DEH warns public to stop littering

| 14/01/2014

(CNS): As the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) continues the battle to keep up with Grand Cayman’s waste collection due to ongoing mechanical problems with its aging fleet of trucks and delays in the arrival of new ones, it is warning people to stop littering. Officials said that an increased amount of litter was being seen on beaches and picnic spots and reminded the public that littering is illegal and that offenders may be prosecuted. The government rubbish collectors also stated that people throwing garbage from moving vehicles were adding to the litter problem, as were workers in landscape companies who, the DEH said, are blowing garden waste onto the streets instead of collecting and bagging it.

“The DEH has noticed an increase in litter along the beaches and public areas,” said DEH Director Roydell Carter. “We are asking for assistance from the public in keeping these areas clean by collecting and disposing of waste after using these areas.”

The allegations by the department come in the wake of concerns from the wider public that garbage is piling up in the streets of Grand Cayman during the peak tourist season because of problems with collection. Beach garbage is washed up on local beaches  from a number of sources, not least the George Town landfill, as well as boats and even cruise lines.

However, hoping to clamp down on random littering, the officials asked those who witness others not properly disposing of their rubbish to report the offenders to the police. Under the Litter Law, convictions can result in $500 fines, and / or imprisonment.

For more information, please contact DEH at 949-6696.

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  1. TCM29 says:

    Do you realize how simple it would be to create a method of marking all imported (you import everything) bottles, cans, and containers with a symbol that would pay a .05 return at a recycling center? People would go out of their way to retrieve discarded items that pay to return. Just add the price on the front side of the product. Anyone dumb enough to buy bottled water, soda or beer in the first place won't care anyway. I know your brewery Caybrew already has a return system in place, which is good. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    "This is no longer my island: the Expats have taken over. Therefore I don't care."


    "This isn't my home: the Caymanians hate me and want me to leave. Therefore I don't care."


    Both statements could be true. But neither are they a viable excuse.


    Don't be a slob because there IS no excuse.



  3. Anonymous says:

    My barking mad dog picks up all my garbage…..sooooooooo there………

  4. Anonymous says:

    People get paid to pick up garbage along the road.

    So i was told by a man who was friends with the people that pick up the trash .I personally couldn't believe it when he threw his go box out the window. That was his reason for doing so.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Let's hope this initiative from DEH is effective. The island is despicable with all the litter. If people don't want to keep garbage in their car until  they reach home and dispose of it properly what makes them think that the caring public want to see it on the sides of the roads?

    There is an anti-littering law in exitence which carries a fine of CI$500.00. If the police would themselves stop littering long enough they could probably arrest a few people and help fill the Government coffers.

    And another thing….households and apartment buildings should be compelled to make sure that their bins are sufficiently secure so that dogs and chickens cannot overturn and drag the garbage all over th place.

    Yours for a cleaner an better smellnig Cayman once again. Cat wait!


  6. Anonymous says:

    I have personally seen people throwing garbage out their car window while parked at the airport park on lunch.  The big waste collector bin is right there but still they do it.  The mentality of some people that litter is "someone is paid to pick that up".  Garbage is disgusting and unattractive is any scene.  People need to just stop thinking the wrong way and be responsible.

  7. Anonymous says:

    On 26 December a group of cruise shippers got up from SMB Publc Beach, & walked off with their towels etc., leaving a ring of empty beer cans around where their towels had been. Scum. I only noticed when they'd gone. Other beach users picked them up, & we left the beach tidy, but too often I see Residents do the same thing.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Littering here is shocking. People (mostly locals) just leave things on the beach and walk away.  Makes me sick.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am soooooooo offended by your comment! How on earth did you come to the conclusion that littering is mainly done by locals, and what indicator do you use to determine if someone at the beach or driving down the road and littering in the process is "local" ????



      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's always those damn foreigners. Well let me tell you something: I don't see foreigners camping on the beach at Easter. I do see the mess that that's left after camping every single year and have been part of a beach clean-up crew after Easter to clean up the disgusting mess that was left, and I mean truly disgusting. You can be soooooooooo offended all you want, but you should be offended by the selfish disrespect for others shown by your fellow countrymen and not by someone speaking truth that happens to hurt.

      • Anonymous says:

        For we have eyes and can see 11.30..touched a button, didn't it? Always expect a reaction from the guilty…I personally have witnessed "locals" up and around Tikki beach having their parties in the woods their and the mess they leave is disgusting!! Take it home you filthy pigs!! Not saying visitors and expats dont do it, but the most blatantly obvious is local. 

      • Anonymous says:

        becuase I Know who they are !!!! They're there all the time same group..

      • Anonymous says:

        Have you ever been to the beaches that are frequented by "locals" on the weekends, such as Smiths Cove and Public beach? It is disgusting, riddled with garbage and chicken bones. I wont even go to them anymore, its such a travesty. Of course it is not just Caymanians that litter but I think its definitely more of the majority. Ive sat in my car at the supermarket or Cost U Less and watched as they they take trash out of the carts and just throw it on the ground. Its seriously shocking, I would never throw trash on the ground. 

