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Waste Management OBC Ready

Exeter Energy Recovery Facility, UK, similar to the waste to energy plant which may be built in Grand Cayman.

National solid waste management in the Cayman Islands would be best dealt with through a public private partnership (PPP), a draft outline business case has recommended.

Prepared for the Cayman Islands Government by environmental consultancy company Amec Foster Wheeler, the outline business case (OBC) is now available for public review and comment.

“I am very pleased that we have gotten to this point where we are publishing the draft outline business case for the very first integrated solid waste management plan for the Cayman Islands,” said Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin. “If you ask me do I wish we could have gotten to this phase sooner, the answer would be yes, but we have dutifully followed the steps required by the framework for fiscal responsibility, which mirrors the UK Treasury’s Green Book for managing projects such as this. The process may seem long, but it is sure and will ensure we have the best, most viable solution.

“For those who have been saying ‘fix the dump’ I will point out again that this is what this project is about. But it goes beyond fixing a dump to providing a long-term solution of waste management needs of all three Cayman Islands.

“In the interim, we have dramatically improved the operations at the current landfill by re-establishing proper practices and have spent millions of dollars on new equipment including a state-of-the-art compactor and garbage trucks. We have also increased our focus on recycling, including old tyres, and will soon be moving towards composting.”

The report assesses overall affordability and the implementation and delivery options of the proposed Integrated Solid Waste Management System (ISWMS).

It concludes that a major “design, build, finance, operate and maintain contract” - for the PPP arrangement - offers the best value for money. This is based on the results from financial analysis by consultancy firm KPMG, with estimated operational costs of the new ISWMS expected to be approximately $538 million over the 25-year PPP arrangement.

In comparison, the operational costs of a status quo-type system of just landfilling waste on the islands, is expected to cost approximately $418 million over a 25-year period. For the extra investment required for the ISWMS project of around $4.8 million per year, the proposed solution will greatly reduce the landfilling of waste, as it will be either reduced, reused, recycled or recovered with the new system.

At the time the consultation draft OBC was being drawn up, and the financial models were being run by Amec Foster Wheeler and KPMG, the potential to mine waste at the George Town landfill was considered as a possible component of the future ISWMS project for the Cayman Islands.

Since that time, a policy decision has been made to exclude mining of waste from the ISWMS project, as the potential of long-term nuisance conditions from mining, such as odours, outweigh the benefit of gaining back the small area of landfill space. Therefore, while financial information regarding the mining of waste at the George Town landfill is addressed in the draft OBC document, it is no longer under consideration for inclusion in the ISWMS project, and the final OBC will reflect this.

According to the OBC report, a public private partnership is also more likely to attract competition by major overseas companies with a robust track record of building, implementing and operating integrated waste management system solutions.

“I’m very excited that we have reached this stage in the process and I invite members of the public to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about this important project and the future of waste management in the Cayman Islands,” said Councillor for Health Roy McTaggart.

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. The ISWMS project also includes costing for the future remediation/closing of the three existing unlined landfills on the islands:

• 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).

• Community recycling depots and household waste recycling centre facilities.

• Transfer and bulking facilities (one per island).

• The windrow composting of yard/garden waste from landscapers and household waste recycling centres in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.

• The treatment of residual waste in a waste recovery plant (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).

The public can learn more about the outline business case recommendations at open house sessions at the Government Administration Building on Grand Cayman on 4 October from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the National Trust House on Little Cayman on 5 October from 11.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre on Cayman Brac on 5 October from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

A questionnaire will be provided at the open house sessions and is being set up on the Ministry of Health website www.ministryofhealth.gov.ky, A copy of the consultation draft outline business case is also available on the website. Submissions should be made by 7 October, 2016.

For further information contact: Catherine MacGillivray