A chronic shortage of working garbage collection trucks that saw rubbish collections throughout Grand Cayman halved earlier this year has eased off but problems still continue, the Cayman Islands Department of Environmental Health has said.
Residential garbage collection services have improved since the issues with collections earlier this year, said the department’s director Roydell Carter.
However, he conceded: “Issues with the DEH garbage collection fleet still persist, but are not as severe as was reported in the media earlier this year. These issues will take some time to be resolved and once resolved, the department should return to twice-weekly collection service in Grand Cayman, barring any unforeseen circumstance.”
It reported early this year that only three garbage trucks were operational for collecting household rubbish throughout the five districts in Grand Cayman. During normal service, there are between six and eight trash trucks on the road.
At the time, rubbish collections were down to just once a week as the rest of the garbage trucks were off the road due to maintenance issues.
Former Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly told reporters in February that the Department of Environmental Health, which runs the island’s solid waste collection and disposal, was in “very dire circumstances”. She said her ministry would release funding usually set aside to offset depreciation of vehicles to buy two new collection trucks.
These trucks have not yet been purchased, although the Cayman Islands government has put the replacement of the garbage trucks out to tender, the ministry stated.
“Those tenders are being considered and we hope to make an announcement very shortly as to whether it is government’s intention to proceed with the purchase at this time,” said Alan Jones, chief officer of the Ministry of Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure.
No schedule of pick-ups in the districts is available at the moment from the Department of Environmental Health – nor is the exact number of trucks on the road – as the situation changes daily and weekly, according to the department.