It seems that some event took place over a recent weekend along South Sound. Now someone has collected the garbage but left the bags (some untied) by the beach. The same happens every time there is an event at the Lions Centre when the whole surrounding area seems full with litter, especially those areas which were used as “parking lots”.
Whose responsibility is it to clean up this garbage/litter in a timely fashion? Why does DEH not enforce the anti-littering law in these cases when they should clearly know who the event organisers were?
Auntie’s answer: Keeping Cayman clean seems to have become a running theme for this column, but I am always happy to help get the word out on this issue. For the situation you describe, the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) confirmed that it is the responsibility of the organiser to make sure the area is cleaned up after an event, but the DEH can help.
An official with the department said, “The DEH make a concerted effort to assist community groups with coordination of their clean-up projects, especially if there is advance notification.”
At the same time, however, the group running the event is obligated “to make proper arrangements for the removal of collected litter, either to remove it themselves or to coordinate its removal with the DEH”.
Understandably, department staff can’t be cleaning up every place that needs it at the same time. The official noted the limited resources of the DEH and said the department welcomes community involvement in keeping Cayman clean, adding, “What is needed is for the groups to reach out to the DEH in advance to ensure the timely removal of the collected waste, if the group can’t do so.”
As you point out, he agreed that it is counterproductive to collect the litter but leave it there; that only adds to the problem. “The DEH encourages more community involvement and does not wish to discourage groups from cleaning up but for them to arrange for better coordination of the events,” he said.
Towards that end, organisers can fill out a Community Clean-up Assistance Request Form, which is pretty self-explanatory; you provide details of the event and the clean-up requirements and the DEH will work with you to deal with the rubbish.
As for enforcing the regulations contained in The Litter Law, perhaps you can help by contacting DEH when you next come upon leftover trash. The DEH will investigate your complaint (see Beach needs to be cleaned up).