George Town Landfill Reports & Information

CAYMAN REPORTS

CAYMAN REPORTS

To the best of Dart’s knowledge, this is a comprehensive list of reports related to Waste Management issues that have been produced in the Cayman Islands since 1992. Dart’s development ethos rests on sustainability and sound environmental practices. As an adjacent landowner to the landfill site with development commitments to the Cayman Islands for generations to come, Dart compiled these reports as part of its ongoing research into technically and publicly acceptable waste management solutions for the Cayman Islands.

HISTORIC REPORTS

The George Town Landfill has been the subject of expert investigation and reporting for more than 20 years. The earliest publically available report dates from 1992 and, as with the majority of ensuing reports, was commissioned by the Cayman Islands Government.  Also included here are reports commissioned by the World Health Organisation, the Caribbean Development Bank, and others.


1992 May, Environmental Assessment of Grand Cayman Sanitary Landfill

Authors: Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan (PBS&J)
Commissioned by: Department of Environmental Health, Cayman Islands Government

In 1992 PBS&J undertook a two part study on George Town Landfill (GTLF) and waste management planning in Grand Cayman. The first phase of this work was an environmental assessment (EA) of the GTLF and the second phase was a Solid Waste Management Plan for Grand Cayman. The study included a determination of remaining useful life at the GTLF, and it recommended closure procedures. The primary conclusions resulting from the EA are as follows:

  • the North Sound is the primary receiver of contamination from the GTLF both through shallow ground water movement and more so through runoff and surface water;
  • concentrations of contaminants off-site are low and do not exceed US EPA toxicity standards in all cases;
  • landfill related contamination has had a negligible effect on the neighboring mangroves compared to the environmental impacts resulting from the construction of mosquito control canals.

The study determined remaining site life based on the existing footprint at between 3 and 5 years depending on the appropriation of a waste compactor. The closure plan suggested the following:

  • a perimeter leachate collection system,
  • leachate treatment at the neighboring sewage plant operated by the Water Authority Cayman,
  • a landfill gas venting system,
  • a surface water management plan,
  • capping, vegetative cover, and
  • a 20 year monitoring programme.

The proposed cap was either soil only or soil and a PVC liner. In order to develop new capacity the study recommended that the government buy neighboring property and develop a lined facility there.

The cost of remediation at the time of this report was estimated at $US 3 million, much less than Dart’s 2012 estimated costs of about $US 30 million. This increase is attributed to several factors. Since 1992 the site has grown significantly in volume and areal extent, inflationary factors come into play and the recent cost estimate included rehabilitation of the whole site including the areas impacted by the growing tire and scrap metal piles.

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1992 Sept, Solid Waste Management Plan (Part 1)

Authors: Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan (PBS&J)
Commissioned by: Department of Environmental Health, Cayman Islands Government

The second part of the PBS&J study was a Solid Waste Management Plan for Grand Cayman. The consultants recommended that a closure plan be instigated for the existing landfill and that adjacent lands be purchased to develop a new sanitary lined landfill. The construction of a lined landfill has not been undertaken in the interim, although the older south mound of GTLF was capped using marl. In the intervening time since the 1992 report, landfilling has continued at GTLF despite the capacity issues and on-going environmental concerns identified by PBS&J.

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1999, Vision 2008 National Strategic Plan

Authors: Joy Basdeo
Commissioned by: Cayman Islands Government

Vision 2008 was a 10 year National Strategic Plan spanning the period 1998 to 2008. The Plan was developed through extensive public consultation and resulted in a 116 page document that contained 16 Strategies each with multiple Action Plans. Strategy 9, Infrastructure, contained specific Waste Management action steps. Some of these steps were to:

  • identify and procure a site for a new landfill,
  • consider privatization of solid waste disposal,
  • decide which components of the waste stream could most easily and economically be recycled.

