DoEH still struggling with garbage issues

| 09/08/2013

(CNS): Mechanical problems with trucks and budget cuts continue to plague the Department of Environmental Health’s garbage collection service and, as a result, piles of rubbish outside condos are becoming an increasingly common site. One resident sent a photo taken at Smith Road Villas in George Town to the DoEH director asking why rubbish was allowed to mount on the street. Roydell Carter responded that the delays with garbage collection services for both for the residential and commercial customers are continuing but the trash at the complex in question was expected to be cleared the following day. (Photo by Kerry Horek)

Nevertheless, while the department recently said that the collection services are almost back to normal, technical problems with the equipment, which have been going on since the end of last year, are continuing and the department has no money for new trucks. Carter, who said there had been several press releases about the garbage, admitted that the schedule was not yet back to normal.

“This is due mainly to the high frequency of mechanical breakdowns with the old garbage trucks,” he said, explaining that the DEH and the Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services were working to resolve the issues as promptly as possible.

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  1. anonymous says:


  2. Frank says:

    If government stop giving all their money to the damn churches they may be able on afford a new truck. 

  3. Knot S Smart says:

    Unfortunately the PPM inherited this mess from the PNA, who inherited it from the UDP, who inherited it from the PPM, who inherited it from the UDP – of which Mac was the financial genius who also created the Boastwain Beach catastrophe…


  4. Anonymous says:

    If my memory serves correctly, I think we had a fairly decent garbage collection system up until about 3-4 years ago.  The garbage fees for residential collection were dropped when some other revenue raising fees were introduced.  However, we can see that the garbage collection and elimination system cannot survive without the relevant fees to support it.

    Government has to stop this ad hoc method of revenue collection.  There is so much uncertainty and fluctuations with the budget due to projections not becoming a reality.  There is only one guaranteed and sustainable way to ensure that Government has the money to operate and that is through direct taxation.  We need to drop all these add-ons here and everywhere, as these are hurting the poor people too much.  Poor people can't feed their families now and that is why there is such a high dependence on social services to supplement the shortfall.

    A (small) direct payroll tax on the high income earners of $100,000 per annum (and above) will allow Government to get sufficient revenue on a sustained basis and then they will be able to drop or lower many fees that have been added in recent years.  Small businesses are being suffocated due to the high cost of running a business.  This has been much more pronounced in the last 3-4 years.  It is not fair that when the price of gasoline goes up it affects everything in the same way.  $6 per gallon of gas does not put the same degree of hardship on a person earning $20,000 per month as it does on the person earning $1,000 per month.



    • Anonymou says:

      read the miller shaw report….gov spending on the bloated wasteful civil service is the country's biggest problem…..

  5. Anonymous says:

    Clearly planning and allocaton of resources are a significant problem here. And the manner in which the drivers operate the garbage trucks also.

    The garbage trucks are used pretty much everyday! And as such need to be maintained and replaced regularly. They also need to be operated properly….not consistently driven at full throttle/revs to move from point A to point B, usually a couple hundred feet!

    There are similar problems with the everyday use of the Ambulance Fleet and lack of timely replacements (and I wonder why the ambulances are used to shuttle personel to/from work…at the North Side Station…they should use their own vehicles to get to/from their work station). And we only have FOUR ambulances? FOUR? Far too little!

    Compare the garbage truck and ambulance fleet to the Fire Service Fleet (which are seldom utilized 'thankfully'…except occasionally to collect lunch) yet we have lots of the newest fire trucks…and regularly replaced? 

    Not to mention the Police Fleet of Dodge Chargers?

    Add to the "planning / allocation of resources" issues such as the Turltle Farm, top heavy management structure of CIG (some of these are at home, being fully paid six figure salaries, for years because of political foolishness), double dipping by some MLA's and others, settlement of lawsuits for incompetent (and possibly corrupt) decisions etc, etc, etc, and we have a very nasty situation.

