Barbados Greenland Garbage Dump Way Over Budget, Way Behind Schedule and Still Way Too Dangerous

How Much Will The Greenland Landfill Site Cost?

Originally it was $20 million, then it doubled overnight to $40 million. Now? Hey… with a government project you know how it is – a million skimmed here and a million wasted there and pretty soon, you’re talking real money.

The Nation News is carrying a couple of stories about Greenland today and to give them credit, they gave a call to Professor Hans G. Machel, the author of BFP’s exclusive Greenland series of articles. (listed at the end of this article)

But in a statement reminiscent of the best stand-up comedy we’ve seen at the Lamplighter, one of the stories at the Nation News leads with the “fact” that the $20 million retrofitting project “will come in under budget”. This “retrofitting” is to replace the original $20 million dollar construction that fell apart after a few rainstorms. No mention if the yet-to-be-built leachate plant and transfer station are included in that $20 million dollars.

So, no, the Greenland landfill site is not “under budget”. I’m trying to think of a single “under budget” government project and I can’t. Perhaps some of our BLP readers might be able to help out with some examples?

Meanwhile, the Greenland landfill story is one that should be of interest to each and every citizen. It shows the worst of government mismanagement, over-runs and pig-headed commitment to a flawed concept simply because no one in government dares to say “I guess we made a mistake”.

Professor Machel says that putting a landfill site at Greenland is a major disaster in the making.

Here is part of what he said in his series written for Barbados Free Press…

greenland-dump.jpg

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
Professor
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Alberta

Further Reading On The Greenland Fiasco

Nation News: Landfill Ahoy!

Nation News: Greenland Still In Limbo

BFP… (In reverse date order)

April 4, 2007 Greenland Dump Construction Problems – Landslips, Deviating From Plans, Runoff Diverted Into River

March 9, 2007 Rape Of A National Treasure Continues At Greenland Dump

February 27, 2007 St. Andrew MP George Payne Highlights Land Slippage In Area Of Greenland Dump

February 24, 2007 Barbados Town Planner Announces National Park From Consett Bay to Archer’s Bay

February 2, 2007 Greenland Dump Project Doubles In Cost Overnight – And That Figure Is Still A Lie!

January 31, 2007 Island Vulnerability.Org Website – Fabulous Resource For Barbados Greenland Dump Research

January 23, 2007 The Great Barbados Landslip Of 1901 – Will It Be Repeated At Greenland Dump?

January 21, 2007 Vancouver Sun Newspaper Links To Photos Of Greenland Landfill Site

January 17, 2007 Greenland Fiasco Dooms Barbados – Professor Machel Names The Liars, Thieves & Incompetents

December 31, 2006 Greenland Fiasco Dooms Barbados – Professor Machel Replies to Comments

December 22, 2006 BFP Article “Greenland Fiasco Dooms Barbados” Hits #80 On WordPress TOP POSTS List – Out Of Millions Of Posts Online!

December 20, 2006 Greenland Fiasco Dooms Barbados

December 15, 2006 Greenland Dump – A Disaster In The Making: C.O. Williams Bulldozers Start Work

August 21, 2006 Barbados Sand Fingers Poke Through The Clay At Greenland Dump

April 17, 2006 After Barbados Greenland Waste Site Is Full – Then What?

March 22, 2006 Barbados Public Works Minister Gline Clarke – What Has He Been Smoking?

March 22, 2006 Barbados Greenland Dump Had “Technical Flaws In Design” – Prime Minister Arthur

March 9, 2006 Barbados Government Silences Own Greenland Experts

March 1, 2006 Barbados Greenland Consultancy Fees

February 17, 2006 Barbados Greenland Landfill Tenders: Let The Graft Begin!

14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment

14 responses to “Barbados Greenland Garbage Dump Way Over Budget, Way Behind Schedule and Still Way Too Dangerous

  1. theNickster

    Heres a noodle baker for you, how much would it have cost to have a genuine recycling plant here. Government policy is to sweep things under the carpet, as with this project (pun intended). The clean water we pride ourselves on, seems a little murkier these days doesn’t it, like our future.

  2. Hants

    There is enough science and technology in this modern day and age that we should not be taking unnescessary risks on such a small Island.
    Can we assume that the Government is acting on the best advice available?

    It appears to me that Government is forging ahead with Greenland Garbage dump because it is accepted that the worse case scenario would be land slippage and the dump ending up in the sea on the East Coast.

    The majority of the Hotels are on the West Coast and are therefore considered safe.

    The major damage would be to the East coast reefs.

    Just my layman’s opinion.

    Has anyone proposed a viable alternative for disposal of Garbage in Barbados?

    Lets hear it.

  3. Bacon&Eggs!

    Government is committed to Greenland (unfortunately)

    There’s a joke about bacon and eggs that states
    the chicken is merely ‘involved’
    but the pig is committed.

    well, iz dah kindah ting.

  4. J. Payne

    Greenland was a bad…. idea from the giddy up……

    Heck Hans G. Machel did his homework how about making him the new Minister of Environment. What do we have to lose????

  5. Bimsha Boy

    I lived in St. Joseph and traveled in the St. Andrew Parish quite extensively. The entire “Scotland District” in Barbados is very susceptible to erosion and my recent visit to Barbados found the situation to be pretty much the same after seeing what has been happening to similar roadways many ages ago.
    The mere thought of the Barbados Government thinking of building a garbage dump rather than finding other re-cycling alternatives is sickening. Just think if the roadways buckling under the heavy trucks traveling them each day, think of the cost of repairs to the trucks and roads.

    We have just had the experience of underground caves causing the lost of life in the Brittion’s Hill area, this brought us to the reality of the composition of the geological awareness of the island.

