The Department of Environmental Health told Cayman 27 a DEH collection worker hoists anywhere from three-and-a-half to five tonnes of garbage each day.
It’s not easy work, and the DEH is urging the public to play its part in proper garbage disposal.
DEH collection workers were on the job on Hirst road in Newlands Thursday morning (23 May), doing their demanding work.
“It’s not a very nice job physically, sometimes not even mentally,” said DEH Operations Manager for solid waste Ronald Dilbert.
Beyond the unpleasant smells of garbage, Mr. Dilbert said the sheer weight can lead to injury.
“If you have persons that are injured then we have less people to pick up the garbage, we have less people that is going to have that garbage picked up, and then we get a lot more complaints from the public,” said Mr. Dilbert.
He told Cayman 27 the public can play its part by abiding by the 40-pound weight limit per bag.
The DEH also said items such as dilapidated barbecue grills shouldn’t even be put out for curbside collection. Instead, these items can be taken to the 24-hour drop off at the George Town landfill.
“Smaller amounts of vegetation, metals, even recyclables can be placed at the public drop off on a daily basis,” said Mr. Dilbert.
Many of these items end up in illegal dumpsites the DEH said can pop-up almost anywhere. Mr. Dilbert said these dump sites aren’t just an eyesore, they can have serious public health and even environmental implications.
Crew members said even an overgrown hedge can slow them down.
“You have to remember it’s a joint venture,” said Mr. Dilbert.
He said working together, the DEH and the public can help the country’s bottom line by reducing overtime.
“If you have persons that are scheduled to work eight hours, they have to go beyond that, then there’s a cost to everyone on the island,” said Mr. Dilbert.
The DEH said it will not pick up garbage that is unsuitably packaged or contains items that should not be placed with household garbage.