Cayman residents are becoming more environmentally friendly, says Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Executive Officer Wil Pineau, who participated in the annual Earth Day cleanup with more than 2,000 volunteers on Saturday.
“People are becoming more aware that keeping Cayman clean is their responsibility,” said Mr. Pineau. “We’re not seeing a lot of deliberate littering, which is what we have seen in the past.” He said that over the 17 years he has been involved in the Chamber’s roadside cleanup campaign, he has noticed the amount of trash that volunteers collect decreasing.
“We already have one of the most beautiful islands and it’s regarded as one of the cleanest islands in the Caribbean but we have to work to keep it that way,” he added. Volunteers descended on more than 80 locations to pick up trash, the most ground that has ever been covered during the annual cleanup.
Local volunteer Martin Ruben said his group collected 25 to 30 bags of trash strewn along Prospect Drive.
“It’s awful, we found all sorts of things that should not have been thrown out – we saw a lot of beer bottles, pop cans, and people using empty lots to dump their garbage,” said Mr. Ruben. “The street looks great now, let’s hope that the residents in the area can keep it that way,” he added.
Back road dumping
Mr. Pineau mentioned that although the main roads were clean, trash was still being illegally dumped along back roads and beaches.
“When I was cleaning up along South Sound Road, there were a couple of sites that we found where construction materials and yard debris were being dumped. We also found disposed car batteries and also paint and construction materials and even lawn chairs,” Mr. Pineau said.
“The challenge is that we have government cleanup crews that are doing a good job keeping the main areas clear, but where we see there are problems are in the back areas, off the main streets; the Barkers area had lots of debris there too,” he added.
Overall, Mr. Pineau said he was delighted by the turnout being the largest it’s ever been.
“It really demonstrates how the corporate community, as well as residents, are pitching in on this effort. We all live here and work here and we want to keep Cayman clean, and I can tell we are making a difference,” he said. “I would really like to thank the 38 different companies who helped out and I would like to encourage anyone who wants to get involved in the next cleanup to contact the Chamber,” Mr. Pineau added.
The Chamber will host its next cleanup in anticipation for the Christmas holidays on Saturday, Nov. 29.