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Tyre-shredding ends at Cayman Islands Landfill

A project that shredded nearly 700,000 tyres stockpiled at the George Town landfill came to a close this morning (Wednesday, 18 July 2018), some 16 months after it began.

During that time Island Recycling, and its partner company Guernsey Recycling Group (GRG), shredded some 670,000 tyres, weighing in at approximately 6,700 metric tonnes, or 14.8 million pounds.

Placing the last tyre on the shredder this morning, Health Minister Dwayne Seymour noted that the tyre-shredding project was an important part of preparing the landfill for the transition to an integrated solid waste management system (ISWMS).

“While we are still negotiating with DECCO to finalise the contract for ISWMS, the space that this project has freed up at the landfill allows us to look into the future and imagine a process for managing solid waste that looks and functions quite differently from what pertains today,” Minister Seymour remarked.

The shredding of the tyres, at a cost of $1.47 million, resulted in a product known as tyre-derived aggregate, which has already been used by a local construction company in a luxury development. When work begins on ISWMS the aggregate will also be used at the landfill for cover material, drainage works, erosion control and an access road base.

For the initiative Island Recycling, which won the contract in 2016, created 10 full time jobs. It expects that employees will be able to transfer the training and experience to future recycling projects.

The tyre-shredding plant, which was shipped from Missouri in the United States, processes whole tyres at a rate of around one every four or five seconds and reduces them to approximately two-inch rubber chips.

Now that the historic stockpile has been dealt with, going forward the Department of Environmental Health will use its own smaller shredder to deal with tyres arriving at the landfill. Once ISWMS is operational the tyres will be treated at the proposed waste to energy facility.

Acting Deputy Governor, Hon. Stran Bodden, was present at the event, as was Finance Minister, Hon. Roy McTaggart. As then Councillor for Health, Mr McTaggart helped to launch the project in March 2017. Also in attendance were current Councillor for the Ministry, Capt Eugene Ebanks, Councillor David Wight and representatives from Island Recycling as well as DECCO.

The proposed Integrated Solid Waste Management System (ISWMS) will have recycling, composting and a waste-to-energy concept at the heart of its operations. When awarded the contract to construct and operate the new waste management system will be for a 25-year period.

Remarks (as delivered) by

Minister for Health Hon Dwayne Seymour

At the Close of the Tyre-Shredding project at George Town Landfill

18 July 2018


Good morning,

As most of you will be aware, when the Legislative Assembly was last in session I took some time publicly to look ahead at this moment. I am very pleased that we are now assembled here to mark this milestone.

Shredding has been ongoing at the George Town Landfill for the past 16 months. In that time we have shredded millions of pounds and thousands of metric tonnes of tyres.

I must comment here that longbefore 16 months ago the shredding of tyres was already being talked about in the corners of Government.

During this period, working with Island Recycling and its partner, we have eliminated an unsightly and potentially dangerous waste product that for many years took up considerable space at the landfill. I know the DEH staff will tell you that the tyres posed a risk and they are glad to be rid of it.

It is especially satisfying—as I am sure my colleague the Minister for Finance will agree—to know that rather than disposing of this product we are able to reuse it again. Instead of purchasing and importing significant fill, a significant amount of the tyre-derived aggregate that was generated by this project has already been used in a local development, and when the new integrated solid waste management system (or ISWMS) inevitably becomes operational, we will be able to take advantage of this locally produced aggregate for that project as well.

Although negotiations with DECCO to finalise the ISWMS contract are still on-going, the space that this project has created at the landfill allows us to look into the future and imagine a process for managing solid waste that looks and functions quite differently from what pertains today.

This development is a very real, very tangible step forwards towards world class solid waste management. Even more importantly it is a milestone towards achieving improved environmental health services, and hence undeniably a better quality of life for citizens and residents of the Cayman Islands.

As such I would like to express my gratitude to everyone whose hard work has made this possible. From staff at the Department and Ministry, to Island Recycling and Guernsey Group, as well as our ISWMS project manager Jim Schubert, you have all done your part to help build a brighter, cleaner future for the Cayman Islands.

Thank you for your attention.


IMAGE: Hon Dwayne Seymour



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