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Cayman Islands Government
 

Government Proposes a Modern Waste Management Centre

Government Proposes a Modern Waste Management Centre

The proposal for a comprehensive Waste Management Facility (WMF) in Grand Cayman continues to move through the appropriate technical review process, confirmed Hon. Mark Scotland, Minister for Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture.

The waste management centre seeks to incorporate multiple modes of processing waste, including landfilling allowing for the proper implementation of a 'reduce, reuse, recycle' policy as well as a future waste-to-energy (WTE) facility.

The Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) has approved a draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposed facility.

The EIA is an integral component of the technical review process for the proposed WMF. To ensure it is fair and objective, independent consulting company Cardno ENTRIX has been appointed to work closely with the committee to finalise the Draft TOR and to carry out the EIA.

Cardno ENTRIX was selected from a short-list of three consultants approved by the EAB. Consultant selection criteria included expertise in environmental assessment, natural resource management, and permitting and compliance associated with waste management projects.

"The challenge of effectively dealing with solid waste management has plagued successive Governments over the past 20 years," said Minister Scotland. "This Government is committed to finding a practical, responsible and affordable solution to address the country's solid waste problems. We support creating a properly designed, engineered and managed waste management facility because it allows us the opportunity to modernize our approach to handling waste, which will include recycling and waste-to-energy."

He added, "Modernizing our approach to solid waste management will result in the shift towards reducing and reusing as a strategy to reduce our per capita waste generation. We have an opportunity to make the necessary policy and operational changes to formally incorporate reducing, reusing and recycling into our day to day way of life."

"Our Government will attempt to achieve this national solution, despite the economic and political challenges, because it is the RIGHT thing to do for this and future generations. Continuing to pile up garbage on top of the George Town Landfill (GTLF) and make excuses is unacceptable," said Minister Scotland.

Strategic Approach

"We believe in a public/private sector partnership. We are considering the proposal for WMF in the area east of Midland Acres from the Dart Group as part of the For Cayman Investment Alliance. It is the responsibility of Government to make sure that this proposal, which includes the closure of the George Town Landfill, and has the potential to be a win-win for the country, is evaluated properly by the appropriate technical review teams and subject matter experts," continued Minister Scotland. "We are committed to making sure the social, environmental and economic factors are all being considered."

The proposed site was selected based on a siting survey which was carried out. Criteria applied in the siting survey included the following: compatibility with surrounding land use, proximity to the fresh water lens and residential areas, distance from environmentally sensitive areas, location away from the airport flight path, and sufficient land area.

Previous siting studies, undertaken by government in the early 1990's, have also recommended the Eastern Districts as the general location for alternate landfill sites following the closure of the George Town Landfill.

Dart's proposal included an undertaking to provide an Environmental Impact Assessment. In the past, the EIA process has often occurred after a planning application is submitted. However, given the nature of the WMF project and the size of the land area, Dart was required to undertake the EIA in advance of the planning application, so the findings of the EIA could inform the final project design. The EAB was convened to develop the Draft TORs for the EIA before the application is submitted to Planning. The permitting process will be informed by the findings of the EIA.

Current Situation

The Draft TOR will be open to public review and feedback prior to these being finalized and the start of the EIA. The Ministry will begin the public consultation the week of November 18th with public meetings in both Bodden Town and George Town.

Notices of these meetings will appear in the media, and the Draft TORs are available at the following websites: www.forcayman.com, www.doe.ky and hard copies are available at the Government Administration Building on Elgin Avenue, George Town; at the Bodden Town Public Library and Post Office; and at the George Town Public Library. Consultation will also include meetings with various stakeholder groups.

"We are committed to ensuring that there is an EIA conducted and the findings of the EIA will inform Government's decision-making process as well as the Central Planning Authority's permitting process," said Minister Scotland.

CIG's solid waste management objectives include siting a new facility, utilizing public/private sector partnerships and incorporating multiple methods of processing waste to reduce the amount of waste landfilled.

"Government will ensure that we apply the appropriate standards and best practices in the carrying out of our primary role as the regulator with the capability and capacity for effective oversight, management and monitoring of the current GTLF and the new WMF. We are of the view that the WMF presents multiple opportunities for outsourcing various aspects of the WMF operations, for example, recycling and WTE," pointed out Minister Scotland.

The Cayman Islands Government is committed to achieving an affordable, sustainable and socially acceptable integrated solid waste management solution. This solution will promote recycling and energy recovery, and the people of the Cayman Islands will benefit from a public/private partnership which allows the Cayman Islands management of waste to be cost effective, environmentally sensitive and economically viable in the short and long term.

For further information contact: Yvette Cacho