Monday, October 25, 2010

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.

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