Ozzie vows dump solution

| 14/08/2013

(CNS): The minister with responsibility for environmental health has made a promise that he will address the ever growing problem of Grand Cayman's dump, known as Mount Trashmore. While admitting that the George Town landfill presented a significant challenge to government, Osbourne Bodden is committed to solving the garbage problem on site with a combination of waste-to-energy and recycling. Despite the repeated failure of governments to address the issue over the last fifteen years, Bodden said the project was definitely “do-able”. He said it would be remediated through a process of mining but it could take as long as two decades to clear the giant pile of trash.

“Unless we get started, it won’t ever get done,” Bodden said, as he vowed to start addressing the problem during this administration. “I don't make idle promises,” the minister added, making it clear, once again, that the controversial proposal by Dart to move the dump to Bodden Town was no longer in consideration.

Speaking at the PPM meeting on Saturday, where the minister offered a review and update of what is a very diverse ministry, Bodden said that despite government budget restraints, something had to be done about the aging fleet ofgarbage trucks. With the Department of Environmental Health spending more time repairing its trucks than driving them, Bodden said it was a case of diminishing returns.

“We will improve the fleet of garbage collection vehicles as it is an old fleet; some are more than fifteen years old,” he said. “We are now at the point where we are spending more to maintain the existing trucks that it would be to buy new ones, and with the help of the finance minister we are going to get some new vehicles and we will improve the service.”

With collection schedules still badly disrupted, Bodden described the current situation as a “disaster” with so much of the fleet out of action for much of the time.

Despite the major problems he faces with environmental health, Bodden had more positive news from the sports department after a great success for Cayman at the Island Games in Bermuda and the opening of the CONCACAF tournament, which both bode well for the future of sports tourism.

Meanwhile, although there are many complex issues to get to grips with in the ministry’s primary area of health, Bodden said he would continue with the previous minister’s focus on preventative care and customer service, as well as finding ways to cut the tremendously high health costs. Bodden spoke about the massive bad debt of almost $15 million a year that the hospital has to grapple with as an illustration of the difficulties facing government when it comes to healthcare.

He pointed to future changes, including a major international health care partnership, as well as the donation by the Seafarers Association of a  medical ‘robot’ at the hospital. This will enable patients to receive specialist healthcare from overseas while actually being a patient at the local hospital, which is expected to save a significant amount of public money.

Bodden revealed that he has opened talks with the Cayman’s leading psychiatrist, Dr Mark Lockhart, and asked him to submit recommendations regarding a policy on mental health, as the current situation was a major area of concern.

“We need to find a much more suitable way to deal with our people who need help,” he said, stating that sending them away was wrong. “We need to help them here.”

The new HSA board is now in place but the minister said the details of the new membership have not yet been revealed.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Local News

About the Author ()

Comments (45)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

     The solution was to dump all of that stuff from the Hyatt behind the old dredge In the back of the marl pit. Go down sparkey drive all the way back and see the solution

  2. Philo the Philosopher says:

    Some twenty odd years ago we approached the then Minister for Environment with a proposal from the owner of a major recycling plant in Canada which would have saved us all these discussions and frustrations which we are having today about what we should do with Mount Trashmore. The thought of  making a presentation to government, came about, after having had private discussions with this gentleman, who had taken the time to explain the pluses and minuses of this  recycling machinery!  Upon hearing this information it was  decided to make an appointment with the minister under whose portfolio this fell, and to do a  presentation stressing the important aspects of the equipment . This would be done verbally along with some printed material describing the system, and also stressing that recycling was a The Major component of this equipment!  

    Having gotten an appointment  we were elated to say the least and made sure we were there minutes before the appointed time. After the usual handshakes and greetings, we made our presentation! To say that the proposal was greeted with less than enthusiasm would be an understatement. However having finished the presentation we left hoping {in spite of  gut feelings} that we would hear from them, telling us they wanted to hear more from the owner of the company stressing specific details about the equipment. It never happened!!

