Having acknowledged the cruise pier contract will not happen before the election, the Progressives government remains confident it will have a deal in place for its other major infrastructure priority – the George Town landfill.

A contract was signed Tuesday for legal consultants to help progress proposals for an integrated solid waste management system for the Cayman Islands.

The planned new system will include the remediation of the current landfill sites, with recycling, composting and a waste-to-energy plant.

It is expected to radically reduce the amount of waste going into a much smaller landfill, which will remain at the George Town site.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said the appointment of the legal team was another step forward for the project, which, like the cruise pier plan, has been moving through the various stages of planning and analysis for the past four years.

‘Preferred bidder’ by April

In a press release Tuesday, government said it expected to announce a “preferred bidder” for the project by the end of April – just before the general election.

A pre-qualification process took place last autumn to short-list companies that could construct and operate the new system over a 25-year-period. The short-listed companies have been asked to outline their proposals by early February.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said, “We said from the outset of being elected to office that we would do everything in our power to resolve the issue of the landfill and the need for a modern solid waste management system.

“We have taken time to ensure we identified the best possible solution and follow all the regulatory guidelines. Therefore, I am very pleased that we have signed this contract with the legal firms today and are at the final stages of putting our plans into place.

“The country needs a waste management system that will protect our environment, our health and our economy for generations to come, and I am confident that our plans will deliver all of these aspects.”

Legal framework

The newly appointed team of lawyers, from Maples and Calder in Grand Cayman and Burges Salmon of the United Kingdom, will advise government on all legal aspects of delivering the project and ensure that a legal and regulatory framework is provided, the press release stated.

Ministerial Councilor for Health Roy McTaggart said, “I am very pleased that we have reached these final stages in resolving the issue of waste management in the Cayman Islands. Now that we have our specialist legal team in place, we will be in a position to appoint the contract to a company qualified to provide our new solid waste management system. This will be of benefit to everybody in the Cayman Islands.”

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