      • Anonymous says:

        By direct observation. And when I ask them to pick up their litter and they tell me it's their country and I have no right to tell them what to do, or to "go back where I came from" etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who you describing as locals?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Littering, as with illegal and drunk driving, is yet another demonstration of a lack of respect for others, the environment and anything else. Part of that is pure laziness but the main part is lack of enforcement. Part of it is absolute stupidity and intelligence or education. Whichever way you look at it, it's a disgrace!

  10. Anonymous says:

    when was the last time a press release solved anything????

    look up the stats the number of littering fines…….

    just enforce the laws and the problem will be solved.


    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly I phone the DEH numerous times on a repeating offender and they wouldn't even come out. I even phoned the RCIP to get them to enforce it and wouldn't either. This offender was pollution SMB with a substance that could kill to marine life if ingested and nothing was done. Completely a joke I've lost all respect for the government here…banana republic at best. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    Must be time to ban the Easter camping on the beaches.  Turning Cayman's beaches into a refugee camp for the end of the tourist season is bad enough, but the litter left behind by these people is a disgrace.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The Garbage collectors also need to stop littering when collecting garbage from people's' home. And destroying home owners waste bins when throwing them down instead of placing the bins back inside of the receptacles. I've seen them throw the garbage bins so hard the cause the bottoms of the bins to crack/burst wide open rendering the waste bins completely useless. They also have a nasty habit if leaving your garbage pen gates unlocked which allows stray dogs and cats to drag the debris which they left behind all of the place. Clean up your act DOE before you ask the public to do so.  I'm tired of cleaning up behind your collectors and replacing bins way too often. I pay $100.00 for a Rubbermaid garbage bins x 3 to have you guys destroy them the way you do. 

    • Anonymous says:

      In the UK, the garbage collectors generally do a great job, and most people will wait for them around Christmas to give them a few pounds to thanks them for their efforts in a job most would not want to do. They have the self respect to do what they do well and it was always appreciated, certainly by me.

      If I did not rent here and had my own garbage bins, I would be leaving them a bill for rubbish bins and for having to clear up their mess! A change in attitude might serve their own pockets well.

      • Anonymous says:

        Depending on where you live in the UK, the "bin men" also collect a large part of your recycling.

    • Anonymous says:

      Privatisation would sort this out, because it would introduce financial accountability.

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree and I have reported this to the DOE a long time ago. The road I live on is lined with litter AFTER the DOE picks up the garbage because they are throwing the bins down and every bit of loose garbage comes out and is all over the place.

      That said, people really need to stop being nasty and cheap and have their garbage in garbage bags and secured properly! It annoys me to pieces when people throw down garbage bags on the ground, just so it can be torn apart by dogs and chickens. Also, why continue to throw lose garbage into the garbage pen (that holds the bins) if you know it won't be picked up unless it is in a bag? Some of my neighbours have half of the pens filled with lose garbage and balance the bins on top of it!

      It is really disgusting how little people care nowadays and this is not an issue of rich or poor, educated or ignorant. Everyone should have some common sense and pride in their surroundings, but I guess some people don't mind pulling up to a pile of rat infested litter every day!

      • Anonymous says:

        We "loose" or mislay things in many posts, and now we read about how we put "lose" things in the garbage. Spell check please!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Good luck with this one!! It is a good cause, but not one that is taken seriously.

    Cayman version of recycling is to bury it into the sand. Part of my job is to clean up the trash that is left daily by local fishermen in front of our workplace, and I consitently see the same trash coming from offshore and from lazy locals that could care less about what they leave behind.

    We have even offered garage bins to be placed near the fishing parties, but still every morning we pick up buckets full of trash from the beach. They tell me that ignorance is bilss… God I wish I were ignorant then!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Some Caymanians think they are entitled to litter. I'm serious.  They believe that it's their right to litter and that it's the job of some low paid expat to come pick up after them. I've seen some of the locals here do things that I've never seen an indigenous people do in any of the 40 countries I've been to or lived in over the years. How can a people take so little pride in the way they treat their own country? 've found it really shocking to be quite honest. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow – it blows my mind that people conclude for some sort of reason that littering is mainly done by locals. I guess you must have some sort of sensor installed that tells you the nationality of the person who throw the Soda can out the window of their car!

        But perhaps you just getting off on stiring up once again an expat/locals debate……..

