28 June 2023

ReGen and the Fight Against Climate Change

It’s great to see that conversations around climate change are ‘hotting up’ in Cayman. As a small island community, it can be easy to think that we aren’t in a position to make a difference. But this is simply not true.

From reducing the amount of food waste we generate at home to taking reusable shopping bags with us to the grocery store, every small action counts.

On a larger scale, the ReGen facility will make a big difference to reducing Cayman’s greenhouse gas emissions. It has been designed to ensure that more waste is recycled and that what cannot be recycled is diverted to an Energy from Waste (EfW) facility where it can be combusted to generate electricity for our homes and businesses.

Why do we need ReGen?

We simply cannot continue sending our trash to landfill. As a group of islands, we have limited land resources due to geographical constraints. There is only so much space we can use for burying trash before it impacts plant and animal biodiversity and poses a health risk to the public.

Landfills attract pests, such as rats and mosquitoes, which can carry diseases that can be fatal. The decomposition of organic waste in landfills produces odours and releases hazardous substances, leading to air pollution and respiratory problems for nearby communities.

Landfills can also contaminate soil, groundwater, and nearby water bodies due to the leaching of toxic substances from the waste. Landfill gas, primarily composed of methane, is a potent greenhouse gas contributing significantly to climate change. On islands like ours where ecosystems are fragile and biodiversity is crucial, this is a particular concern.

Moving away from landfilling

By transitioning away from landfilling, we are fighting climate change. The ReGen facility promotes resource recovery, greenhouse gas emissions reductions and contributes to a circular economy, aligning with global efforts to combat global warming.

The EfW site will provide a sustainable solution for handling and disposing of our municipal solid waste and other types of waste that can’t be recycled. Along with reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses that would be generated if the waste was left to rot and decompose in the ground, it reduces Cayman’s reliance on energy derived from burning fossil fuels. This complements other renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, providing a consistent and reliable energy supply.

While the construction phase of ReGen will incur some fluctuations in emissions, it’s important to note that the long-term benefits are significant. Through the considered design, safe operations and adherence to strict global standards, ReGen will deliver a cleaner, greener Cayman for all.

We still need you

While ReGen provides an improved waste management service, it is still massively important that we reduce the amount of waste generated across the Cayman islands. We are calling on people to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible – not just now, but once the ReGen facility is up and running, too. It is vitally important that we protect our piece of paradise on this overwhelmed planet.

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