Nominal bids accepted for tire pile


Government appears to have finally given up hope of making any money out of a huge stockpile of used tires at the George Town landfill site. 

A fifth request for proposals for a private company to get rid of the tires went out Wednesday.  

The RFP has one crucial difference from previous efforts, which failed to generate any interest – “nominal bids” will be considered this time. 

The revised wording opens up the prospect of bidders taking the tires, essentially for free.  

Golf-resort developer Ironwood has previously said it is prepared to shred the tires and use them for fill in its development. But the company, which would generate no profit from the venture, was not interested in paying for them so did not respond to the previous RFP. 

Unlike scrap metal, which is routinely sold for disposal, used tires have a comparatively limited resale value. 

It is not known exactly how many tires are at the landfill site and previous estimates have varied vastly – from 500,000 to 2 million. 

The tires have been labeled a health hazard because of the fumes they can give off during fires – a frequent, recent menace in both Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac. 

The new RFP states, “The government of the Cayman Islands invites eligible tenderers to submit a bid for the purchase (including at a nominal price), processing (on-site or off-site at an approved local facility) and removal of all the used tyres accumulated at the Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Landfill sites.” 

Bidders have until noon on July 2 to submit their proposals. 

Roydell Carter, director of the Department for Environmental Health, was unavailable for comment yesterday. Following the previous failed bid to solicit buyers for the tires, he told the Cayman Compass that changes would have to be made before the new RFP went out. 

Industry experts in the U.S. have previously contacted the Compass to warn that government has little chance of finding anyone willing to pay for the tires. John Deckard, who runs a tire recycling firm in the U.S., wrote: “Expecting companies to be interested in the tires for purchase is completely unrealistic. Given the cost of the processing, equipment, labor, retirement funds and other personnel and related costs, it is unrealistic, especially given that they are on an island.  

“Tire piles like this are saved by many all over the world and, in 20 years and millions of tires, we have never encountered any tire hoarders that were paid for the tire piles – not once.“  


A new bid to remove Cayman’s mountain of tires from Mount Trashmore is under way. – PHOTO: CHRIS COURT


  1. Here is some free advice. Go buy a tire shredder, shred the tires and sell or give it to National Road Authority….shredded rubber crumbs to mix with their hot melt asphalt to make pavements cheaper.
    Pure rubber can also be granulated and used in the foundations of playing grounds and garden beds. It is used in bark mulch to hold in the water in order to prevent weeds from growing.

    You can thanks me later.

  2. I recall 50 years ago having discussed with John Hatch and others Cayman’s waste. We talked about removal ton designated dumping grounds, recycling, composting, incinerating and even the possibility of shipping out waste on barges.
    That there would be problems of disposal was always evident as the numbers of vacationers, repeat visitors, and the economy in general expanded slowly and then more rapidly over the years. None of us could have visualized how immense the problem would become, nor did we think we could solve it.
    I can only hope that someone wiser than we were will come up with a solution. Meanwhile please have the government get real and get rid of the dangerous pile of potential poison gas that could come from a burning pile of rubber and other chemicals. Offer the darned things for free to any taker, and offer to help load them on to the barges that would take them away. Might even offer a financial consideration if necessary, with an invitation to return in a few ears for the next accumulation.

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