Fleet problems still plague rubbish collection

| 08/01/2014

(CNS): Although the government has purchased several new garbage trucks and the minister recently promised an improvement in collection services, growing piles of rubbish and unpleasant associated smells blighted the holidays across Grand Cayman. Officials from the Department of Environmental Health said the delays to rubbish collection were down to a combination of continuing technical problems with the aging fleet and delays in the arrival of the new trucks. Issuing an apology on Thursday, the department said it was working with the Department of Vehicles and Equipment Services to get the old trucks back in service as soon as possible.

The DEH said the two new residential garbage trucks purchased during the 2012-2013 fiscal year are expected at the end of this month as a result of the severe weather conditions in the United States and other unspecififed delays. Nevertheless, it said things would improve before then.

“As an interim measure while our vehicles undergo repairs, the DEH is working with a private sector company to collect all of the uncollected garbage by Wednesday of this week,” officials stated. ”All residential customers will continue to receive garbage collection service once per week.”

DEH Director Roydell Carter, who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that rubbish is collected, said, “All commercial customers will continue to see improvements with waste collections from their premises this week, especially after the uncollected waste has been removed. As of Thursday this week, it is anticipated that commercial services will be more in line with the ‘normal’ customer requirements as the DEH continues to work with the private sector, while striving to have our own vehicles back into operation.” 

In this fiscal year’s budget (2013-2014) the department received funding for two new front loader garbage trucks, two additional residential rear loading trucks and two new Roll-On / Roll Off trucks. In addition, the DEH and DVES are now “actively working on the procurement process” to purchase and deliver these extra vehicles, which will significantly improve the overall garbage collection services,” Carter said.
However, customers will still have to hold on to their rubbish and residents are being asked not to put waste by the roadside until the relevant day in accordance with the DEH collection schedule.

See schedule here.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I don't know what is happening but around my neighbour hood it's like they dont pick up the garbage, my garbage tank has even gone missing….God knows what happened to it… They get paid to do what??? because every where you go the garbage is FULL to the max! Disgusting….

  2. Anonymous says:

    Put it out to tender. At least the skip stuff, please……..

  3. Anonymous says:

    There is an easy answer to the problem of poor public services, a local income tax or a local rates system. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am so tired of this. Driving down the road seeing the litter left, right and center……….and of course, we have a handful of people only (so it seems) trying to maintain the roads. WHEN I see them, it is only once in a blue moon and never in the afternoon (when it could be hot) or in the rain (where one could get wet). BUT obviously, as long as nobody will ever get charged for having trash blowing off their truck or tossing beer bottles out of the window, nothing will change.

    I am annoyed with so many people who put their trash out without any effort to secure it properly. The next dog, rooster or wind blow will knock everything right into the road. Of course they don't pick up their own "shit" if it has been knocked down cause it is no longer on their property.

    When the garbage has been collected it often looks worse cause the collectors just toss down the bins, leaving any lose trash to fall out and blow all over the place.

    Many of my neighbours are seemingly nasty and lazy cause their garbage crate (the ones that hold the bins) are knee high full with trash, yet nobody can be bothered to pick it up and put it inside the bins so it can be collected.

    When you call DOEH, nobody EVER answers the phones. Two rings and it goes to voice mail. No matter which of the 8 numbers listed you call. Messages will remain unanswered.

    I can't believe how many people have lost any sense or pride and responsibility for their surroundings. It doesnt' matter if you are rich or poor, educated or uneducated – I would think that keeping yourself and your place clean and tide could be achieved by anyone. Clearly no longer the case in Cayman!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yep, this is us! We want to charge first class prices for cost of living and for tourists to  visiti but look like any other third world country………..and then wonder why tourism has dropped…….

  6. Anonymous says:

    About 2 years ago or so  the old philipino men that maintained the equipment were fired by the DOE and the young caymanian men that maintained the equipment along with them just did not know enough yet. They were told that they had to go because Govt said that only locals would be allowed to do the maintance /repair job. 

     Now we have a bunch of broken equipment

    Perhaps if you begged the old men to come back and keep teaching in about 20 years or so you would not have to import the labor and you would have skilled employees of your own.

    I saw one of the old philipino men recently working at the quarry

    That said the new equipment will break and you will have to have the men from the states come in and fix it for $250 an hour plus other expenses .

    Realise when you hired the old men it was beause they knew what they were doing

  7. 4Cayman says:

    Fifth financial industry in the world  and we can't even get the garbage collection right?  Shame on the politicians, shame on DOE and shame on agriculture department for not collecting the wild dogs and chickens that have my garbage all over the street!