    Lastly; because of the lack of political will to properly introduce and effect recycling and our own laziness to effectively stand up and demand/do better, we are making one mess after another in our beautiful Cayman Islands.

    I am however somewhat hopeful as it seems a growing number are beginning to voice our concerns and change our habits. Hopefully the new Govt. will also take these issues seriously and bring about neccessary change.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Is there a call for RoydellCarter to resign? 


    • Anonymous says:

      There is now. Roydell Carter, would you please resign and let someone who knows and cares about what they are doing take over?

    • Anonymous says:

      You all couldn't wait to get a Caymanian in that post so now you got one, damn well live with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      the civil service don't do resignations….

  7. Truthseeker says:

    Inform the public about collection times!

    I understand that budgets have been cut, that vehicles break down, and that one of the reasons that the trucks are driven so hard is because they are trying to do so much with so little equipment. Equipment costs money that we don't have.

    Informing the public costs nothing!

    The Government has at least three radio stations, and I am certain that the private stations, and Cayman 27 would be delighted to share information regarding expected collection times, breakdowns, reschedules etc.

    Most of the garbage that gets scattered by dogs, chickens etc. occurs because people put out their garbage with no clear idea when it might be collected. When collection is frequent and regular, no problem. When it is not it is VITAL that the public be informed!

    Roydell Carter, you have the power to make this happen. Do it!




  8. 6th Generation says:

    Cayman has been dirty for years. Dumping has always been a national pastime. Anyone who has been here since the 60s will be aware of the dyke roads etc being used as dumping grounds. This continues today. Just take a drive into the East End farm road or Further Rd in North Side. We were a nasty people to begin with and when you add other litter friendly nationalities to the mix, you get a filthy little island. It shouldn't be that way, but people in general are slobs. As they use it they throw it down or out the window.

    No doubt the above comments will generate a good many thumbs down. What a pity that sort of national pride cannot induce less littering and dumping.

    As for the DEH issues, the department's failure to maintain its equipment is representative of every govt department that has mechanical/heavy equipment. Just take a look at the equipment compounds of DEH, PWD, DOE, RCIP etc etc and you will see that as soon as they break a vehicle it is parked round the back and a replacement ordered. The budget problems of late simply mean that DEH has been unable to operate on a business as usual basis by ordering new trucks whenever they break old ones and, being a govt agency with an annual budget to maintain, they can't possibly fix or look after anything.


    If they don't do something fast, we will see an investation of RATS, RODENTS, and MORE FLIES… and as a result a breakout of DECEASES. The stinch is awful, and I am sure government has the money, but is spending it on the wrong things. 

    • Anonymous says:

      A breakout of "Deceases". Nasty. No known cure. Is this disease particular to the Cayman Islands? Have not come across it elsewhere..

  10. Anonymous says:

    It is disgusting to see how Cayman is quickly deteriorating into somewhat of a ghetto because of the trash/garbage overflowing everywhere you go.  Cayman has always been know as THE safest and cleanest island in the Caribbean and it is fast losing that identifier on both fronts.  I am appalled at the unsightliness and can only imagine what our tourists think when they see sights such as what was pictured and sometimes much worse and in every district.  The hea of DEH should be fired and the entire department overhauled and all personnell properly trained.  I have witnessed the collectors pick up what is in the cans but leave behind an item that my be lying right next to the container.  While garbage is supposed to be bagged it is inevitable that dogs or the human equivalent may interfer with proper disposal.  I would think the collectors would have enough interest in their job and in this beautiful island to try to help keep it that way and take that littel extra step.  I place full blame on Roydell Carter for the situation at hand because of his lack of ability to operate this department efficiently and his lack of leadership.   Lets hope he either gets trained or is releived by someone who can do this job more effectively before it gets more out of hand…It is disgusting….we are not third world but its looking more that way every day. 

