An official Cayman Islands Government delegation recently toured two Waste-to-Energy facilities in the state of Massachusetts.
The purpose of the trip was to assess various methods of trash disposal. The WTE facilities reduce municipal solid waste by combusting it into clean, renewable energy.
Their power plants are equipped with pollution control equipment capable of meeting the most stringent United States Environmental Protection Agency standards and much of the combusted trash residue can be reused in products such as concrete blocks, asphalt pavement and aggregate, states a GIS press release.
The delegates toured the Pittsfield Resource Recovery Facility and the Pioneer Valley plant.
Pittsfield is capable of handling 240 tons of solid waste daily and includes a comprehensive recycling drop-off and processing facility. The larger Pioneer Valley facility is capable of handling 408 tons of trash and of generating 9.4 megawatts of electricity each day, of the electrical output, 7.5 megawatts are sold to a local electricity company.
‘With a WTE facility on-island, we could reduce the country’s daily solid waste, as well as produce additional valuable resources and I intend to push forward with this initiative as we cannot and should not continue to dispose of our solid waste in the manner that we have been doing. It is our intention to augment WTE with a robust recycling programme that will demand and bring about changes in peoples world views,’ said. Mr. McLean.
West Bay representative Mr. Anglin said the trip was a positive and productive fact-finding mission and he would encourage the Government to pursue this initiative as it will assist in developing a more environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.
Presently some 900,000 tons of refuse occupy the George Town Landfill and on average, the Cayman Islands produces 458 tons of trash daily, totalling 163,475 tons per year.
A WTE recycling facility has an estimated 35 per cent trash reduction rate, which could reduce the country’s trash load to 300 tons per day, while also producing extra resources.
The group comprised Minister of Communications, Works and Infrastructure Mr. Arden McLean, Permanent Secretary Mr. Carson Ebanks, Department of Environmental Health Director Mr. Roydell Carter and Assistant DEH Director Mr. Sean McGinn. Accompanying the CWI core officials were members of the Legislative Assembly, which included Ms Lucille Seymour, Mr. Alfonso Wright, Mr. Cline Glidden and Mr. Rolston Anglin.