Waste Management System One Step Closer

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Government is a step closer to resolving the issue of solid waste management in the Cayman Islands with the completion of three reports which are now available to the public.

These are the finalised National Solid Waste Management Strategy for the Cayman Islands (NSWMS), the National Solid Waste Management Strategy Consultation Report (which summarises consultation activities carried out when the draft NSWMS was released last year), and the finalised Landfill Site Environmental Review Report.

The purpose of the Strategy is to provide key policies and objectives for the future management of solid waste, and the delivery of an Integrated Solid Waste Management System (ISWMS) in the Cayman Islands.

The Strategy also identifies important steps and actions that will be taken to deliver the ISWMS. These actions will be targeted to improve the sustainability of waste management practices, make increased use of waste as a resource, and ensure the protection of the environment and amenity of the islands.

The ISWMS project includes the following system components, with the ultimate aim of reducing the amount of waste going to landfill by up to 95 per cent from current landfill amounts:

  • Waste reduction measures – including waste education and pragmatic waste minimisation initiatives (e.g. home composting/material return schemes such as bottles, plastic bag charges).
  • The reuse and refurbishment of bulky waste, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
  • Early delivery of community recycling depots and household waste recycling centre (HWRC) facilities.
  • Transfer and bulking facilities (one per island).
  • The windrow composting of yard/garden waste from landscapers and Household Waste Recycling Centres HWRCs (in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac).
  • The treatment of residual waste in a waste recovery plant (waste-to-energy facility)
  • Provision for potential for landfill mining at George Town landfill, subject to feasibility, for the above waste-to-energy facility.
  • Closure of landfills on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, with waste sent to Grand Cayman for processing.
  • The potential introduction of kerbside yard and garden waste collection (post 2020).
  • The potential introduction of kerbside dry recyclable collections with a materials recovery facility (post 2020).

An outline business case is now being drafted, which will assess the overall affordability, implementation and delivery options for the ISWMS, and should be released for review and comment in August 2016.
It was also announced in the budget that $6.5 million has been earmarked for land to house the new Integrated Solid Waste Management System (ISWMS) project.
Copies of the three documents which have been made public are available on the Ministry of Health website www.ministryofhealth.gov.ky.

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