    • Anonymou says:

      Another thing that makes us look like a ghetto is the large plywood billboards left over from the election back in May that are still up and a public eyesore.  Should not the Political entities that put them up be held accountable?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Is it a crime to put the garbage bins back in their holders instead of tossing them half way into the road?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Now is it just me or did I notice an increase in my garbage collections pretty much a week after ther PPM were elected, ie before any new budget had been agreed. I thought DOE were broke?… Now  a few months later we are back to slow collections again. What, have the trucks been fixed and broken again? Did the DOE think they had cash on the hip and now they don't? What's the real story here….?

    CNS: You mean DEH. Click here to learn the difference.


    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah my bad, slip of the typing finger. I have no need to be educated of the difference….



  13. Trash Metal \\m/ says:

    Is it possible that until the collection trucks are back in rotation,   the department can lease the services or trucks used by private trash/junk/waste removers? I'm sure a good price for the vehicles or hiring of companies to work with collecting the most out of hand areas can be arranged.

    Just a thought, I don't know the technicalities of such a proposal. However,  if this has been proposed in the past, at least inform the public that the department has considered such. 

  14. Anonymous says:

    The recycling people on dump road wish you all a nice day. We buy all kinds of metals and promptly ship them off island.

  15. Anonymous says:

    that's gross.

  16. Anonymous says:

    that's gross

  17. Anonymous says:

    Some of the issue seems to be that the employees want overtime.  Never fails that we have garbage pickup on long weekends when during reqular weeks nothing. I have also noticed that there are a lot of Saturday pickups and everything is very random.  Even with a reduction in trucks there should be some kind of schedule kept.  When pickup is only once a week knowing what the pickup day is is essential.  The PNA authorized new trucks…what happend with that?

    • Anon 13:35 says:

      A) No one getting overtime.

      B) Good question about the new trucks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you also noticed that this issue, a real problem for Cayman, never warrants a comment from Whodatis??

      Guess he can't blame the brits for that one…but knowing him he could at least try…


      Government is spending so much money on police officers, paying them high salaries. There are more than 400 police officers on this island. Garbage collection is serious business and I cna't see how they would them low wage… that is rediculous!

      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps the police should pick up the garbage?

        • Anonymous says:

          To:Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 08/11/2013 – 09:44                                     Well,they pick up and put away what they can,but then the DPPor Judge tosses a lot of it out on the street again.

  18. Anonymous says:

    And the flies are bloody everywhere…


    At this stage, I'd give $100 towards a new truck.

    1000 people X $100 would go a long way towards purchasing a new (or used) truck.


  19. Anonymous says:

    It is "rubbish".  As long as the Queen's head is on the currency it is "rubbish".  These ghastly Americanisms are so crass.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your comment is RUBBISH and TRASH, Who the hell cares what it is called as long as it is picked up, Take your crony a$$ back where it came from in the jolly ole UK and God save Your Queen. Bloody hell.

    • Anonymous says:

      Queens head is on the Canadian Dollar and we call it garbage.  This whole argumentis rubbish.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don't promote people who use Americanisms.  All my department's letters must be in "British English" only, or as I call it "English".  I remember one member of staff who kept wanted to refer to a "check" rather than a "cheque".  They do not work for me any longer.

        • Anonymous says:

          Pompous ass.

          • Anonymous says:

            Now that is not the way to get on is it?  "Pompous arse", please.

        • Anonymous says:
  20. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm, now that the politicians are flying economy there might be a few dollars available for essential infrastructure.


    Closing Boswains Beach would enable us to buy 5 or 10 new garbage trucks in the first year.


    Selling Cayman Airways would also help….a lot.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Selling Cayman Airways would also help….a lot." except it won't because it is not worth anything because it is a loss making white elephant.  Closing down Cayman Airways might reduce costs, bit I don't think anyone is making that case for lots of obvious reasons.

      • Anonymous says:

        Virgin offered to buy it a number of years ago.