        • Anonymous says:

          Interesting deflection, and while you are the one who read "mainly done by locals" into the first comment, I would suggest that people coming from North America and Europe, who have been conditioned for decades and decades that litering is wrong, aren't the ones doing the bulk of littering. On the contrary, I see these people picking up the trash of others quite often. Then of course you have high numbers of residents coming from other areas – Jamaica, the Philippines, India, Honduras etc – and while they may be less conditioned about littering being bad, they tend to be in economic brackets that don't afford them cars from which to throw soda cans through the window.  No, I actually think the bulk of littering is in fact done by Caymanians who just don't care. I applaud any effort the DoEH or anyone else has to try and educate the local populace from a very young age that littering is selfish and wrong.

          • Anonymous says:

            I am sure you think so but that just reflects your own prejudice.  

        • Anonymous says:

          Well this morning I had to shout at an individual who walked by and proceeded to urinate on the side of the road.  I am tired of these nasty people who bring their dirty traits to the island.  Directly across from where he was, is a n "No Littering " sign.   I am tired of having to go out and pick up bags of litter thrown out into the bush in Bodden Town.   The people who litter have no pride and are used to littering where they come from.  How are we going to get this situation under control?  DOE need to get out and check on the Yards and see how untidy some of them are.  Years ago the sanitary inspector would visit each district, inspecting properties.  We need someone to try and educate the people on sanitation and how importation it is health-wise.

          DOE should insist on householders securing garbage properly before it is put out for collection.  There are times when the garbage bags are thrown by the roadside, and the dogs make a real mess of the area.  To avoid this unsightly situation, put your garbage into the proper container with a cover, so animals will not be able scatter it around.

        • Anonymous says:

          It's not rocket science. It's easy to tell if a car is local – just look at the colour of the number-plate. If it's a local car, there's a good chance that it's driven by a local, though it may be driven by their guest. Likewise, if you share a beach with someone, it's relatively easy to tell where they come from, just by listening to their accent. You can also look at the amount of equipment that people bring with them to the beach – if it's more than a suitcase-full, they didn't come off a cruise ship or aeroplane. Then again, the area can tell you a lot – away from the tourist areas, it's highly likely that any garbage lying in the street comes from someone local (and I include all residents, whether expats, paper Caymanians or "sons of the soil" in the phrase "local", just in case you're feeling chippy about this).

    • Anonymous says:

      While I agree with your frustration in regards to littering in general, let's just agree that littering isn't just done by locals.

      If you feel strongly about this, I encourage you to report this to the police as littering is an offense, but you will need to be prepared to appear as a witness in court………and that is exactly the problem! Unless someone is finally charged with a littering offense, and penalized accordingly, the litter will continue to be all over the place as people in general nowadays seem to be nasty and don't give a shit.

      BTW – the sign posted at the Newlands by-pass in regards to littering being illegal is a joke! Unless you stand right in front of it, you can't even read what it says, never mind trying to read it while driving past.

    • Anonymous says:

      When Cayman was populated mostly by Caymanians it was exceptionally clean.

      • Anonymous says:

        You're right, of course, but when Cayman was populated mostly by Caymanians there were very few packaged consumer goods and the people here then had much stronger values than the young people do today. It's actually very sad.

      • Anonymous says:

        Probably older generation, your young louts today are the worst offenders today and that is not just as far as garbage goes, but attitudes to everything from work to life "we are entitled, you are not, ergo we can do what we like and damn the consequences. " Jamaica, here we come.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Didn't governemnt increase import duty from 20% to 22% to account for garbage collection? That was the excuse anyway. Dont bitch about an aging fleet, you should have the money to replace it ten times over, and then some!

  15. Anonymous says:

    What an insensitive release from DEH. I have not had my garbage picked up since Saturday 4th January. I am not littering but things are getting desperate.It's like the dog poisoning controversy. Desperation when no action is taken to help leads people to commit anti-social acts.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I  truly  despise two types of people: dishonest politicians and those who disrespect their fellow man, as well as Nature's landscapes, beaches, reefs and wildlife with their nastiness and trash. Neither deserve to to call his beautiful island home.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why are all those restaurants and bars still allowed to use "one-use" plastic cups and dishes? Why are they not forced to use reusable plastic items?

      Why are there no insentives offered for hotels and restaurants to ensure that at least their glass is recycled or why can't we work out a deposit system where the bottles need to be returned to the store or a collecting facility?

      Remember when a charge for a plastic bag was introduced and how so many people thought they couldn't cope. They had to learn and where before a shopper with reusable bags at the cash register was sticking out like a soar thump, the shopper who still buys 20 plastic bags per shopping trip is the odd one out. Government should further encourage the use of reusable bags by increasing the import duty on those nasty one-use plastic bags so high, that all stores are forced to charge a hefty price per bag.

      Unfortunately, Government together with businesses will need to have some mandatory programs in place because people will not do what needs to be done unless they feel it in their wallet. Also, on a trip to Costa Rica 3 years ago, I saw that all hotels and resorts have recycle bins around their properties and guest are encouraged at the check in to use the recycle bins for glass/plastic/paper etc. Why can't this be done in Cayman?????