Recycling on Grand Cayman

Recycling in Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman does not provide house-to-house recycling collection,  but does provide collection centers for recycling.

With the country being so small, the local community can really make a difference when it comes to protecting the health of country’s environment.

The most effective way to reduce waste is not to create it in the first place. ‘Refusing’ will help eliminate waste from the beginning. As a consumer, it is as simple as saying ‘no’ and finding reusable alternatives. Say no to single use plastics, such as plastic straws, utensils, shopping bags and disposable coffee cups. Buy a reusable coffee cup and a glass/stainless steel straw, or a bamboo utensil set. Keep them in your bag or at work and it will be easier to refuse single use materials. Reusable straws are available at Jessie’s Juice Bar, Fosters and Kirk Home Centre. Many restaurants on island are now substituting plastic straws with biodegradable paper alternatives. But this can also be taken a step further by simply asking for ‘no straw’ when ordering a drink!

All the major supermarkets on the Island sell reusable woven shopping bags and charge CI$0.05 per biodegradable plastic bag. However, plastic produce bags are still offered in the fruit and vegetable aisle. Customers are encouraged to buy reusable mesh produce bags which are available at Bay Market and Kirks. Bay Market are also allowing customers to bring their own containers when stocking up items from their dispensers, such as granola, nuts and almond butter.

Reducing the amount of waste we personally generate ultimately reduces the amount of waste we send to the landfill. Purchase items in bulk or as refills in order to reduce packaging waste. Try and buy durable products that can be utilized multiple times. Be mindful of the items you purchase and look after them to avoid repurchase. When you are at the grocery store, be aware of the packaging. Look for products sold in cardboard or glass. Choose cooking oils, vinegars, sauces etc. in glass rather than plastic bottles. Opt for paper bags and wrappers instead of plastic, cardboard egg cartons instead of Styrofoam, loose fruit and vegetables instead of that which has been packaged in plastic trays and boxes.
Recycling benefits the environment in a number of different ways. It reduces the amount of waste that is sent to landfills and conserves natural resources (such as water, timber and minerals). Here on island recycling containers have been placed in the car parks of all supermarkets. Currently, the DEH operate six recycling depots all across Cayman.

What can be recycled?

– All clean Paper/Cardboard can be recycled. No used paper plates, coffee cups, pizza boxes, waxed cardboard and wet paper.

– Only Plastic Type 1 and 2 are accepted (check for the triangle symbol). No Styrofoam, plastic film and Plastic Type 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

– All metal containers, aluminium foil and tin cans. Make sure items are not contaminated with food.

– All clean glass bottles and jars.

– There are blue collection tubes for household batteries.

Once JUNK has collected all the recyclable materials, they are baled at its facility in Grand Cayman and shipped to Sun Recycling in South Florida. Some plastics aren’t recycled at present, but JUNK still bales and sends them to Sun, where they are charged a tipping fee for the plastic to be properly disposed of. Though this costs JUNK money, they are more than happy to do it, knowing that it is best for Cayman’s environment. Since November 2014, JUNK has diverted more than 800,000 pounds of plastics, cardboard/paper, aluminium cans and glass away from the George Town landfill!

Where to Recycle

– All supermarkets including Foster’s Food Fair – IGA, Kirk Market and Hurley’s

– All five District Parks 

– Camana Bay Recycling Centre 

– North Side Civic Centre, North Side 

For more information on what recyclables goes where, check out Cayman Resident’s easy guide.