Beaches become Easter dumping grounds

    TOPlead

    Easter weekend brings religious fervour, a welcome break from work, plenty of chocolate eggs and piles of rubbish on Cayman’s beaches from holiday campers.

    Beaches throughout Grand Cayman fill with tents and makeshift shacks as the population heads to the seaside to enjoy an outdoor break, but this year, as in past years, heaps of garbage have been left behind on the Island’s beaches.

    Roydell Carter, director of the Department of Environmental Health, urged campers or beachgoers who had left bags of rubbish behind them on the beach over the weekend to go back and take the bags home to be 
disposed of or drop them at roadside areas where they can be collected by his department’s garbage collection trucks.

    “What we had done to assist is place containers at different locations to assist the public. We have asked them to use those to dump their waste.

    “We are also making regular district visits in popular areas to see what state the beaches have been left in,” said Mr. Carter.

    He said he had seen people cleaning up after themselves at Public Beach on Seven Mile Beach over the weekend. “So, I think the message is getting through,” he said.

    However, he acknowledged that in some of the smaller or private beaches, littering was 
still a problem.

    “For the most part though, people are cleaning up. There are always a few people who leave the bags on the beaches as opposed to bringing them to the roadsides,” he added.

    Recreation, Parks and Cemeteries Unit Manager Jonathan Jackson said no extra crews from his unit had been placed on duty to collect the garbage from the beaches, due staff shortages, but that the unit had made changes to its cleaning schedule.

    “By reducing its regular work of grass cutting, raking leaves, hedge trimming, etc., RPCU has rearranged its regular facility cleaning schedule to accommodate Easter cleanup efforts.

    All RPCU crews have been assigned to restroom cleaning and trash collection during this busy Easter period,” he said.

    Mr. Jackson advised campers remaining on the beaches this week to put all trash bags, where possible, in the nearest Department of Environmental Health dumpsters, which will be serviced and removed this week.

    He also advised those camping on private property to take trash to the nearest dumpster or take it home for proper disposal in their own bins.

    “Many of the bags that were placed along the roadside have already been removed by the DEH staff,” he said.

    He said the amount of trash on the beaches was similar to that seen last year. “A lot of people have cooperated with proper trash disposal, but there may be a few that did not comply.

    DEH staff will be monitoring the situation and if people have not complied, they should return to their campsites to collect and dispose of any remaining waste in a proper and sanitary manner,” Mr. Jackson said.

    He added that both the Recreation, Parks and Cemeteries Unit and the Department of Environmental Health thanked people who had “complied with keeping the beaches and camp areas clean, so that the sites can be enjoyed by others”.

    TOPstory

    Garbage piles up at Public Beach on Seven Mile Beach. – PHOTO: EUGENE BONTHUYS
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    10 COMMENTS

    1. Unfortunately, litter on the public beaches is not restricted to the aftermath of holidays like Easter. One only need to walk past the public beaches on any Monday to see diapers, beer bottles and cans and other refuse strewn on the beach or floating in the water. I’m assuming that most Caymanians that use the public beaches actually care about one of their most treasured resources but you would never know it by the gross litter left behind. Our beaches are precious and should be protected at all costs. Instead, the public beaches look like dumping grounds.

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    2. Caymanians know they have expats to come and clean their beaches. Last year within 2 hours 100 trash bags was filled in by volunteers. Where is the national pride?

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    3. The damage to private property is something else that needs to be addressed. Since when is it ok to rip down a fence or cut a chain so that campers can use the land? I thought it was illegal to camp in the Cayman Islands, how about damaging private property?

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    4. This was my first Easter living on the Island. I found this whole idea of letting people camp any where and everywhere a bit weird. To allow anyone to camp in areas with no Shower or Toilet is not civilised. Also, I would think the Island receives a lot of Hotel Tourists over Easter. What are these paying tourist to think of this. They thought they where coming to a beautiful quite Island with stunning beaches, instead they find people camping on SMB and not supervising their own children.

      Smith Cove is my local beach and it was like Jamaican National Day there all weekend with very Load music made by 2 DJ’s from there tents and unsupervised children under 4 swimming in the sea.

      If this camping on the beach thing is a tradition, then maybe the Government should set a beach up for camping with the right facilities. Also, I would suggest a permit to camp to make sure overcrowding does not occur.

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    5. Disgusting!! I would expect this in a third world country, but seriously come on you Caymanians!! Pick up your trash and stop throwing your cigarette butts in the ocean 🙁

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    6. @MB – I agree with everything you say, but about getting a permit to camp… soon you will hear government charging a fee in order to get monies off the permit. I don’t think we should stress people about getting a permit before they camp. What I do feel we need, are designated locations for camping

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    7. Why not charge fees for people to Camp on the beach if they can’t clean up after themselves leaving the Government to bear the cost of cleaning up after people who claim to love the environment yet do nothing to protect it. I see no MLA’s making a big deal or protests about this, surely because there would be no political benefit from it.

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    8. The Department of Health could implement a Carry-In/Carry-Out Program in the Cayman Islands. You keep your beaches clean and beautiful by carrying out the trash you carry in. Bags could be provided at each public beach.

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    9. what a wonderful opportunity to take the young prisoners out for some fresh air and some cleaning chores. The governement can help with trash bags and transportation, the prisoners can pick up the trash and help keep the Caymans beautiful and clean.

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