Recycling in Cayman not a waste

| 22/07/2018

A month ago, Foster’s Food Fair gave me a recycling box (kudos to FFF) which I have since been using to throw out my cardboard, plastic, glass and aluminium. I dutifully bring the items in the box to the proper recycling bins by Kirk supermarket. Recently someone told me it’s pointless to recycle here because it all goes into the same pile in the landfill. Is that true and I am wasting my time trying to recycle?

Cayman National Bank

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Auntie’s answer: No, you are not wasting your time. Every so often I get a reader questioning whether recycling actual takes place in Cayman. A few months ago, I outlined Department of Environmental Health (DEH) recycling efforts as well as suggestions for reusing and reducing waste (see Concerned about recent recycling efforts).

As before, I can also point you to a list on the DEH website of recyclable materials and the locations of depots containing recycling bins. I understand people being cynical because once someone throws the items into a bin, there is no way to know what happens next. But I am assured that DEH continues to recycle what they collect.

While more can certainly be done, including increasing education and awareness of the importance of recycling, I do believe every little bit helps. And that is why my family continues to separate paper, plastic and glass and carry those to the receptacles at one or another of the supermarkets when the pile gets too large at home.

Doing something is definitely better than doing nothing.

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Category: Ask Auntie, Environmental Questions

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    No offense to the journalists who are just reporting what they are being told by the DEH but, I find it hard to believe with all of the issues the island is dealing with concerning regular garbage collection that they are effectively running a recycling program. I am afraid I need a little more hard evidence than their assurance it is happening. Do the issues impacting normal collection not effect the recycled items? Are they outsourcing the collection, sorting and all of the additional effort that is involved in recycling versus traditional rubbish colllection? If so perhaps they should consider outsourcing everything. I am all for recycling but, it only works if it is ultimately recycled.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I know of a couple of teenagers in West Bay who, with the help of their parents and for a nominal fee, will pick your recyclables up and dispose of them properly. If you know of whom I am writing please contact them and pass on the word, and/or give them your support.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do they have a valid Trade and Business licence?

      • Anonymous says:

        Do local teenagers need one? Kinda sounds like a better lemonaid stand idea. Do kids need a license for a lemonaid stand too?

      • Anonymous says:

        So a couple of teenagers want to make some pocket money or earn an honest buck and you throw that up? Seriously? I bet you’re the type of person who sees little Susie selling lemonade on the corner you’ll probably ask her for her T & B too.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes they do – it is Convert Cayman: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. They are legal 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry to spoil your day but yes, they have a Trade and Business license.

  3. Jerry Frazier says:

    A search on the DEH website results in no matches for glass. Please advise them. Thanks.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “I understand people being cynical because once someone throws the items into a bin, there is no way to know what happens next. But I am assured that DEH continues to recycle what they collect.”

    This the main problem right here. What has the DEH done to prove they are actually recycling the materials? It is a lot of extra effort to recycle so why should I bother when I believe DEH just plain throwing it all in the garbage pile?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Would be interesting to know if / which of the large condo’s & hotels break down into categories , the re-cycle products for deposit to the various DEH drop off areas for collection, or if they have their own re-cycle areas on their properties. Same for Restaurants. Do government departments re-cycle on their own properties , offices/buildings ? The Airport ?

  6. Anonymous says:

    CNS, Is it true that if plastics don’t have the identifying number on them, they are discarded? Eg I have lots of bottles showing the number 1, but their caps appear to be a different material with no recycle number on it. My wife is adamant that we still recycle the caps, but i’m convinced if they don’t know, they won’t spend the time to identify it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    so I have watched the company Junk just dump recycling that i assume companies pay for just dumped with regular garbage. it has also been said that the majority of containers that we try to recycle here in Cayman, have not been properly set up.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have personally witnessed junk dumping recyclables at mount trashmore? Are you sure they didn’t go through and pick out what was actually recyclable and then take away the stuff that wasn’t to the dump?

      • Anonymous says:

        yes i watched them dump the recycling then pull away

        • Anonymous says:

          Again, you watched them dump recycling and pull away you think…. but how do you know it wasn’t after they already took out all the stuff that was recyclable and then drove that to the dump?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Is there any place that recycles spouses?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yes you can still drive your gas guzzling 5 litre Audi sport utility vehicle to deposit three plastic bottles

    • Cheese Face says:

      Or just go when you are going shopping anyway? Or are you a bit to dull to think of that?

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah I see you have completely missed the point. Please allow me to explain. To be really considerate to the environment not only involves re-cycling, but also our way of life and that includes picking a fuel efficient vehicle and using it wisely. I will refrain from name calling though.

        • Cheese Face says:

          That’s not really what you said though was it? So yes I missed the point as it was clear as mud.

          In saying that, I agree with you and retract my accusation of dullness x.

    • Anonymous says:

      On the same trip that you make to the supermarket anyway!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Can you post a proof, a photo, that DEH continues to recycle what they collect. A field trip report perhaps.