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2000, Solid Waste Management Plan Update (Part 2)

Authors: Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan (PBS&J)
Commissioned by: Department of Environmental Health, Cayman Islands Government

In 2000 PBS&J updated its plan with an analysis of alternative systems of waste management based on the assumption that the George Town Landfill would reach capacity in 2002 and be closed. The report eliminated shipping waste off-island as an alternative, due to objections from the United States Department of Agriculture. It then considered composting, waste to energy, landfill and combinations of these including the possible requirement of a central transfer station. The report concluded that irrespective of what other waste reduction technologies were adopted, a landfill would still be required and, according to PBS&J, it would need to be an engineered facility developed in a new and relatively remote location. Due to the haul distance to the remote landfill, the report concluded that a transfer station at the current George Town Landfill would be desirable. In addition to the remote landfill and transfer station, it concluded that Waste to Energy and composting were possible alternative technologies to reduce the reliance on landfill.

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2002/2003, Interim Report of the Waste Disposal Options Review Committee

Authors: Waste Disposal Options Review Committee
Commissioned by: Cayman Islands Government

The Waste Disposal Options Review Committee was created by the Cayman Islands Government in order to evaluate, select and make recommendations on the preferred solid waste treatment and disposal options. The committee included senior members of several government departments and their technical support staff. The June 5 2003 report presented the committee’s interim recommendations. The recommended treatment-disposal technology was a combination of Waste to Energy, horticultural waste composting and recycling. Waste functions were to remain at the George Town location. The George Town property was too small to accommodate the proposed facilities and the report recommended that government purchase an additional 28.7 acres adjacent to the landfill. Mining of waste was considered a possibility but not until after about 15 years in order to let the waste stabilize first. The report also recommended that a Waste Authority should be formed to manage the contract for the waste treatment-disposal facility and to manage the collection of residential and commercial wastes.

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2003, Regional Evaluation Municipal Solid Waste Management Services

Authors: Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
Commissioned by: World Health Organization

The 2003 PAHO report presented an overview of Waste Management practices in the Cayman Islands in 2002. It reviewed past reports and included up-to-date information from the Department of Environmental Health. Of note is the last chapter in the report entitled “Future Prospectives” that recommended the approaches Government should adopt to ensure sustainability of solid waste management. It recommended:

  • identifying a new remote location of at least 72 acres for an engineered landfill,
  • constructing a transfer station at the George Town Landfill,
  • providing a central public drop-off facility,
  • instituting user fees,
  • adopting more comprehensive waste management regulations including the possibility of privatization,
  • increasing recycling where applicable.

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2006/2007, Cayman Islands National Assessment of Living Conditions

Authors: Kairi Consultants
Commissioned by: The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)

In 2008 Kairi Consultants completed The Cayman Islands National Assessment of Living Conditions in collaboration with the National Assessment Team of the Cayman Islands. The report noted that the current siting of the GTLF was an area of contention and debate and it referenced earlier studies which recommended that a new landfill be sited, permitted and constructed on Grand Cayman as soon as possible.

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2008, Draft Development Plan for a Waste to Energy Facility on Grand Cayman

Authors: Gershman, Brickner and Bratton Inc. (GBB)
Commissioned by: Cayman Islands Government

Solid waste consultant GBB was commissioned by the Cayman Islands Government in 2007 to prepare a Development Plan for a Waste to Energy facility at the George Town Landfill . GBB found that available land at the current landfill site was not sufficient for the required waste-to-energy plant, new lined landfill for non-burnable waste, and waste reduction and mining facilities. GBB identified a possible location for a waste-to-energy plant on lands used by the Water Authority for wastewater treatment works, but there was no site confirmation at that stage. GBB estimated that mining the waste would take an estimated 20 years to complete. It calculated that the new system would require set up costs of some CI $100 million and additional annual funding in the range of CI $18-23 million. The revenue source required to fund the project and the procurement of property for the Waste to Energy facility remained key unresolved issues when the draft report was completed.

