Dumpsters at the George Town landfill for people to drop off their own household waste overflowed into the car park Monday.
“I think that was a protest from people,” said North Side MLA Ezzard Miller, who took a photograph of the parking lot covered with trash bags and garden waste.
He said more and more people were having to take their own trash to the landfill because of unreliable roadside collections.
The Department of Environmental Health has acknowledged problems in every district with late roadside pick-ups over the last month but it attributed the pile of refuse to an “unplanned adjustment to the servicing schedule” at the landfill site over the weekend.
“I go up there often because I never know when they are coming to North Side,” said Mr. Miller. “The bins are often full but I have never seen it like this. Everybody had dumped their garbage in the parking area [of the landfill].”
Residents across Grand Cayman have been complaining for some time about inconsistent collections of their garbage. Mr. Miller, speaking Tuesday, said it had been almost three weeks between roadside collections in North Side.
Similar problems have been reported in various districts on and off since before Christmas.
Al Suckoo, MLA for Newlands, circulated pictures of trash piling up by the roadside in his district Wednesday.
He said, “I think we have hit the end of the road as far as this situation goes. Government needs to put some priority on this issue.” Mr. Suckoo is organizing a petition to present to government.
Mr. Miller, leader of the opposition, said it was time for Minister Dwayne Seymour to step in and sort it out.
“The minister and chief officer have ultimate responsibility,” he said. “Nobody knows what has happened to the director. Who is in charge? I am calling on the minister to sort it out.”
Roydell Carter, the director of the Department of Environmental Health, has been on leave since before Christmas. An internal audit service inquiry into the management of overtime in the department has been going on since December.
Mr. Seymour responded to concerns in a statement, saying he was monitoring the situation closely.
“I am fully aware of the ongoing challenges at DEH,” he said. “I realize residents are frustrated when garbage is not collected and share in their concerns.”
He said his ministry was doing everything it could to ensure the garbage schedules were adhered to and urged residents to contact the Department of Environmental Health when trash was not collected.
Mr. Miller said there were clearly systemic issues that needed to be dealt with.
“Whenever we object, they say they are dealing with it and they hope to have a solution next week, and then a few weeks later it’s happening again,” he said.
He added that all residents wanted was a consistent weekly trash collection.
“How hard would it be to put a schedule in the Compass and stick to it?” he asked.
Mr. Suckoo said he was increasingly fielding calls from constituents about late garbage pickups. On certain streets, he said trash was piling up by the roadside.
“People are pretty patient; they don’t complain right away, but when it goes two weeks with no garbage being picked up, they get frustrated,” he said. “I think there are management issues and they have got to sort it out. I don’t want anyone to blame the guys on the road.”
At a meeting on the North Sound Estates neighborhood watch and community group Monday, concern over garbage collections was among the main topics.
Carole Broadbelt, one of the leaders of the group, said Tuesday it had been almost two weeks since the trash had been collected in the area.
She said they had invited the Department of Environmental Health to send a representative to the meeting, but they had declined.
“All the residents want to know what is happening with the garbage pickups?
“We have asked for a roll-top dumpster so there is somewhere to put it until they get back on a regular schedule,” she added.
Stacey Ann-Anderson, public relations officer for the Department of Environmental Health, said all residential communities throughout Grand Cayman had experienced delays in pickups over the past month, though she said it was rare for delays to be longer than 48 hours.
She did not highlight a specific reason for the delays, saying, “Late pickups are usually as a result of resource constraints due to mechanical breakdown or worker absenteeism.”