    The saddest thing about this story is, that Government would not have had to purchase this equipment  because the owner would have gladly given Government the equipment, in exchange for revenue generated from the sale of recycled material for a specified number of years, which would have been negotiated by the two parties. But instead!  Well you know the rest of the story.

    So we're hoping that the present government  will realize that we cannot continue putting off this important project. And if we start soon we can still accomplish the goal we all want to see:

    The Undoing of  "MOUNT TRASHMORE"

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ome simply and ignored question…HOW WILL GOVT PAY FOR THIS??????

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday there was heavy rain  and AGAIN there was a foul smell ALL OVER the Island

    Happens a lot latelty when it rains, perhaps acid rain or maybe "sour underground" no doubt from G.T. dump !!!  no wonder cancer is high

    Tell Dart to take the dump ( for free) and let's get new facility in Midland as planned !! ( for free)

  5. David Shibli says:

    If garbage needs to be dumped, let it be dumped in a suitably lined repository. If we are a nation that relies on a healthy marine ecosystem, the worst place we can dump garbage is in a place where chemicals leech into the North Sound. We are killing our future, surely?

    • Weapons Grade Bollocks says:

      I believe the Brac had the only lined facility, but it collected water and was duly pierced so that it would drain.

      We are beyond help when it comes to garbage.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Watch carefully as a different clown from the same circus does the same thing with the same results.  Its really too bad Caymanian pride keeps them from hireing and letting Non Caymanians fix what they have proven time and time again they can't.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You think it smells bad now? That's just the top layer. Wait till they mine it out. This solution has been announced out of nowhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      People who live in George Town or who rely on tourism for a living really need to band together and protest this decision. This is the biggest mistake Cayman will make in a generation if the government is allowed to start mining the dump. It is completely insane and will have unbelievable negative environmental effects. I thought the days of decision made by whim were over now that McKeeva is gone, but obviously I overestimated the PPM. Where's the environmental impact assessment for doing this? How did Ossie come to this decision without any public consultation after just two months in office. Truly unbelievable. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Spoken liek a true expert…now tell us why instead of making bland statements

        • Anonymous says:

          Try doing your own research and don't be so lazy.  Just Google landfill mining dangers.  

  8. Anonymous says:


    I'm sorry, I didn't catch the name of the world-class Fortune 500 engineering firm that Minister Osborne is relying upon for his EIA assessment.  So far, I think we only have one from Cardno ENTRIX:  

    "Cardno ENTRIX conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a proposed Waste Management Facility (WMF) in Bodden Town, Cayman Islands, that will replace the existing George Town landfill. The proposed 110 acre facility will include a lined landfill and extensive site improvements including systems to collect and treat leachate and stormwater. The project will provide a significant improvement to the existing George Town facility which is an unlined landfill with no treatment of discharges from the site. The existing landfill has been a source of air and water quality problems for Grand Cayman over the past 20 years.

    Cardno ENTRIX has evaluated the WMF site to assess potential environmental impacts and provide technical input on possible mitigation measures that may be used to offset any impacts. Through the EIA, our team assessed potential ecology, noise, vibration, and air quality concerns, in addition to socio-economic considerations and geological and hydrogeological evaluation of the study area. The EIA has helped us clearly identify recommendations on environmental monitoring protocols."


    • Anonymous says:

      I've never heard of anything so ludicrous. Digging up that mountain is going to release a huge amount of toxins, and then burning it? Next to a school for gods sake, not to mention the main tourist centre and people's homes.  Burning trash releases cancerous chemicals into the air. No sensible person would propose that in the middle of a capital city!

       This is a disaster for cayman, Georgetown and our children who will pay the price with their health.

      Waste to energy= incineration of rubbish albeit at very high temperatures. There will always be residual, highly toxic ash and gas released into the air. The health implications are ther to read on the Internet.

      This minister is totally bonkers, why is he ignoring the advice given to the government during the last few years from independent consultants who all stae that a new landfill site is required and that waste to energy would not work at the current space due to lack of space( ie too close to the population)

      We in Georgetown have been putting up with this health hazard for years, it is really unfair to make us suffer for the next 20.  


