Are there rules for leaving garbage out?

| 03/09/2019
Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

I have noticed a few things when the garbage trucks come in the morning to pick up the trash in my neighbourhood. If the trash bins are not outside the enclosure, they don’t bother emptying them and if they do, they don’t put them back where they belong and instead just leave them lying around by the side of the road, which can be dangerous as they sometimes get blown away or roll over to the middle of the road.

I have also noticed that they won’t clear up the trash if they are not in plastic bags. Can anyone confirm if this happens everywhere or is it just in my neighbourhood? Is there anything that can be done?

Auntie’s answer: I really don’t think it’s unreasonable for the Department of Environmental Health to insist on a few rules for the public when it comes to garbage collection. In my view, it’s a hard enough job without having to deal with unbagged garbage flying about or strewn around by feral dogs, or inaccessible bins.

In response to your questions, a spokesperson from the DEH said the department “is committed to providing collection services to each residence on its various collection routes. We, however, ask residents to ensure that garbage is packaged, contained and stored in an area that allows us to provide timely and efficient service to all.”

In response to your questions, the spokesperson said that DEH collectors should remove garbage containers from enclosures once residents have met  the following conditions:

  • Placed containers or bags for collection in front of or at the side of premises on streets abutting the premises or in such other place as may be approved by the DEH;
  • Ensured that an enclosure that is 3ft or higher has a door;
  • Ensured that a household garbage container has a capacity of 33 gallons and each garbage bag weighs 40 pounds or less. 

The Public Health Regulations also state that it is the residents’ responsibility to remove containers from streets after collection. They must also ensure that the containers are DEH-approved, which I imagine covers all standard garbage bins. However, commercial establishments and residents with small volumes of garbage, plastic bags with openings securely tied, with wet garbage wrapped in several thickness of paper, may be used in lieu of containers.

The spokesperson added, “It is customary for DEH collectors to affix a Collection Refusal Notice to the enclosure, receptacle or in any other conspicuous area if the resident does not meet these conditions. The notice indicates the reason why garbage was not collected.”

If residents have conformed to all the conditions but their garbage remains uncollected, they should contact the DEH by phone at 949-6696 or by email at

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Comments (10)

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  1. So tired of nonsense says:

    We need to get this garbage collection sorted out and back to regular pick-ups on the designated days. Oh, if we could only get back to 2 x per week collection! It would also be great to have uniformity with the bins. In the U.K., the bins are all standard. Large, heavy duty and on wheels. The councils provide them to each property and the garbage will NOT be collected if they are not in the proper bins. Of course, there is a council tax to pay, which enables the service to be run efficiently and effectively. Once upon a time, we use to pay an annual garbage fee to the government and I daresay we had a much better garbage collection service at that time. I don’t mind paying for a WORKING, EFFECTIVE system. Cayman is becoming one large garbage dump and it smells!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    what I want to know is where do all the lids go? Is there a black market? Mine disappear in a month and I never see any extras lying around. One of life’s mysteries I guess.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My bins have had to be replaced several times because they just fling them around.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup! And see how that was not addressed in the response? I know of a property management company that has encountered with all the problems addressed here at a few of the properties they manage…it’s a pain to have to replace bins every so often because of how DEH personnel handle them (its not the tenants doing this, they dispose of the trash in the bins, not touch the nasty things). Also, I have witnessed another person tossing their household refuse (trash bags full of it) into anothers garbage enclosure, instead of leaving it at their front yard for collection. I would’ve rather to have taken it out of my place walk a few steps and put on the side of my yard to be collected than walk down the road with it or carry the stinky bag in my car to someone else’s bin enclosure! But not all ppl are decent enough to think like that. I guess it was too hard for the landlord to provide a bin or enclosure for their tenant(s) and even harder for the tenant to buy one to put outside for their trash to be placed in so the pests don’t get to it and they have to clean it up afterwards….yuuucckk!!

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m so fed up and also the public driving across flinging their nasty garbage out the window which blows over into my yard to the very disgusting used condoms

    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone know who to contact at DEH?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Rules… Oh Lord……. I laughed. If the reader wishes to see rules for stuff, they are going to have to move somewhere else- This is Cayman .

  5. Anonymous says:

    I also wish they would put the bin back in the enclosure, I’ve come home and found my bin down the street before because they have left it on it’s side and it has just blown down there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anything left of it? My bins both have cracks and large holes in them because of the way they throw them around.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lucky you found a bin at all! Mine gets stolen after garbage pick up.