The Department of Environmental Health is co-operating fully with the Office of the Complaints Commissioner in implementing recommendations made regarding waste management on Cayman Brac.
According to an OCC advisory, not only did DEH implement specific recommendations it also took steps on its own initiative to improve the Brac landfill.
The OCC began an investigation following complaints filed in 2005. It found several issues concerning the landfill, located on the south side of the island that needed the attention of DEH, including a lack of management of the site.
It also determined that the site was not organised into specific areas for dumping categories of trash, namely: bio-degradable items, recyclable items and hazardous waste items, such as batteries, Freon containers, waste oil, pesticides, vehicles and tires.
The investigation concluded in early 2006, and the OCC recommended that over the course of that year a series of steps should be taken. These included creating a site plan, employing a supervisor for the site acquiring additional equipment for the site, segregating the trash and putting up signage.
Complaints Commissioner John Epp said that all of these measures have either been implemented or are in the process of being implemented.
In addition to acquiring a grabber truck for trash not picked up by the regular garbage truck, the DEH is renting a Caterpillar D6 to level the garbage at the landfill and cover it with aggregate. A chipper has also been brought over from Grand Cayman to reduce natural vegetation.
Brac resident Larrington Brown has been assigned by the DEH as Site Manager and is being trained to operate the D6.
Mr. Epp noted that separating the garbage was not only a safety measure but was necessary for environmental protection. The organization of batteries, waste oil and vehicles would facilitate removal and/or recycling in conjunction with the Grand Cayman landfill.
Once a site plan has been developed, signage is important to direct users to deposit waste in appropriate sectors of the landfill, he explained.
‘In addressing our recommendations, the DEH took the initiative to add several measures, which demonstrates a commitment to properly manage the site beyond the findings of our investigation,’ said OCC Analyst Scott Swing.
These measures include fencing the site, which should be accomplished within two months, and placing dumpsters outside the gate for disposing of trash after hours.
‘We have been impressed with the forthright answers from the DEH and clear statements on future plans,’ said Mr. Epp. ‘I particularly want to complement DEH Solid Waste Manager Sean McGinn on his co-operation for our on-site inspections of the facility.’
The Office of the Complaints Commissioner of the Cayman Islands was created in July 2004 to encourage government departments and agencies to better serve the public. It is an independent office, which answers only to the Legislative Assembly.
The OCC is on the 2nd floor, 202 Piccadilly Centre, Georgetown, Grand Cayman, tel: 943 2220. The website is www.occ.gov.ky