      By the way waste to energy is not energy efficient – look it up ! It is just a fancy name for burning rubbish!!!!!!!


      • Anonymous says:
  9. Anonymous says:

    Airburners , Recycling, Composting. are 3 pieces of the puzzle that are needed to fix your trash problem and it wont take 2 decades.

      I could have a system up and running in no time, at very little cost. I bet i could remove MT Trash in less than 3 years.

    That said there are more than 3 pieces to the puzzle and they all work together  


    • Anonymous says:

      I will believe the experts, and not you. 

    • Anonymous says:

      What all of you are missing is the following:

      1. Not ALL junk in dump can be used for energy or recycling.

      2. Most of the contents, maybe as much as 40-50% is wet and degraded to point of having no energy content.

      3. The risk of fire and explosions is extremely great sorting through that dump due to the level of methane in it.

      4. The current dump is UNLINED and therefore continously dumping leachate into the water table and the North Sound- it will continue to do so even after being mined.

      There are many other issues but the point here is that there is NO MAGIC PILL for the dump, especially where it is now. Moving it is the best long term solution for these islands but it looks like politics hasgotten in the way….it will just be a bigger problem for our children to solve years from now.

      • Anonymous says:

        @18;45  1. 93% of all waste can be recycled 2. wet and degraded material is still useful and can be further processed 3. Our landfill is not a methane time bomb there is almost none 4.i almost agree with you except after the landfill is dug out to bedrock the seepage will be minimal

      • Anonymous says:

        To:Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/15/2013 – 18:45.                             You conclude that "Moving it is the best long term solution " but immediately before that you say"The current dump is UNLINED and therefore continously dumping leachate into the water table and the North Sound- it will continue to do so even after being mined."My questions are;How are we going to move it without mining it?Or how are we going to line it without moving it?How will we stop the leaching if and when it is moved?

  10. Anonymous says:

    And your going to do it all without outside help.  Most people have stopped beliveing that Government has the ability to follow through.  Show us a sign.  Even a little one.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Here is a website that lists all the acheivements the PPM will manage in the next few years.


    • Anonymous says:

      Priceless, the first thing I've read on here that is actually truthfull..

  12. Anonymous says:

    Any solution has to address the public health concerns engendered by what we know about the status quo. Without that, it will have no credibility and be seen just as a way to force a campaign promise to fit a complex issue.

  13. Anonymous says:

    How do they pay for it all? 16-20 years of stench along the WB rd and GT is not a sensible solution. Can we please hear something from DOE that makes sense and is sustainable

    CNS: You mean DEH. See here for the difference.

    • David Shibli says:

      A permanent remedaition would involve a concrete covering and a gas flue. A temporary remediation would involve a plastic covering, a gas collection system and a removal system. Either we have a big dump covered in concrete with a gas flue or we have a clean piece of land with no more leeching into the North Sound. The North Sound could arguably be renamed as the breadbasket of Cayman. Why are we destroying it with chemicals? Can I invite some ocean/reef experts to comment on this? I am by no means an expert, but I love this planet. After all, it's the only one we've got. – All the best, David

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have most of the solution to the trash problems in cayman and until I am called you will just make a  bigger mess than you have  Tim

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, but the big problem with the bodden town plan apparently was lack of consultation – now we have this plan to MINE for 20 YEARS!!! When did george towners get a say???!!!!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Do we seriously want to be digging into that combustible pile of unsorted garbage??? No-one truly knows what's in there! Cracking open that heap is going to stink up seven mile and George Town like you won't beleive .. like opening the lid of a giant diaper pail, ugh.

  17. David Shibli says:

    Ossie, you are absolutely right. The answer is indeed in a combination of waste-to-energy and recycling. Once recycling kicks in, the need for waste to energy will diminish. There are barge solutions that can move in and move out as needed. I wish you all the best with this. Cayman needs a real solution. Otherwise those cruise ship hustlers can start renting gas masks to the brave passengers who walk to 7MB and back on Tuesdays through Thursdays.  

