Editorial for 31 August: Cleaning up all of Cayman

A young, entrepreneurial Caymanian named Devid Bodden was in the news Tuesday for starting a company that uses a state-of-the-art machine to clean beaches. He said his motivation to start the company came from the feeling “that the beaches really needed cleaning”.

We totally agree.

The amount of litter on the beaches and by the sides of the roads these days is really quite troubling. Cans, bottles, fast food containers and a variety of other trash is strewn everywhere. Too many people have a lost respect for Cayman’s environment, themselves and others.

Be that as it may, some individuals care about our environment and do what they can to clean up the messes left by others. There are also many businesses that show their good corporate citizenship by organising beach and/or roadside clean ups.

But despite the best efforts of these individuals and companies, the garbage is piling up, which not only negatively affects the quality of life of residents, but looks very bad to our visitors.

Maybe it’s time for all of the Cayman Islands to take a cue from the good folks of North Side and establish country-wide ‘sponsor a highway’ programmes. The concept is simple and is offered in various places all over the world. Companies or individuals can ‘sponsor’ a section of road and a company is then engaged to clean up that section of road. A sign is then erected along the road acknowledging the sponsor, giving high-profile recognition for the community service they are providing.

Governments give permission for this kind of signage because they recognise the benefits of the programme and the fact that it saves them from having to spend their own money to clean up the roadsides. In the US, Adopt-a-Highway is actually a company that cleans up the roadside, but here, existing landscaping companies – or a company like young Mr. Bodden’s – could always be used.

There’s already a close precedent to this programme with Cayman’s roundabouts and we’d like to see a similar initiative to include all of our littered roadsides. 

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