‘The Beast’ roars into mulching action

Horizontal wood grinder ‘The Beast’ devours Christmas trees in a mulch free-for-all at the George Town cricket field on Saturday. - Photos: Matt Lamers

The George Town Landfill has a new addition – a horizontal wood grinder Caterpillar C15 2680, a.k.a. The Beast, which will be used to mulch vegetation waste.

Dozens of spectators and gardeners turned out Saturday morning to watch The Beast devour 1,500 Christmas trees in a mulch free-for-all at the George Town cricket field.

Kelly Reineking was among those on hand for the free mulch. She said the material is “going to be extremely useful” for her mango, cherry and sweetsop trees. Ms. Reineking plans to leave the mulch covered for about six months before applying it, to neutralize the acidity from the pine needles.

George Town resident Anna Elverson collects mulch for her garden.
George Town resident Anna Elverson collects mulch for her garden.

Mulch suppresses weeds and helps soil retain moisture.

The Beast was making its inaugural appearance at the annual event for the Department of Environmental Health.

The department purchased the machine, which will have a permanent home at the landfill, to use on vegetation waste, which takes up about 30 percent of the dump.

Clive Bodden, managing director for Atlantic Supply Ltd., which sold the machine to the Department of Environmental Health, said The Beast is capable of eating logs 12 inches in diameter without any problems.

“You’re taking a huge volume of vegetation and reducing that volume tremendously, so it’s taking up less space in the landfill,” he said.

Billy Adam, who collected a garbage container full of mulch on Sunday, said the demand for the materials showed that the machine needed to be brought into the community more often.

“This should be going on every day, not just as a one-off. There are tons of horticultural cuttings going into the landfill and it is just making ‘Mount Trashmore’ higher. All that should be mulched and made available to gardeners and farmers.”

He said the government had previously bought mulching machines which had been underutilized. He believes if the new machine is made more widely available it could prolong the lifespan of the rapidly filling George Town Landfill.

Compass reporter James Whittaker contributed to this story.


  1. Placing vegetative waste in the landfill? Here is a suggestion. The process of mulching and composting means that 90% of the vegetative waste will go back into use as a soil replenisher and soil amendment. Keeping the earth cooler and not adding to Mount Trashmore. Set aside an area that ground vegetative materials can compost and be reused. Every year we import this product group from the US bringing with it the soil borne organisms that are foreign to Caymanian soil. We could make our own compost, mulch etc, provide a few jobs, have a marketable product and cut down on Mount Trashmore. Consider it recycling! This would not require a rocket scientist to set up at all.

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