The leadership of the government department responsible for trash collection and the landfill is in flux, with the director out of office and another senior official resigning from his post.
Government on Monday denied media reports that Roydell Carter, the director of the Department of Environmental Health, who is understood to have been out of the office since last month, had been suspended.
Jennifer Ahearn, chief officer in the Ministry of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing, said, “Contrary to reports in the media, DEH Director Roydell Carter has not been suspended and there are no funds unaccounted for at DEH. Mr. Carter is currently on leave, and Paulino Rodrigues is acting director in his absence.”
A spokeswoman for the department also confirmed that Mark Rowlands, the assistant director with responsibility for the landfill site, has resigned.
No reasons were given for Mr. Rowlands’ departure.
The Department of Environmental Health has been beset by a variety of issues over the past month.
Roadside collections were impacted over Christmas, with trash piling up in some neighborhoods, which officials attributed to “public holidays during the festive season and equipment problems”
Similar issues in early December were attributed in part to a staff dispute concerning overtime pay.
Government’s internal audit unit is midway through a review focusing on overtime at the department, which Ms. Ahearn acknowledged have “escalated over the past 18 months.”
A government spokeswoman said Monday that additional pick-ups over the past week had put garbage collection “back on track.”
The Department of Environmental Health has also faced criticism in the past few weeks over the number of derelict cars dumped around the community, since it stopped accepting them at the landfill site.
Much of the responsibility for landfill and waste management in Cayman will be outsourced to the private sector within the next few years as government embarks on a partnership with a consortium of companies, led by the Dart group, to build and operate a suite of new facilities, including a recycling center and waste-to-energy plant.