Greenland Fiasco Dooms Barbados

UPDATED: Dec 22, 2006 01:54hrs GMT

Greenland Article Hits #80 on Top Posts List!

The following article Greenland Fiasco Dooms Barbados was December 21st’s 80th most viewed post on the entire blog system. Considering there were 545,489 WordPress blogs and millions of posts online on December 21, 2006, that’s not too shabby!

Thousands of readers obviously agree that this article by Professor Hans G. Machel has something important to say…

Original BFP Article…

Millions Of Dollars Wasted To Create A Short-Fused Environmental Timebomb

On Dec 13 2006 work apparently started on the so-called ‘retro-fit’ of the Greenland garbage dump, St. Andrew, which will cost a minimum of 25 million dollars – added to the estimated 30+ million dollars already spent on this ill-fated site. This is a stupendous waste of taxpayer money. The retro-fit is happening even though Greenland is located in the Scotland District National Park, and despite the fact that the site has been unequivocally demonstrated to be totally unsuitable for massive garbage disposal.


Greenland Site Is Unstable

A garbage dump at Greenland will be an environmental, ecological, and economic disaster for a number of reasons, chiefly because the ground in the entire region is highly unstable, because of ground water and toxic waste leakage, and because of torrential rainfalls. I have demonstrated this in several public presentations and news paper articles over the last 5 years, and in an informal environmental impact assessment dated January 18, 2006, which the Barbadian press and the Government of Barbados have received.

Everything that had to be said on a technical level has been said. Yet, Government ignores the overwhelming evidence and goes ahead anyway, against all warnings, against all common sense, and against overwhelming public opposition.

In The Years To Come, Ricardo Marshall’s Legacy Will Be A Toxic Waste Disaster

Now that the retro-fit is underway, one conclusion is inevitable: Ricardo Marshall and his cronies, that small group of people who is orchestrating the Greenland fiasco, are either stupid or callous, or both. This is because anyone who does not understand the reasons for the unsuitability of Greenland as a landfill is stupid, and anyone who denies these reasons is callous. These people just do not give a hoot about the environment, nor do they care about the welfare of Barbadians. All they care about is themselves. Barbadians will have to pay a very high price for this, and for generations to come.

Hans G. Machel
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Alberta

BFP photo by Shona – Shifting Ground At Greenland Breaks Up Entrance Road


Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics & Corruption

34 responses to “Greenland Fiasco Dooms Barbados

  1. Hants

    The concept of a garbage dump in the Scotland district boggles the mind.

    Every Bajan who went to high school learned that the Scoland District was clay,unstable and susceptible to mudslides when it rains.
    That is my “laymans” perspective.

    With all the Expertise available in the developed world Garbage disposal in Barbados should be an easy problem to solve.

  2. Rumplestilskin

    I will ask agin.

    What is to become of the soon to be defunct ‘Mangrove landfill’?

    If, despite all objections the Greenland landfill will become the new dump, what will be the new purpose of the old?

    Will it, as it should become a new Mangrove National Park, as it should be. Where locals and visitors alike will enjoy the beautiful vista presented including that of the West Coast sea and sunset.

    I would not want to believe that it might be considered by some as potentially another area for residential development for luxury condos or villas, for more Government selloff of land.

    No, it could not be. The new Mangrove Nationa Park, I say.

    Imagine listening to some cool jazz, coming from the bandstand, surrounded by beautiful trees. As the sun goes down in the West the orange hue is cast across the smooth-cut grass and the picnikers.

    Yes, sir. That is the picture.

    Pity to gain such another area of beauty has to be ruined.

  3. God Bless David

    Who the hell is Ricardo Marshall, and why does this guy hold him responsible for the landfill at Greenland???

  4. God Bless David

    So what will we do with the garbage, if we can’t put it at Greenland or Mangrove? Do we look for another location? Broad Street? Heroes Square? St Lucia? Where? Where? It’s not just going to disappear…do we burn it and punch more holes in the O3 layer???

  5. Rumplestilskin

    I for one have no problem leaving it at Mangrove, if we are refusing to incinerate (the modern technology for which is much improved), although I am in favor of incineration and recycling.

    HOWEVER, if it is indeed to be moved, then Mangrove must have another use.

    Just curious as to what that will be. Will be interesting to find out.

  6. Environmentalist

    God Bless David it seems Ricardo Marshall is The Project Manager of Governments Solid Waste Management Programme. Check this link –

  7. Tudor

    Hants what we learned about the Scotland District at school still stands. This is one of 2 National disasters awaiting to happen in this country, the other is a massive failure of the south coast sewerage scheme (for the second time). The first time is one of the best kept secrets in B’dos. CBC interviewed people like Keith laurie, Harry Roberts and the tape was NEVER shown on tv. I was on the call-in programme and when I made mention of it I was blocked.
    Excellent suggestion to turn Mangrove into a Park, its done all over the world, thats proper waste management. Here in B’dos a smaller version of that is the playing field at WIBISCO. Where the field is now was a swamp, Teddy Hoad manager at the time arranged with the Sanitation Dept to dump all the garbage there top soil was then applied and today we have a playing field not only for cricket but where hundreds of promising atheletes pratice under the watch ful eye of Jerson Clarke.

