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Department of Environmental Health back on track?

Things could be looking up for the beleaguered Department of Environmental Health, according to their bulk waste collectors.

On Wednesday (21 November) the collectors were back on track in Bodden Town, after having been delayed in the Eastern Districts last week.

They have also welcomed the imminent addition of prisoners joining the ranks of their household rubbish collecting counterparts.

Bulk waste collection began in North Side at the start of November and is due to finish in West Bay shortly before Christmas.

But they have already had to double back after some residents put out their bulk items for collection after the allotted dates had passed.

And that was not the only problem they have encountered so far.

Foreman Debert Dawes said the job can sometimes be tedious, that residents do not leave their waste accessibly at the curbside, nor separate materials properly.

But that was not the worst issue they had encountered:

“It’s sometimes the animal waste which we found in the area at Bodden Town,” Mr. Dawes said, adding: “[the waste] should not be there. The stench, the men who are collecting the other refuse were right there.”

The bulk waste collectors are only looking for certain kinds of items, according to Mr. Dawes.

“We’re looking for your sofas, your fridge, your stove, your television,” he listed.

The DEH has faced a public and political backlash over its out-of-control overtime spending, chronic mismanagement and rampant absenteeism.

But Mr. Dawes said, while they would face up to criticism, they would also stay positive.

“In life, we have challenges, we all have challenges. However, all we’ve got to do is keep going. Things will get better,” he stated, explaining: “I believe that with the inmates coming to help us, any shortfall we have because of illness and so forth, they’re going to be there, so it’s going to be good for us.”

The Department will be hoping, too, that things can only get better.

“You’ve got to be optimistic in life, we can’t be pessimistic. There’s no time to be negative and looking for criticism at all times,” Mr. Dawes said, smiling.

He added that you can do your bit to help with the collection, by leaving your bulk waste items out in good time. You can double check those collection dates here.

About the author

Caroline James

Caroline James

Caroline joined Cayman 27 in September 2018 after seven years working for Sky News in London, both as a Producer on the World News programme and, latterly, as News Editor on the Foreign Desk, where she led coverage on the ground of stories as diverse as the 2016 US Election, corruption allegations surrounding FIFA and The Oscars. Before this, she worked as a Producer for Associated Press Television News (APTN) for two years, based in their London headquarters. Caroline graduated with a BA Hons degree in Arabic, French and German from Durham University, before gaining an MA in Television Journalism with distinction at City University, London. When not hunting down stories in Cayman, she can be found playing tennis, practicing Bikram yoga or enjoying a beer on Seven Mile Beach. You can reach Caroline at or 326-2243.

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