclingbin(that seperates each item)

  32. noname says:

    I don’t really care whether Dart is backing them or not. At least someone is giving thought to this critical issue that must eventually be addressed and all credit to them.

    • Anonymouse says:

      Dart having provided a great proportion of the garbage at the landfill in the form of styrofoam should be obligated to find a solution. Unfortunately they may only be interested for the expansion of Camama Bay.

      That being the case I would certainly want to know the details of their plan for dealing with it.

      • Anonymous says:

        You can hate dart as much as you want, but what he has done in Cayman is quality and out performs places even in the states.


        Giving the dump to Dart with conditions/responsiblity would be the sensible option. He would sort out the problem and setup a recycling program and yes he would charge for it, but surely if the government charges for it and screws it up, Dart is allowed to charge for it.


        Believe it or not Dart has the largest stake/intetest in Cayman, more than any Caymanian. Even though what he has created in Cayman might be "back pocket change" for him, he has invested millions of dollars in Cayman and that has helped Cayman’s economy and Cayman now has something that far exceeds the standards of the US.

    • Anonymouse says:

      Here is a bright idea.

      Give it to Dart to fill the land required for the new Port.