An online petition launched by Newlands MLA Alva Suckoo last week has already attracted hundreds of signatures.
Citing the Department of Environmental Health’s recent collection performance as ‘unreliable and inadequate,’ the petition aims for the reinstatement of twice weekly collections.
“The norm now is that, you know, a week goes by, maybe a week and a half, and then you might be getting your garbage collected,” said Mr. Suckoo.
He told Cayman 27 inefficiency and mismanagement are both negatively impacting the reliability of the DEH’s domestic garbage collection efforts.
“My petition that I am now circulating, and we have over 300 signatures now, is asking for restoration of the twice weekly pick up schedule, and for them to stick to that,” he said.
That could be tall order for a department that has been plagued with recent issues, including the suspension of its director.
Minister Dwayne Seymour didn’t respond to Cayman 27’s request for comment for this story, but he did get candid with West Bayers at a community meeting in March.
“What I see going on here is just a lot of laziness, by some individuals who are supposed to be taking the job seriously and they are not,” Mr. Seymour told West Bay North constituents.
“If the minister is complaining, then we are in trouble” said Mr. Suckoo. “It is his job to get that situation resolved, I’m not criticizing the minister but, you’re the minister now, so step up.”
Mr. Suckoo told Cayman 27 he’s not advocating for wholesale housecleaning, but says if human resources are the issue, he has a suggestion.
“Put some resources there,” he said. “If you need to change your management team, change it, if people are under-performing, then reprimand them, if they don’t improve then you will have to replace them. There are many Caymanians out there who are willing to do the hard work, and let me tell you, it is hard work.”
He says ultimately, garbage collection is a health issue that impacts us all.
“God knows what sort of potential outbreak you could have here if this isn’t dealt with seriously,” he said.
The DEH responded to Cayman 27’s request for comment, saying this week, the service delivery was impacted by the temporary downtime of two garbage collection units as well as increased quantities of waste from Earth Day activities.