Monday, October 25, 2010

Fosters hands over plastic bag cash to research centre

Cayman News Service
October 5, 2010

(CNS): One local supermarket has collected $10,000 from the sale of plastic bags since it began charging for the bags in June this year. Foster’s Food Fair has now donated the money to the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) as part of its promise at the beginning of the BECOME campaign to give 100% of the money made from the plastic bags back into the community for “green efforts.” The number of plastic bags in circulation has dropped however, as increasing numbers of people have turned to reusable shopping bags to carry their groceries.

As part of its campaign to increase awareness on the importance of “going green” Foster’s said it had taken the first part of the money earned from the bags it sold and given it to CCMI to help conduct and facilitate research, education, conservation, and outreach programs that will sustain marine diversity for future generations. Read whole story here.

Waste Management Proposals for Cayman Islands Invited

Waste Management World
October 7, 2010

The much anticipated request for proposals to deal with the Cayman Islands George Town dump has been officially released. Government is now inviting proposals for the redevelopment of the landfill also known as Mount Trashmore, reports The Cayman News Service.

Although the government had previously expressed its preference for a Waste to Energy Facility (WtE), it is reported to also be inviting tenders for Comprehensive Solid Waste Disposal Management Facilities (CSWDMF).

According to a release from government, it is seeking an entity that will manage all waste generated in Grand Cayman through the establishment of a CSWDMF and WTEF, while enhancing the island's recycling capabilities and producing green by-products such as biofuels and composting.

"All entities interested in providing a Comprehensive Solid Waste Disposal Management Facility and Waste to Energy Facility Facility in Grand Cayman should respond to the Request for Proposal by noon, 19 November 2010," the release from the Department of Environmental Health stated.

"The George Town landfill currently receives all types of waste and recyclables. The existing method of land filling municipal waste is not sustainable," government officials said.

Entities making a bid to solve what, at 80 feet high (25 metres), has become one of the country's biggest problems, will also be required to provide future waste disposal management options for the Sister Islands.

"The issue of a Request for Proposal is a long anticipated and welcomed step in the process of redevelopment of the George Town landfill," said the Minister with responsibility for public works, Juliana O'Connor-Connolly. "The Ministry is seeking an entity that will provide a practical and reasonable long-term waste management solution for the Cayman Islands."

Mount Trashmore is considered the highest point on Grand Cayman at well over 80 feet and certainly its worst eyesore. As the dump has not been lined it has been leaking into the North Sound for several years, causing major pollution problems for the marine environment.

Tackling the dump has been a controversial issue for some time but more recently a group of activists under the banner of Waste Initiatives & Sustainable Environments (WISE) began a campaign to oppose the concept of mining and incinerating the dump as its sole solution. The group has instead suggested capping and remediating the landfill. WISE proposes turning to a new eco-waste management park elsewhere on the island, which would focus on composting, recycling, reuse and the reduction of waste in general with limited incineration and ultimately zero discarded or dumped garbage.

The activists have said that incineration will create further pollution, as will the mining of the current landfill, which will release dust and debris into the air as well as generate persistent bad odours during the lengthy period of mining, which they warn could go on for years.

However, the relocation of the waste management facility has caused controversy, with no district welcoming the idea of a new, albeit modem, 'dump' in its neighbourhood.

The tender invites proposals that will deal with the landfill on the current site and it is expected that the existing rubbish at the dump will be mined and burned in a waste to energy conversion and it is hoped that there will also be some recycling undertaken at the site.

Interested parties must be mindful of the noon deadline on 19 November, as late submissions will not be accepted. Excluded from the RFP will be the collection of residential and commercial waste; this will still fall under the responsibilities of the Department of Environmental Health.

On the Green Carpet at the Environmental Media Association awards

Mother Nature Network
October 25, 2010

Celebrating the eco-friendliest examples of filmed and televised entertainment, the Environmental Media Awards drew a megawatt assemblage of stars and media moguls to the green carpet at the Warner Bros. lot for a festive evening of accolades and revelry. Sponsored by Toyota and Lexus, whose respective plug-in Prius and CT200h were on display, the ceremony honored Avatar, 30 Rock, Bones, and Living With Ed and featured a performance by Kenny Loggins.

“I don’t know if Rupert Murdoch knew he was going to spend a couple hundred million dollars to make an environmental movie,” James Cameron (pictured right with wife Suzy Amis) said as he accepted the feature film EMA for Avatar from Eva Mendes. Realizing he was “preaching to the choir,” he nevertheless took the opportunity to speak at length about pressing eco-issues. One byproduct of the film’s global impact is his increased involvement in trying to help those who face issues depicted on screen. He’s been to the Amazon rainforest twice and “met with indigenous communities there to push back against the big hydroelectric dam they’re building, which will displace 25,000 people. We think of hydro as clean but it’s devastating the rainforest. It will throw thousands of megatons of carbon into the atmosphere, which will accelerate global warming. There are so many better answers with energy.

“This is such a critical time in the history of the environmental movement and there’s so much that needs to happen right now,” he continued, noting that he donated to the campaign to stop California’s oil company-backed Proposition 23, which would suspend the greenhouse gas emissions bill. “We really have to look at how we’ve been running our civilization and reevaluate our value system. We need a sense of conscience in what we do and the entertainment community can do that, slowly effect change in people’s lives. Our leaders in Washington aren’t going to do it,” he said, citing politicians’ refusal to mention climate change in energy legislation. “The leaders only [act] when the public tells them to and that’s our job. What happens in the next decade may well determine the outcome for life on this planet for the next thousand years so we have to step up to the challenge and accept responsibility, for our children and their children. When they look back I want them to think of us as those ancestors who took responsibility and did what had to be done and saved the planet.”

Read the whole story here.