This Huge Boulder Came From A Past Landslip At The Unstable Greenland Dump Site
December 24, 2007
The issue of your newspaper of December 24, 2007, page. 40 (Back page), quotes Ramon Alleyne, Chairman of the Sanitation Services Authority, as saying the landfill has come in under budget, a fact of which the Board is proud. (See online article Green Light)
Mr Alleyne’s reference to the Greenland garbage dump site is misleading and inaccurate. Perhaps it is the Silly Season preparing for the 15th January, 2008 General Election, and the BLP is publishing political propaganda favourable to itself.
“These slope monitoring reports which go back years. . . .” They have been careful not to publish the actual readings. However, during construction going back to 1995, there was plenty of evidence showing evidence soil movement downhill over hundreds of years, including 100 ton + boulders, and having excavated the toe of the hill, we could expect that this would be accelerated, particularly after heavy rainfall.
“There was mention of abnormal rains we had the year before. . .” (This would be 2006). Rubbish. The last heavy rain we had was in 1995 when 5” of rain fell in a 3 hour period (when Carew, the calypsonian, drowned at Weston). In 1984 25” of rain fell in 3 days, 13, 7 and 5. There have been 6 heavy rainfalls of over 20” in 24 hours between 1900 and 2000, and the last was in 1984.
To say that the landfill came in under budget again is inaccurate. C.O. Williams Construction and the British firm McAdle won the contract and carried out the actual physical construction at the land site, which was purported to be $20 million. I have a copy of the Tender documents and the treatment of the leachate including the ponds, were estimated at $4 million, when in fact only 2 people quoted, Williams at $21 million and Ward $25 million, with the provisos that no engineer would design the foundations to hold leachate tanks, therefore no work was started. Mr Stanton Alleyne, when the site meeting for the Tenderers was held, said the opening date was April 1, 2008.
While on the matter of leachate which is that poison which drains from the garbage, at the current garbage dump site at Vaucluse, the cells are freshly lined to avoid penetration of leachate into the water table, but since there is no leachate plant to treat it there, the leachate is then pumped into Mt. Stinkeroo, which is on the Mangrove Pond site, and as there is no waterproof membrane on this site, it dissipates through the natural fissures and coral and ends up at Sunset Crest and Sandy Lane, and into the sea. This has gone on for the last 15 years.
The taxpaying public in Barbados have never been told why it was necessary to carry out a retrofit of Greenland, after $20 million had been spent on it on the design of STANTEC Engineering of Edmonton, and Canada-Carib a Canadian construction company registered in Barbados, and not one pound of garbage has ever been delivered to the site.
On the matter of the transit station to be sited at Vaucluse in St Thomas, the public have never been told what the tenders were, and I share this information with the public. C.O. Williams Construction – $9.7 million; Rayside Construction – $12.5 million; Brathwaite Construction – $11.5 million, and Goddard Construction was Guy. $1.
As an official Tenderer, I was not invited to the opening of these bids, which is contrary to public policy, as all Tenderers are to be invited to the opening of the bids. No public tender has been invited for the building of this Transfer Station, and I am informed that a select number of people have been invited. It is my understanding under the laws of Barbados that a government project of over $100,000 must be advertised and the submission of tenders invited.
No mention has been made of the road system between the Vaucluse Transfer Station and Greenland. The primary route would be through Mile-and-a-Quarter to Cleland Hill and on to Greenland. This road is in an advanced state of disrepair, and will slip in the next heavy rain if not before the time of the printing of this article. The other roads through Boscobel, Cherry Tree Hill, Baxters, Horse Hill or the Bath road, are equally all in an advanced state of disrepair.
Finally, the taxpayers of Barbados are reminded that over the years the Auditor General has made a careful audit of the public accounts, and in a number of government departments including the Ministry of Health, and the National Insurance Board they were unable to complete the audit due to incomplete records. The local print media should publish this Auditor General’s report in full, if in sections, as a public service, as the politicians, including the Speaker of the House, is careful to hide its contents from the taxpaying public.
In the bad old Colonial days, our colonial masters insisted that the public accounts were completed or no money was passed for that department for the following year. But public accountability is a thing of the past.
Government cannot deny that public spirited persons such as Prof. Bob Speed and Prof. Hans Machel, both geologists, who have studied the geology of Barbados for over 25 and 16 years respectively, have both said that Greenland is the worst possible site for a landfill in Barbados due to its long history of storm washouts and landslips.
* This article has been edited to remove three words that were being misunderstood by readers and took the focus away from the issue of whether Greenland is an appropriate place for a garbage dump and lechate collection.