Government gets $420,000 for scrap metal

| 07/11/2011

(CNS): The government has managed to sell some 6,000 tons of scrap metal collected from across all three Cayman Islands for $420,000. In the fifth contract in over four years regarding scrap removal, this is only the third time since Hurricane Ivan in 2004 that boats have actually left with scrap on board. The metal was collected and removed by Cardinal D Limited, which also successfully removed the last batch of scrap, paying government $300,000 on that occasion for the same 6,000 tons. The metal, which is mostly comprised of post-Hurricane Ivan cars and other debris, is headed for Tampa-based company, One-Steel.

The metal was removed from all three islands by local company Cardinal D, which partnered with the Florida-based scrap-metal  recycle company in an exercise that began last Sunday and was completed on Friday, 4 November. Fifteen local independent trucks assisted with filling the 300-foot barge, Winbuild 303, on which the material is being transported.

Cardinal D last removed scrap metal in April 2010, three years after previous attempts had been made to remove the Ivan related scrap with the now notorious Matrix company, which defaulted and left owing both government and local companies money. The Cayman-Canadian had signed a contract to pay government $1.2 million for all the post Ivan scrap but it ran into commercial difficulties and its contract was cancelled in 2007 after the company had paid only a quarter of the money it had agreed to pay and leaving behind thousands of tons of scrap.

It was not until December 2009 that government was able to attract any interest in the scrap metal after two new requests for proposals received no bids. Cardinal D, which was awarded the contract, removed the metal the following April.

In August last year another tendering process saw the bid awarded to Island Builders Co but the company’s partnership with a US firm broke down and the bid was re-tendered earlier this year and awarded to Cardinal in the summer.

Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said the removal ofthis latest batch of scrap metal will free up space at the George Town landfill. “Not only is having this scrap metal unsightly, it is dangerous to keep around for any length of time because, as Hurricane Ivan showed, debris can fly anywhere,” she added.

The scrap metal refers to all processed (baled) metal items including automobiles (such as derelict vehicles), automobile parts, appliances, furniture, fixtures, construction debris and any other items consisting primarily of a metal content, including brass, copper, aluminum, steel, tin, cast iron and any other discarded metal suitable for reprocessing.

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  1. John Evans says:

    Opportunity lost here.

    When the original scrap metal contract went out to tender in 2007 a New Zealand company with specialist experience in clearing up after events like Hurricane Ivan submitted detailed plans, including a DVD showing their operations, that would have solved a lot of the current problems.

    Their proposal (which I have seen) was not for a one-off clearance exercise but for the creation of an on-going re-cycling operation that would initially sort and remove the post-Ivan scrap metal then be run as a self-financing, sustainable re-cycling programme covering all re-usable materials. It was based on experience gained after the Cook Islands were devastated by a Typhoon.

    This option would have created long-term employment and revenue for the Cayman Islands Government who, under the proposals, would have run the operation.

    The submission was ignored, the senior civil servant to whom the material was sent never even acknowledged receipt of it. In fact this all only came to light as the Matrix fiasco unravelled and I was contacted by the company concerned but even when it was all made public nothing was done. The impression given by CIG was they weren't interested because this was NIH (not invented here) and those in power knew better.

    Even this exercise still falls far short of what could have been achieved if only someone had taken those re-cycling proposals seriously back in 2007. By selling these lots off as mixed scrap at $60 or $70 a ton you are getting a fraction of the current market value. It seems crazy that no attempt has been made to strip the more valuable materials from the heap and sell them off separately. If nothing else it would have provided work and income for some of the unemployed.

  2. Reality Calling says:

    Hey, that’s almost 2 international trips for Herr Diktater and his crew of sympathizers! Well done!

    • Anonymous says:

      Its also very close to what the Cohen loan cost us. Too bad Mac was so anxious to pay them in cash.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How much of this will be spent on Cayman Brac yard paving? Just thinking out aloud.

  4. Anonymous says:

      Why did they not get a Caymanian company the first time around?

  5. Anonymous says:

    The scrap metal may be on a barge but as of this morning it was very much still tied up in the Port!

    • noname says:

      And it's still there today, too…

    • Anonymous says:

      Still there, greeting our best cruise day for months, pretty much the only thing you can see from our two remaining Harbour Drive restaurants, and it looks like they're having to off load some of it onto another barge.  Pathetic.