    Having lived in the State if New Jersey, the once Garbage Capital of the USA and driving by the many dumps therein I saw the carnage by many roadsides and waterways in the vicinity of these dumps.

    The only by product from which a community can benefit from a dump is the extraction of methane gas long after the dump is closed. In the long run there is still the danger of chemical run-off into the water supply. Here in lies the decision on what will be more beneficial to the island. The health and welfare of the community, or the wealth of
    the persons who will eventually be given the go ahead to built the methane plant with the understanding that there will be the usual “kick-back”
    And we thought we saw everything!!

  6. John

    Had to chuckle at the description of a successful business given in today’s Nation.

    “….Consider the make-up of a successful business.

    At the top, an unlettered white entrepreneur,

    gut-feeling gambler, past master in the art

    of making contributions to the right people.

    His technical and administrative staff: a few graduates, and some black or Asian computer-whiz kids. This is the only area where academic brains

    are needed to any extent.

    His field supervisors: briefly-educated, highly competent, white toughies. These weren’t scholars

    but give them any job and they will get it done.

    Finally, the artisans and general workers. Barbados has the people to fill its jobs but we are educating them for unemployment and hence have to import workers.”

  7. unapologetic

    Open question?

    What is the DLP’s position on Greenland at this time?

  8. Anonymous

    John…
    sounds like an accurate assessment to me!

  9. theNickster

    John

    “Barbados has the people to fill its jobs but we are educating them for unemployment and hence have to import workers.”

    Even if you leave secondary school with 10 CXCs (all 2s and 1s for effect) no matter the subjects, all you are good for is the post of “Clerical Officer”. So to even get higher training at a tertiary level (so you can be classed for work other than clerical) you need at least 5 to get in the door. So what happens to those who can’t jump through the academic hoops as well as others they (depending on their disposition) learn a trade (that includes the illicit trades) or fall out of the system entirely.

  10. John

    theNickster
    September 22nd, 2007 at 12:52 pm
    John

    “Barbados has the people to fill its jobs but we are educating them for unemployment and hence have to import workers.”

    Even if you leave secondary school with 10 CXCs (all 2s and 1s for effect) no matter the subjects, all you are good for is the post of “Clerical Officer”. So to even get higher training at a tertiary level (so you can be classed for work other than clerical) you need at least 5 to get in the door. So what happens to those who can’t jump through the academic hoops as well as others they (depending on their disposition) learn a trade (that includes the illicit trades) or fall out of the system entirely.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I think what the writer of the description of a successful business model in Barbados is trying to say is that perhaps we should allow persons to leave school with no certificates and to leave it early.

    The model of the successful business in Barbados clearly supports this.

    Employment is there for non-clerical workers and non UWI graduates in the successful Barbadian business model.

    No scholars needed!!

  11. theNickster

    No “local” scholars needed. Just setup schools to produce drones with enough skills to use a tool and not defecate in the work area. Seems like another promotion of the pyramid system. I must get a look at this article.

  12. Economic arguments regarding long term strategy for waste need to factor in that we are living in a changing world.

    For example, a longterm planning decision taken 15 years ago is unlikely to satisy criteria today, given that now waste is everybody’s problem – not the domain of what the establishment might call scruffy, weed smoking idealists.

    The driver in Europe has been the EU. For all Tony “God Complex” Blair’s good work internationally for the environment, at home he was a sick joke in this area. The reason local Councils have stepped up recycling now is because they will be (indirectly) fined by the EU if they don’t. UK based contributors to BFP will confirm this.
    Whether one is in favour of the EU or not, it would seem that we occasionally benefit from allowing idealists to overcome local petty interests, and the area of waste is one example.

    Which leads us to the question, what role can CARICOM play in this debate now, and what effect do you think they will have in 10 years time ?

  13. John

    theNickster
    September 22nd, 2007 at 5:10 pm
    No “local” scholars needed. Just setup schools to produce drones with enough skills to use a tool and not defecate in the work area. Seems like another promotion of the pyramid system. I must get a look at this article.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Check out Hoad and you will get the Lowdown on what’s really what in Barbados.

  14. The Greenland Landfill Debacle remains one of the most disgusting examples of gross and reckless BLP Governmental mismanagement. So far, millions and millions of dollars have been wasted on the construction of this national dump that happens to be located in one of the most beautiful parts of Barbados. What a shame, too, that this increasingly sickening BLP Government would have been so insensitive in putting this dump-to-be in such an ecologically fragile part of Barbados!!

    In the mis 1990s, then Health and Environment Minister, Ms. Liz Thompson, was adamant about this national dump-to-be being placed in Greenland, in spite of an abundance of evidence – scientific and otherwise – that to place a national dump in Greenland, St. Andrew, would bring further endangerment and treacherousness to the immediate and surrounding regions which are already well known for their unstable lands, fragile ecology and delicate underground hydrology.

    The BLP parliamentary representative for St. Andrew, Mr. George Payne, is already on record as saying that it is “environmental madness” to place a national dump in Greenland. We in PDC go further to say that it is total madness and absolute psychotic behaviour of the most disturbing and untreatable sort for any government of Barbados to place such a dump in Greenland. Yet, this same Liz Thompson, a very clear and sound thinker, indeed, and who happens now to be the Energy and Environment Minister, is saying very little about Greenland, now, in contrast to the mid 1990s. What a dramatic change in talk and behaviour!!

    One thing is certain, though: were PDC to win the government Next Elections, this Greenland Landfill Project WILL DEFINITELY be closed down completely, and what has been done or is currently being done will be converted into some other environmentally and ecologically conducive use or uses.