    • Anonymous says:

      There's only one problem and that's that Ossie is wrong.  He's saying that they are going to mine the dump for a period of up to two decades. Do you think that when they open decaying garbage up to the open air during the mining process it's going to smell like roses. You'd better get those gas masks ready now because there's going to be a 20-year need for them!

      • SSM345 says:

        Worse than the smell is digging up a mess that has been smouldering / combusting for how long? Feed it some oxygen and……..Kaboom!

      • David Shibli says:

        Does it smell like roses now? You can see 20 years into the future? Give Ossie some credit for stepping up to the plate, Anonymous Prophet. Ossie, as long as you move forward to solve this problem, the majority of the people will support you, and that I believe is democracy. Cue the thumbs one way or the other.

    • Anonymous says:

      The cruisers will be actually renting 'smoke masks' when the methane in that dump blows up during mining!  It will burn for months as our fire department will be unable to contain it with the current aparatus it has…so actually, Ozzie is wrong unfortunately.

  18. Anonymous says:

    When the new trucks arrive, make sure you have trained and qualifed drivers to drive them.   The problem with the vehicles, has always been novice drivers.  The drivers should understand that those vehicles should be cared and cleaned regularly.  If there is no vehicle to drive there will be no pay.

    Care and proper driving skills are the answer.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Less  consumption and more recycling is the only solution.

  20. Anonymous says:

    WIll be great as long as it is translated into action without bursting the budget… 

  21. Anonymous says:

    The recycling people on dump road wish to remind you that you may bring your metals for recycling during normal business hours. We are located in the wharehouses across from the barber shop. Look for our white trucks that say We buy Scrap Metal

  22. Anonymous says:

    why can't you do waste to energy and recycling at bodden town?…then it would be a win-win…..

  23. Anonymous says:

    Minister Osborne, Simple question…… how are you going to stop the LEACHATE pouring into the North Sound from the current site??? When you can let me know the answer I will be happy to listen. Until then you need to think of Cayman as a whole and not just impossible campaign promises made and the next reelection.

    • Anonymous says:

      How was the other plan going to stop leachate? That was never answered either. (Along with: who has responsibility for it, the people who dumped it (Gov.) or the people who now own the land (Dart)?)

      Now, I don't care which plan we go with but I agree it should address leachate. And 'mining' the existing dump would, conceivably, do so. (Dig out the garbage, process it better in to lined pits somewhere, and nothing left to leach.)

    • Anonymous says:

      You can not stop the leachate. The dump does and will leach – the choice is, allow it to leach ad infinitum or get as much as you can out of the dump starting now anddestroy it – gasify it, turn it into electricity. We have not done proper testing on the soil, the water or our air. Testing needs to start NOW and continue throughout the process. We need a base line. We need to know when mining activities have uncovered higher levels of toxins. Otherwise there is no way of knowing whether we are progressing, whether the mining has released more or reduced levels toxins into the sound, soil or air. 

      Understand, dump mining will release some toxins, rain will fall, leaching will take place, air will stink. The toxins are there – they will release regardless. Better to deal with it than to sweep it under a perpetual methane generating rug and pretend it is not there. 


    • Anonymous12 says:

      I must say, mining the dump is one of the worst ideas I have ever heard of.  What about the buildup of explosive gases?  Let say an excavator is digging the dump and hits a pocket of gas, the first hazard is the gas itself which could easily suffocate you, then the risk of explosion would could easily blow the excavator off the mountain, killing the operator, sparking a huge fire and release huge clouds of toxic smoke into a densely populated area.

      Secondly. 20 years? You must be joking. No government is going to see that through to completion.  

      And like12:43 said, what about the leachate that is continously poisoning one of our best natural assets, the North Sound?  All that rain in the past few days, guess what, probably nearly all of the surface runoff ended up in the Northsound and what didnt is percolating down into the ground water. 

      Get out the chelation kits folks.

      The best idea was to cap it, capture the landfill gas to create energy and build the recycling and waste management facility somehere else.  Start fresh and limit the risk of accidently exposing someone or all of us to toxins.  Only the fools who want to mine it for money are supporting this very stupid idea.