    • Anonymous says:

      So you are admitting that you do not have a bin with a properly fitting and secure lid?????? Shame on you.

      • Anonymous says:

        It's not like they put them back on.  I have seen them throw the garbage bins in the street even though the property had a secure area.  They also turn them upside down which is fine for residents but not fine for parks.  You can't expect a visitor to a park to put their hands on a garbage can and turn them over.  My garbage can is full of holes because they throw them so hard.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree! The littering on this Island and the garbage collection issues are completely out of control. Our major roads are constantly lined with garbage and there are many households who put garbage out in a manner where one can just see that with the next stray dog or wild rooster walking by that garbage is going to be all over the place. Also, I find that in my hood the area looks always worse AFTER garbage has been collected cause the collectors just toss the bins down and any lose garbage that was left in the bin is just all over the place. In addition, I seem to have quite a few nasty neighbours where lose garbage piles up in the  bin's holding box (mainly the wooden crates) and nobody can be bothered to put it actually INSIDE the bin so that it is collected during the next pick up. The way a lot of people on this Island have lost any respective for their surroundings and themselves is just mind boggling. It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor, educated or not, one would think that being clean and tidy can be achieved by all!

      BTW – I have been trying to call DOEH for ages and no matter which number you call, nobody picks up! I have also left messages which have never been returned. Clearly some of those people who work in that dept also don't seem to have any pride in what they are doing for a living cause otherwise they would be on the ball. In addition, I have NEVER seen anyone picking up litter along the road in the afternoon or when it rains. I guess this can only be done in the morning cause we wouldn't want to sweat or get wet, right?

  8. Anonymous says:

    How many times is that excuse going to be used?  Seems that's always the case no trucks if they weren't wrecking the engines speeding cross the collection then throwing the truck back in reverse we might have some trucks.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It is past time for the collection of commercial trash collection (and the associated skip rental) be turned over to the private sector. Several companies would arise and compete, providing a much better service. As there is no longer a "garbage fee" to pay to government, the government should simply get out of providing this service. No front loading or grabber trucks to purchase, less employees (who can work for or form the new companies if they wish), customers have a choice, etc. Every commercial establishment and accomodation complex with more than 3 units should be rquired to have a skip.

  10. Anonymous says:

    it is ABOUT time to do full recycling program. it is a joke for cayman islands which is 5th biggest banking while third world countries do recycling better than small mind cayman government.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is recycling on island Has been for many years.

      There are over 100 recyclers also on the island that collect material and get paid for it

        There are also 6 recycling companys on island

      Many millions of pounds of recycled material are shipped off island every year

      No Batterys go into landfill

      No AC,s go into landfill

      Most office equipment goes  Same for pallets and cardboard

      So perhaps if you want recycling go down dump road and get paid for the stuff you want

      recycled there are 5 recyclers set up along dump road to recieve your material


      • Anonymous says:

        Problem is that people are not forced/enticed to recycyle as it is done in other countries.

        For example, I don't know why restaurants are still allowed to use those "one-time-use" crappy plastic cups and dishes instead of being forced to use reusable dishes. Surely, in this day and age there are plenty options of high quality plastic dishes if glass/porcelan is an issue.

        We need to find a way to implement a deposit system where one pays 10Cents or so extra per glass bottle and gets is reimbursed once returned to the store. All restaurants and bars should recycle glass bottles by now. Shame on the ones who are not………..(same goes for households).

        • Anonymous says:

          It seems obvious why restaurants are allowed to use styrofoam and plastic one-time cups. Just think about it….

      • Anonymous says:

        I am talking about full recycling program mean every houshold, every hotels, every business include all government building do recyle their own trash in different colour bins which can be collect by trash guys. it work other countries.

  11. Anonymous says:

    By building a simple compost bin, and using the recycling bins available around the island, our garbage output has been nearly halved. We put out 2 13-gallon bags per week for a family of four (plus pets!) Our daily garbage output fits into a half-gallon cardboard milk carton. And the compost turns into fertile soil within a couple of months.

    It is so easily done. It's a shame that recycling hasn't yet been made mandatory..

    • Anonymous says:

      every strata should have compost bins…… which could then in turn be used to improve landscaping………….

  12. Got My Junk In My Trunk says:

    Oh dear, it appears Wednesday has come and gone and the promise of collection has yet again not  materialised. Anyone been fired yet? Gross incompetence at its finest. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    the usual incompetence from CIG and the civil service…….

    time for ossie to consider his position…..

  14. Anonymous says:

    don't worry…alden says the worst is behind us……zzzzzzzzzz