February 6, 2023

Premier, Minister Bodden to tour waste management sites

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Landfill_compactorGRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands – Modern, efficient waste management systems will be the focus of Cayman Islands Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin and Minister for Environmental Health Hon. Osbourne Bodden when they travel to Tampa next week.

The visit comes in the midst of work done by a multi-agency steering committee that is spearheading the development of the Cayman Islands’ Integrated Solid Waste Management System.

The first facility to be toured on Monday, 31 March, 2014, will be the Lee County Solid Waste Resource Recovery Facility, which operates as Covanta Lee Inc. in Fort Meyers, Florida. The facility processes 1,836 tonnes-per-day of solid waste while generating up to 57.3 megawatts of clean, renewable energy, of which 50 megawatts is sold to Seminole Electric Cooperative.

As a comparison, the Cayman Islands generates approximately 85,345 tonnes of waste in a year or 233 tonnes-per-day.

“This facility in Lee County serves two counties and is considered Florida’s No. 1 facility and model. I am looking forward with great anticipation to learn a lot and see what we can look forward to here in just a couple of years. Cayman deserves no less,” said Minister Bodden.

The facility uses secondary sewage treatment run-off from a nearby county owned treatment plant for the majority of its process water. It is also equipped with steel, tin and copper recovery systems to remove all metals from the residue.

Covanta Lee also has a recycling facility and a public drop off center adjacent to the facility where residents take non-hazardous household items and yard waste for disposal.

The Premier and Minister are also scheduled to visit waste management facilities in Lake and Hillsborough counties. The Lake County Facility processes 528 tonnes-per-day using two 264-tonnes-per-day water wall furnaces.

In Cayman, over the past few weeks the multi-agency steering committee that is spearheading the development of the Cayman Islands’ Integrated Solid Waste Management System has been hard at work. The Committee’s remit is to provide Government with their best technical advice, take responsibility for the business issues associated with the project, approve budgetary and procurement strategy, define and realize benefits and monitor the risks, quality and timeliness of the Integrated Solid Waste Management System.

Premier McLaughlin said Government will use the processes under the Public Management and Finance Law to find a waste management solution. The processes will ensure transparency and accountability in the tendering and procurement phases.

“While there have been previous tenders, and there are quite a few studies about this subject, the fact is that the previous iterations were not subjected to the level of research, assessment, and scrutiny that the process currently requires,” he said.

One of the first stages in the procurement process is the drafting of a Strategic Outline Case document that will form the basis of an RFP for consultancy services for the delivery of an Outline Business Case. The Steering Committee has been working on the SOC, and hopes to have it finalised for Cabinet’s approval in the next few weeks. Once approved by Cabinet it will be released to the public.

“While I am very pleased with the progress the Steering Committee is making on the procurement process for the Integrated Solid Waste Management System, I want to also acknowledge the improvements that the hard-working team at the Department of Environmental Health have already made at the George Town landfill,” noted Minister Bodden. “I want to assure the concerned members of the public that we are not waiting on the procurement process to make improvements; we are also working hard to identify and implement interim measures to help improve the situation.”

Steps taken to date include the removal of scrap metal through a CTC-tendered contract, the lease of essential equipment to improve operations at the landfill, enhanced fire safety measures, the procurement of much-needed equipment to replace existing non-functioning equipment that is beyond its depreciated life-span, and covering additional surface area of the landfill with soil cover.

Travelling with the Premier and Minister will be Chief Officer in the Ministry of Health, Sports, Youth & Culture Ms Jennifer Ahearn, who is the Chair of the Integrated Solid Waste Management System Steering Committee, and the Director of Environmental Health Mr. Roydell Carter.

They return to Grand Cayman on Thursday, 3 April.

PHOTO: wikepedia

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