Landfill project to span two governments

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A timeline for the completion of Cayman’s solid waste management project, including proposals for potential solutions at the growing George Town Landfill, will extend beyond the current term of the Progressives-led government, Health Minister Osbourne Bodden confirmed Thursday. 

Mr. Bodden also acknowledged that while the landfill is expected to remain at its current location in George Town, proposals for satellite locations for such things as recycling and composting would be considered as part of a wholesale revamp to the Cayman Islands waste management process.  

Consultants with U.K.-based AMEC have been in Cayman for the past week to evaluate the situation at the 80-foot high dump, as well as to visit the mounting landfill on Cayman Brac’s south coast and the Little Cayman landfill.  

AMEC project manager Phil Scott said Thursday that Cayman appears to be “about 20 to 30 years” behind the U.K. in its solid waste management systems, and noted that while Britain slowly changed its recycling and composting habits, he hoped for a quicker turnaround in Cayman.  

“The existing waste management system is not sustainable for the future. It has to change,” Mr. Scott said.  

Health Ministry Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn, who leads the government’s committee in charge of the waste management project, said Thursday that AMEC consultants would produce a 50-year solid waste management strategy in the first half of next year. The strategy will encompass commentary and suggestions from a series of public meetings that will be scheduled in early 2015.  

After the strategy identifies a “preferred project option” for the waste management operations, expected to occur sometime in the latter half of 2015, bidding on the project will begin, probably in late 2015, Ms. Ahearn said.  

Minister Bodden said a successful contractor would hopefully be chosen in early 2016, with works to begin in late 2016 on whatever type of waste management option is selected for the George Town Landfill.  

This leaves the completion of the waste management initiative to the next government, Mr. Bodden acknowledged, noting that general elections will probably be held in Cayman in May 2017.  

“We hope [the new government] will be us,” the Progressives party minister said. “But whoever it is, they won’t be able to discontinue this process.”  

Government’s senior project manager for the proposed integrated solid waste management system, Jim Schubert, indicated that bidding on the contract will likely be split among several companies. He said it is possible that some works could start early, including construction of recycling stations or composting facilities.  

“The bigger facilities [at the George Town landfill] will take time to be developed,” Mr. Schubert said.  

AMEC was chosen as the chief consultant for the landfill/waste management project after a bidding process through the government’s Central Tenders Committee for a contract of just more than $500,000. The cost includes financial consultant KPMG, which is partnering with AMEC. 

AMEC’s website for its U.K.-based operations states that the company delivers “environmental, engineering and consultancy services to customers across the public and private sectors.” The company boasts of specialists in planning, environmental, science, engineering, geology, chemistry, biology, economics and social development. In 2012, AMEC was awarded a contract with the North London Waste Authority for waste services infrastructure.  

The consulting firm operates in 41 countries, with the Cayman Islands solid waste system being its latest project.  

Landfill

The George Town Landfill is under evaluation. – PHOTO: CHRIS COURT

1 COMMENT

  1. It’s obvious what the plan is. They want to make sure they all get reelected. I guess this also means that the 2017 date he promised is now out of the picture.

    Man That date just keep getting pushed back more and more and the pile just keeps growing while politicians, committees and consultants keep getting richer..

  2. The line in the article that drew my attention was, The bigger facilities at the George Town landfill will take time to develop. Mr. Schulbert said.
    This statement needs some explanation. Just what was meant by bigger facilities and can they be accommodated at the current site?
    Am I the only one who is wary about the political imperative to use only the George Town site when it may or may not be suitable?

  3. Jack, That’s just their way of softening the blow when everyone realizes that there will have to be another site built to deal with this mess. The political imperative was that whatever the solution is it cannot be in BoddenTown, So basically in the long run what we will end with is a new facility somewhere else on the Island that will cost the public purse millions and millions of dollars to build and we will still have to bear the cost of remediation of the current pile of Garbage in Georgetown as well as the on going maintenance of the site.

    How is this so much better than the offer from Dart to do this all themselves at no cost to the public purse as well as take on the cost of the continue maintenance of the current site?

    Oh Yeah I forgot, To KEEP BODDENTOWN DUMP FREE for some, and for others TO GET ELECTED.

    So what I see is that the powers that be felt it was value for money to spend more than 100 Million dollars to keep from having a new modern Waste Management Facility Built in the district of BoddenTown. I have to wonder how the folks in whatever district they decide to do this in will feel, be it WestBay or East End, there will surely be a Keep WestBay or East End Dump free protest.

  4. Reading the suggestion from and earlier comment recommending that every one spend good time reading this report carefully. Then decide for themselves what the plan is. This is good sound advice what I don’t understand is why anyone would disagree with that recommendation. It just goes to show that some people would prefer we all stay ignorant..

  5. I have lived long enough in Cayman to know that you just cannot believe what some of the politicians tell you. I don’t know how they can keep it up to make the promises day after day and year after year, and not until the eve of election that you see slap, paint and hammered jobs. Beside the sweetest thing is that some of them think the people are fools when they tie them out in pasture, dodge and hide from you if you express your thoughts.
    You see that same DUMP is going to make many lose their chair next election. Just watch and see. No one had a plan then and no one has a plan now. I think meetings need to be held telling the people what to expect.

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