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2010, Waste Disposal Facility Request for Proposals

Authors: Cayman Islands Government
Commissioned by: Cayman Islands Government

In October 2010, the Cayman Islands Government issued an RFP for a Waste to Energy facility at the George Town Landfill. The request was for Build-Own-Operate proposals for a Comprehensive Solid Waste Disposal Management and a Waste to Energy Facility on site at the George Town Landfill.

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2010, Memorandum of the Central Tenders Committee

Authors: Chairman, Comprehensive Solid Waste Disposal Management & Waste to Energy Facility Technical Committee
Commissioned by: Chairman, Cayman Islands Government Central Tenders Committee

The memorandum summarises the response to the RFP process. Seven companies responded, including local company Malcolm Point Environmental Engineering with a proposal sponsored by Dart Realty Cayman Ltd (DRCL). At that time, DRCL was already working on a plan to offer CIG a solution in the form of a remote site and remediation of the GTLF. In response to the RFP, DRCL modified its plan by including a Waste to Energy facility at a remote site as an option and submitted a proposal. The selection committee chose to enter into negotiations with Wheelabrator, a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc. (WMI), as the preferred option for dealing with the landfill in situ. Those negotiations did not progress, and in 2011 Government opted to pursue alternative negotiations with DRCL as part of a proposed wider public-private partnership.

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2011, Future of Cayman Economic Strategy Report

Authors: Chamber of Commerce and Cayman Islands Government
Commissioned by: Chamber of Commerce and Cayman Islands Government

The Future of Cayman Forum brought together leaders from Government, industry associations and community groups to identify the key objectives and actions that, if implemented, would improve the quality of life, business climate and create jobs and business opportunities. Under “Build a Smarter Infrastructure” the forum recommended action be taken to improve waste handling capabilities by introducing recycling efforts, finding environmentally friendly means of disposal for non-recyclables, and upgrading the sewage treatment system and opening a new solid waste landfill.

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2012, GBB Letter Affirming 2008 Findings on Waste To Energy

Authors: Harvey Gershman, GBB President
Commissioned by: Dart Realty Cayman Ltd

In February 2012, GBB reaffirmed the findings of its Draft Development Plan in an endorsement letter. The letter presented a summary of the significant challenges to establishing Waste to Energy at the GTLF site.

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2012/2013, Strategic Policy Statement

Authors: Cayman Islands Government
Commissioned by: Cayman Islands Government

The Statement was prepared for the financial year ending 30 June, 2013. In Broad Outcome 16, a Key Policy Strategy for Addressing Energy and the Environment is the promotion of a comprehensive facility for solid waste disposal management, as well as the development of new environmental health legislation.

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2013, Waste Management/Wheelabrator Technologies Facility, Grand Cayman, British West Indies

Authors: John Van Gessel, Vice President and Area General Council, Waste Management Inc.
Commissioned by: Cardno Entrix

As part of an Environmental Impact Assessment for a remotely located Waste Management Facility in the district of Bodden Town, Cardno Entrix asked Waste Management Inc. (WMI) to comment on the DRCL proposal. WMI responded with a letter, stating that: “Developing a new modern facility on a new site would, in our opinion, represent an attractive and viable technical option”; “this site (GTLF) may be viable in the short term, but the need for future disposal capacity brings into question the long-term viability of the George Town alternative” and “ Waste Management would not recommend mining and subsequently processing previously landfilled waste through a Waste to Energy facility in order to gain future capacity at the George Town site.” WMI is the largest waste collection and disposal company in North America and the parent company of Wheelabrator Inc.

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2013, Final Environmental Statement for Proposed Waste Management Facility (WMF)

Authors: Cardno ENTRIX
Commissioned by: Cayman Islands Government Environmental Advisory Board and Dart Realty Cayman Ltd

Cardno ENTRIX developed the Final Environmental Statement (ES) by using the approved Terms of Reference to guide the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The Final ES is the written report of the EIA process and provides a technical based evaluation of potential environmental impacts that may be expected as a result of the proposed WMF construction and operation in the district of Bodden Town.

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