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Tyre-shredding operations begin at Cayman Islands landfill

The shredding of more than half a million stockpiled tyres began officially at George Town landfill this morning (Tuesday, 21 March 2017).

Island Recycling, and its partner company Guernsey Recycling Group (GRG), won the contract last year to shred the huge backlog of used tyres accumulated throughout more than a decade.

Between eight and 10 full-time jobs are being created by Island Recycling for the initiative, with employees likely able to transfer the training and experience to future recycling projects.

Shredding of the pile is expected to take just less than a year, after which the Department of Environmental Health will use its own smaller shredder to deal with tyres arriving at the landfill.

The resulting product, known as tyre-derived aggregate, can be used locally in construction projects, with Island Recycling already having contracts in place to supply Davenport Development and Ironwood Development.

In the future, the product could also be used at the landfill for cover material, drainage works, erosion control and access road base, in line with the government’s path to environmental sustainability.

“This is a significant milestone in my government’s determination to implement a long-term waste management system that will serve the needs of the Cayman Islands for generations to come,” said Premier and Minister for Health Hon. Alden McLaughlin. “The ever-increasing pile of tyres has been an enormous problem for many years.

“I am very pleased that we have begun work today on shredding these tyres and that the waste can be used for construction projects on-island. This is a major moment as we consolidate our commitment to resolving the landfill issue that has challenged many different administrations in the past.”

The tyre-shredding plant, which consists of specialist equipment 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.

“I am delighted that the tyre-shredding has officially begun today,” said Ministerial Councillor for Health Roy McTaggart. “The mountain of tyres at the landfill has been of great concern and we’ve been working extremely hard to resolve the issue once and for all.”

The start of the tyre-shredding comes on the cusp of government implementing the proposed Integrated Solid Waste Management System (ISWMS), which will have recycling, composting and a waste-to-energy concept at the heart of its operations.

The procurement of ISWMS is moving forward based on the project being executed on a “design, build, finance, operate and maintain” basis. As such, government went through a pre-qualification process last autumn to shortlist companies that could construct and operate the new waste management system for a 25-year period.

Selected bidders submitted initial outline proposals for ISWMS in early February, and a preferred bidder is expected to be announced by the end of April 2017.

“We support the government’s initiative to go forward with an integrated waste management system for the Cayman Islands as it’s absolutely necessary for a sustainable future in waste management,” said Island Recycling Managing Director Jason Brown.

“Island Recycling is taking a waste product, which has been disposed of at the landfill in the past, and turning it into a recycled material that can be put to use in building developments across the Cayman Islands. It’s a fine example of the circular waste-economy in motion, turning waste into resources for our homeland.”

Director of the Department of Environmental Health Roydell Carter also welcomed the launch of tyre-shredding operations.

“The ultimate elimination of the huge pile of tyres will be of significant relief to everyone, since any reduction minimises the potential risks associated with the storage of large quantities of tyres,” he said. “This is a great step forward in our efforts to clean-up the landfill and implement the new waste management system.”



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