In parallel with the contract negotiations currently under way with the Cayman Islands Government, the Decco Consortium has continued to make progress in laying the groundwork for the new integrated solid waste management system.
The proposed waste-to-energy facility is a key component of the integrated solid waste management system that will be built on Dart lands near the current site of the George Town landfill. Prior to submitting planning applications for the facility, the consortium has been preparing for an environmental impact assessment identified as a requirement for this component of the project.
GHD, an international environmental consultant and a partner in the Decco Consortium, is advising the group on key considerations including the possible effects on the atmosphere, marine environment and terrestrial ecology. The next stage of the process is for the Environmental Assessment Board to agree to terms of reference which will, subject to public consultation, define the scope of the environmental impact assessment.
In the interim, the Dart team visited waste-to-energy facilities in Uddevalla, Sweden, and Bermuda. These facilities are similar in scale and technology to the solution proposed for Grand Cayman.
Waste-to-energy facilities are built primarily as a means to reduce the volume and environmental impact of wastes. However, as a bonus, particularly in the Cayman Islands where electricity is very costly, waste-to-energy facilities also produce renewable electricity. Boilers above the fire grates produce steam which turns the rotor of a turbine that is attached to a generator to produce electricity. It is estimated that the electricity generated by recovering the energy in a well-filled 60-litre household garbage bin could light a 40-watt light bulb for around a week.
Martin Edelenbos, Decco’s engineering coordinator for solid waste management, said that the combustion process that will be used in the proposed waste-to-energy facility involves multiple steps to ensure emissions are clean and safe.
“Today’s advanced boiler and air pollution control technology allows waste-to-energy facilities to reliably meet stringent European Union air emissions regulations,” he said.
The Cayman Islands has set a goal to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by 70 per cent in 30 years, Edelenbos said. “The proposed waste-to-energy facility will contribute approximately 7 megawatts of firm electrical power towards achieving this goal.”