A common whinge in the Cayman Islands is the lack of recycling, but there is now a major push under way to recycle aluminium cans and glass bottles locally.
The Department of Environment Health has supplied aluminium can recycling containers to apartment and condominium complexes along West Bay Road in Grand Cayman free of charge and to some local supermarkets, which DEH staff regularly collect.
Camana Bay also has a recycling initiative that takes glass and aluminium cans. It passes the cans onto the Department of Environment, which sells them to a recycling plant in the United States, and pulverises the glass in a crusher. The crushed glass is then re-used in Grand Cayman.
Now, staff at two hotels are getting in on the act and urging businesses and individuals to recycle.
A team of hotel supervisors and managers, which include Keisha Gregory, Joan Walsh-Simms, Rita Olson and Beto Barranco from The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and Thais Rodriguez from Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, chose to focus on recycling when taking part in supervisory training that involves a community initiative.
“The idea behind the project is to bring awareness to our communities about the importance of recycling and the impact it will have on our Island if we do not take the time to ensure we have a clean environment free of toxins and pollution. We want our wider community to get involved and demand to have recycling effort as an everyday lifestyle,” said Melissa Ladley, communications director of The Ritz-Carlton.
“Currently, we do not have any laws or legislation that encourage recycling within homes. So, therefore, the commitment is incumbent upon as individuals to do our part and do what is right. More awareness is where we are right now on this road map to a cleaner, better Cayman,” Ms Ladley said.
The hotel supervisors, in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Health, will be collecting glass and cans at Camana Bay this weekend and are urging everyone to gather up their beer and soda cans and glass containers and take them along. People can drop off their cans and bottles at Camana Bay’s recycling area between noon and 3pm on Saturday as part of the initiative.
“After the Euro finals last week, I’m sure there are plenty of beer cans and bottles ready to be recycled,” Ms Ladley said.
Jo Gammage, public relations manager for Dart Realty, which runs Camana Bay, said businesses based in Camana Bay have been using the cans and bottle recycling point during recent months.
Camana Bay is also on the verge of launching an island-wide glass recycling project, in which collection points will be set for individuals and businesses to deposit their bottles, which will be crushed and used in building materials, Ms Gammage said.
Camana Bay’s industrial glass crusher arrived in Grand Cayman in March and can crush 1,500 pounds of glass per hour.
In an interview earlier this year with Cayman Free Press, Chip Ogilvie, manager of the Operations and Maintenance Department at Dart Realty, said glass represents about 10 per cent of all the waste generated in Cayman. “So if we can get ourselves and the general public to divert as much glass as possible to recycling, we help reduce a significant share of household waste,” Mr. Ogilvie said.
At the moment, five items can be recycled in Cayman – aluminium cans, lead acid and household batteries, glass, natural Christmas trees and cooking and motor oil.
Tania Johnson, public education and promotions officer at the Department of Environment Health, said the department has supplied recycling bins to schools in the Cayman Islands, to encourage children to recycle.
She said the department did not have an unlimited number of recycling containers it could supply, but urged members of the public and businesses to start their own recycling initiatives and collect cans used in their complexes or companies.
Once a large amount of cans have accumulated, she can arrange for staff at the Department of Environmental Health to pick them up. If a household or business only collects a few shopping bags worth of cans a week, she advises that they drop the cans at one of the collection bins at the supermarkets.
“A lot of people seem to be more interested in recycling these days and we’re definitely getting more cans,” Ms Johnson said.
To find out more about arrangements for the Department of Environmental Health’s collection of cans, contact [email protected]