        Properly run it has a chance of a profit.



        • Anon 13:35 says:

          As they say int he movie, "Show Me The Money". Or, in this case, an actual offer letter. Otherwise it doesn't pass the sniff test.

          • Anonymous says:

            Search the Cayman Compass archives and you will find the reference.

  21. Anonymous says:

    wow …the ppm are really sorting things out…….

    • Anonymous says:

      Yea cause UDP did such a great job before right…

      • Anonymous says:

        we all know how bad the udp were….. but what difference has the ppm made?….


    • Anonymous says:

      Recycle, Recycle!!  I have a separate bin for the vegetable matter from the kitchen, and adds it to my garden,  rarely use canned and bottled foods and you would be amazed how that has cut down on my  garbage.  Every two weeks collection is fine for me.  Try it, it works.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This whole problem also then brings up the lack of enforcement on control of your Dogs. In my West bay up scale neighborhood the dogs (not fenced as required by law) get into the trash and make a mess out of the area.

    This problem could be solved if people with pets would follow the law then the problems with trash pick up would not be so major.

  23. Anon says:

    Not letting the DOEH off the hook but If people would get their minds around RECYCLING, the piles of garbage would be reduced tremendously. Seek out places where glass and aluminum can be taken for recycling (these can be taken to Caymana Bay); plastics and cardboard can also now be taken to various places (in West Bay there is a drop off at Fosters Republix, also for aluminum cans). It just takes a little effort to separate these items from your garbage and take them to the sites. You will find that you will reduce your garbage greatly – and you will use less garbage bags and therefore save money. 

  24. Anonymous says:

    This has been going on for over 6 months…JuJu said she had ordered 2 new trucks. Where are they? Or did that money disappear too?

    • Anonymous says:

      It took a year to unstall a crosswalk by strands, the trucks will be purchased on caymanian terms and time..

  25. Anonymous says:

    This is not the first time we have had this problem, with the collection of waste.

    And like before, the cause of this stinky problem is the same. It is in the way the trucks are being operated. Have you ever listened to the way the trucks are driven in the morning, when they are on their collection routes. Do you listen to how high the trucks are being reved as they move from house to houe, in first gear?!!

    Ask any mechanic, as I am (qualified), the drivers of these trucks drive them as if they are racing from point A to point B.

    This constant hard treatment of these vehicles are wearing and destroying the engines of the trucks. There is no reason for the drivers to operate the vehicles in the manner they currently do. I guess, since it isn't their trucks or their country, they don't really give a damn.

    The next time you hear the garbage truck coming, and you will hear it before you see it, listen to how high the engine is roaring between the stops.

    Perhaps, the Director of this department could take a proactive approach and deal with this issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is Bermuda so clean and Cayman so dirty?  No litter or trash lying around in Bermuda. 

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree that Cayman is becoming dirty with litter.  People who own apartments especially need to manage their units litter.  It can be really gross around some apartments.  A lot of homeowners are very nasty too.  It should be mandatory that all property owners keep the borders of their property free of litter and weeds.  People are becoming so lazy and nasty and government needs to do their job of ensuring that Cayman is kept clean and hit these nasty people where it hurts the most – in their pockets!

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, if we look around at the islands that surrounds us, and the population of those islanders here, along with our own nasty locals, what do we expect. I was in Jamaica last year and had the opportunity to see the Prime Minister taking part in the islands 50 year indp celebrations, I could only shake my head when Portia was walking along and trash blowing at her feet.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bermudians have to obey the  law, Caymanians dont.

  26. Anonymous says:


    This is not a third word country and this situation is disgusting. Does the DEH appreciate the problems that they are going to have with rats and other possible health issues if this basic need of the community is not resolved? The worst thing I saw last week was a DEH employee adding his own trash to the overflowing dumpster and watched it fall out the overflowing dumpster and walk away. Ok he is in a different department but just summed it all up for me.