The periodic fires that have plagued the George Town Landfill site for years appear to have been brought under control.

There was only one fire at any of the Cayman Islands landfill sites in 2016, according to figures from the Compendium of Statistics. That is down from 40 in 2011. The problem of intermittent fires at the site came to public attention in dramatic style in December 2013 when a fire blazed for 20 hours, sending thick plumes of black smoke billowing over George Town.

Mark Rowlands, assistant director at the Department of Environmental Health with responsibility for solid waste, said operational changes at the George Town site had largely dealt with the problem.

He said the “working area” had been radically reduced to around 60 feet in width, and marl and fill-material is now used to cover waste at 10-foot intervals. The smaller area is much easier to manage, he said, and the layers prevent any fires that might break out from spreading deep within the landfill.

“It is standard best-management practice for a landfill site,” he said.

Fires at Cayman Islands landfill sites

  • 2011 – 40
  • 2012 – 39
  • 2013 – 15
  • 2014 – 27
  • 2015 – 9
  • 2016 – 1

Source: Economics and Statistics Office Compendium of Statistics 2016

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