  8. Crusty

    Whatever might be the immediate plans for
    Mangrove after its closure, they are unlikely
    to include housing development. Garbage
    decays at varying rates, resulting in uneven
    settlement. You wouldn’t want to build on
    “ground” that might be very lumpy for the
    next 50 years.

    Parkland is a common use of such sites in
    other countries.

    An alternative dump site in St. Lucy has
    been suggested – it might be Lamberts, but
    I could be wrong on that.

  9. BFP Cliverton


    Please email us more details about the CBC investigation and report…. who, where, when, what.

    How you know what you know etc.

    We don’t need to know your identity, but please give us a lot more detail to work with.



  10. I don’t get it. On the other posting on this matter, “Greenland Dump”, Wry Mongoose told us Govt intends to introduce legislation for incineration (for bagasse initially) and when this is done, garbage can also be safely incinerated with no polluting byproduct or damage to ozone layer.

    If this is the case, why the big expense to fix up Greenland? Speed up the legislation for incineration and save the money being wasted on Greenland.

    Sounds too simple. Am I missing something?

  11. Adinah

    Will Government and big business be able to fix the enviornmental disaster that Greenland will cause? No, it will be too late. In short, Bajans will be poisoned by their own waste.
    Why with all the concrete, scientific facts and Geological evidence laid out against the Greenland Project, that plans are still underway to destroy one of the most beautiful Islands on this planet?

  12. John

    … believe it or not, there is water there too.

    If they haven’t done so already, this area needs to be rezoned from Zone 1!!

    What’s the link between Sandy Lane, Greenland and the Desal Plant?

  13. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Barbados: Greenland Dump Ill-Advised

  14. My friends at BFP, a guest piece laying out the facts, players and controversy on this issue is exactly the type of thing I would welcome at The Temas Blog, and perhaps that would give it some of the broader exposure it needs (although being featured in Global Voices is a good start!).

    Best Regards,

  15. Pingback: BFP Article “Greenland Fiasco Dooms Barbados” Hits #80 On WordPress TOP POSTS List - Out Of Millions Of Posts Online! « Barbados Free Press

  16. Eager Reader

    Isn’t Ricardo Marshall the son of a BLP MP, who is now selling shoes?

  17. De Orginal

    Millions at Greenland dispite warnings from geologists and other several other but look at today’s Nation Newspaper This is first world Barbados.

  18. John


    I have been told that Ricardo Marshall is Rommel Marshall’s son.

    Heard also Rommel has a shoe store.

    I also remember seeing someone who looked just like him selling shoes out of the back of a fancy 4×4 parked in Dromedary Alley.

    That was a while ago. Suspect the RBP might have something to say about that now.

    But the man works hard. He told us so in Parliament and explained this is why he has a Mercedes and swimming pool. David Thompson at the time had said he had never seen a Minister of Transport and Works who did not drive a Mercedes.

  19. Rumplestilskin

    Priorities. Like building a new sugar factory, for Bds$150 million, before overruns. So expect $200 million plus. Sad.

    I thought that we shut most of the sugar factories on the advice of ‘experts’ Booker Tate?

    I thought that sugar ‘dead’.

    Now to spend $150 million on a new ‘brand’ factory?

    Why NOT?

    Lets build a bridge between T&T and Barbados. Lets build the tallest building in the world.

    Oh, just where else can we splurge. The cup runneth over.

    With idiocy.

  20. Out Dey In Bim

    Do you know who are the agents for mercedes benz?Are they simpson motors the same people who are the importers of the buses for the transport board?

    If so,then I can understand David Thompson’s statement about every minister of transport driving a merces benz.

  21. Tudor

    Cliverton, in July 2005 a major fault occured in the south coast sewerage sytem which resulted in over 3 million gallons of raw sewerage dumped in the Graeme Hall Swamp and in to the sea at Worthing. This is a Fact. I cannot give you the technical details, but basically BWA had 2 choices, dump into the swamp or let the sewerage back up into people’s homes. One would not expect that such a new system would have a fault such as this. Check out Dr. John Mawansa or the BWA”s PR man (cannot remember his name).
    The decision to dump in the swamp is contrary to, as it was explained to me, standard emergency dump procedure and Barbados could come under scrutinty by the IADB whose financed operations must comply with environmental and other regulations.
    For more detailed information please go to section 4 on the http://www.graemehallnational site.

    However I can confirm that I was on Worthing beach and saw Keith Laurie & Harry Roberts being interviewed by Mike Goddard of CBC, and that the report was never aired on CBC TV.
    A senior enigneer in this country recently said to me that the south coast sewerage scheme is a national disaster in waiting. he is, because of obvious reasons afraid or relucant to come forward with the information and has promised to let me have it in the new year as I am not afriad to raise the issue; and will certainly share the imformation with BFP. Cliverton I hope that you have enough to get the ball rolling.

