Tuesday 22 September, 2020

Concerns that recycling depot at Countryside is "not being serviced"

The recycling depot at Countryside Shopping Village on August 6, 2020

The recycling depot at Countryside Shopping Village on August 6, 2020

Residents in the Savannah area have been complaining about constantly overflowing recycling bins at the Countryside Shopping Village curbside recycling depot.

With eight recycling depots in Grand Cayman, following the September implementation of a new depot adjacent to the Captain George Dixon Park in East End, environmentally-conscious residents have a number of options for the drop off paper, cardboard, tin and aluminium cans, glass, ceramics and plastics (#1 and #2) for recycling.

According to one local-area resident who frequently shops at Fosters Countryside location, every time she passes the recycling area, there are always bags parked outside of the bins and unsightly litter in the vicinity, because the depot has not been serviced.

According to the DEH, recycling depots are typically serviced three times a week but it is likely that there have been added challenges associated with maintaining this schedule due to the pandemic.

The following photos depict the conditions in Countryside at various points in time:

August 6, 2020

September 7, 2020

September 13, 2020

There are hopes that the DEH's recent acquisition of a new fleet of trucks and the September 11 instalment of a new curbside recycling depot in East End, to support the recycling needs of residents whose previous closest drop off point was Savannah, will lead to a reduction in the overwhelming amount of garbage at the Countryside depot.

The Department of Environmental Health took over private recycling efforts in 2016 when Junk terminated the service due to high operating costs and in 2018, the government-run department began to expand the number of recycling containers available to residents, following public interest and after observing an uptick in the public's use of its recycling depots. 

In 2018, the DEH collected and processed a total of 96 tons of recyclable items for shipping overseas. This represented an increase of 24 per cent over the 78 tons of recyclables that the department shipped overseas in 2017.

In March, during the height of the pandemic, the DEH issued a press release stating that "the recycling processing operation will cease for non-hazardous recyclable materials to allow DEH personnel to reinforce essential positions in solid waste. The collection of recyclable materials will continue to take place to ensure the depots are emptied but the processing and shipment of these to recycling facilities in the United States will stop."

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