Cayman needs to clean up its act

Your editorial of 28 November highlights one of Cayman’s nastier problems.

As you say, it’s easy to blame the hurricane but in this age of Government subsidised garbage collection and a nice paved road to the dump, it is beyond belief that misguided souls are willing to go out of their way to discard garbage in the bush or on a beach.

Despite the ongoing efforts of the DEH and the many volunteer clean-up initiatives, recent years have witnessed a declining standard of personal and community pride in these islands. Witness the deplorable state of our roadsides and many private yards and commercial premises.

One can only imagine what visitors must think when they have to pick their way around fast food containers and, worse, on the beaches and other coastal areas.

But before you ask the business sector to adopt portions of the island, it will first be necessary for business to clean up its own act. Everywhere you look there is ‘business’ trash.

Construction companies, yard maintenance and debris removal operations are dumping stuff all over the place.

West Bay Road, which should be a flagship boulevard complementing the expensive properties that line it, is essentially a used car lot. Fences and palm trees from one end of the island to the other are festooned with garish banners and logos that are never removed.

Do we really need those awful little radio station and phone company placards stuck into the grass verges every few hundred feet? The rusty staples in the light poles could probably feed an industrial smelter for a week.

Cayman has always tried to market itself as an upmarket tourist destination. For that to be viable, it has to be the cleanest spot in the Caribbean. Because believe me, without mountains and waterfalls this little island has only two things to offer: safety and tidiness.

If we throw these away we can forget about being a tourist destination or, for that matter, a place where decent folk want to live and work.

Andrew Reid

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