  22. Rumplestilskin

    Dont have any technical data. But I remember the incident. I sometimes swim in the area and had to stay clear of that sea due to what was coming from the swamp.

  23. Rumplestilskin

    To clarify my post above re the sugar factory, I am referring to the announced new factory to be built.

    It was my understanding that we had spent a hefty sum having Booker Tate adjust our management of the sugar industry in the 1990’s. This included shutting numerous sugar factories.

    In addition,one of the issues was that sugar no longer commanded a significant price on the world markets, thus we could no longer be competitive.

    This announced sugar factory goes against those ideas and thus the question needs to be asked as to what exactly has changed.

    1) Has recent history showed the Booker Tate assessments to be incorrect?

    2) Is the sugar industry expected to have a new outlet nationally or is the world price projected to be beneficial for many years to come?

    3) Are our industries including our tourism product falling short of earning power, including foreign exchange and thus are we seeking / rejuvenating alternative means to derive foreign exchange, if rather desperately?

    What exactly is the justification for such a huge investment at this time and an investment which will further increase our external borrowings?

    I believe that due to the previous emphasis on the Booker Tate assessment, the virtual ridiculing of the sugar industry at that time even up until recently, we are certainly entitled to an explanation of the sudden turnaround in approach by the Government.

  24. Tudor

    By the way John & Eager reader, I doubt that Richardo Marshall is Rommell ‘s son. Having as recently as today seen Richardo he seems to be too old to have been sired by Rommell! that’s not a tongue in check remark. Marshall like Clarke or Brathwiate is a good ole Bajan name. I do however stand to be corrected

  25. Environmentalist

    What is sad about the Greenland issue and many other controversial subjects is that our professionals, knowledgeable people and experts at UWI do not come out and give their proffessional opinion on the areas in which they have expertise. We need more people with backbone to get up not be afraid to deal with issues of national concern.Whether it is economists, engineers, lawyers etc. they need to be more civic minded and contribute to building this nation. Mr. Leonard St. Hill is actually a lonely voice crying in the wilderness. For example in the Nation Newspaper of December 03, 2006 in a “guest column” titled “Ardour gone astray” he had this to say among other things about The Physical Development Plan 2003 (amended) “The elaborate product advertised at $200 per copy for public information is presumptuously unauthorised. It is not the prescribed document required by law, specifically Sections 11 and 6 of the Town and Country Planning Act Cap 240. It gratuitously presumes a revision of the Town and Country Planning Act which is clearly not in the remit of proposals for amendment of the Development Plan according to the very act.”

    To my recollection not a single person made a comment or response to Mr. St Hills serious allegatipns. Not The Chief Town Planner,not The Minister responsible, not any other Town Planner in private practice, not a lawyer. Was Mr. St. Hill writing utter rubbish? Not a word from anyone. Sad very sad.

  26. John


    You have it right. But if they admit to the breach of the law then heads must roll and as others have said, Bajan politicians don’t do resigning.

    It is a pity because their unplanned permissions can create havoc.

    And just for a few dollars.

  27. John

    Mr. St. Hill, on behalf of the Scotland District Association, actually argued in court back in 1995 that since Greenland was not marked as a landfill on the Physical Development Plan that the prime minister acted ultra vires in over ruling the Chief Town Planner and puttng the landfill there without the blessing of the Physical Development Plan which was required by law.

    The case was dismissed on a technicality and the Government required that if the Scotland District Association wanted to appeal and get an injunction to prevent work, it would have to put up a sizeable sum as security.

    … and there it lay!!

    It is obvious the Government has absolutely no intention of following any Physical Development Plan.

  28. Eager Reader

    But Tudor, Rommel could have started young.

  29. Hans,
    If what you say is true about the callousness surounding the decision re. the Greenland landfill, then someone within the government ought to be held responsible for this fiasco. Barbadians should be up-in-arms over this decision and let the government know in no uncertain terms that no more taxpayers dollars should be wasted on this venture.

    Thanks for bringing this matter to the attention of Barbadians and the world.

    Andy Knight

  30. Pat

    BFP Cliverton Says:


    Please email us more details about the CBC investigation and report…. who, where, when, what. How you know what you know etc.
    We don’t need to know your identity, but please give us a lot more detail to work with. Thanks!


    Would this be some years ago, when dead fish started floating in the waters at Oistins and all along the South Coast? I remember my relatives at home refusing to eat fish. They said the sewers burst and killed the fish. I dont remember what the official explanation was at that time. Anyone knows? Oh, I think it was warm water from the Amazon river. Hard to believe.

  31. Richard

    Lenny St. Hills drawback is his rep. Its rather spotty eh! He is not the most believable chap in the world. Trying to digest what he says is often difficult. One gets the impression he writes more to confuse than to elucidate.

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