“Planned Landfill Opening in Doubt” … said the story in The Nation, February 6th 2008 page 5a. (online link here)
There is a Star in the East and a new Political Wind is blowing. It would appear that PM David Thompson and his Cabinet will save Barbados and visitors from Environmental and Financial disaster by closing the retrofitted Greenland state of the Art, Garbage Dump Site at Greenland St. Andrew in the Scotland District Park.
Stanton Alleyne and Ricardo Marshall, Seniors of the Solid Waste Department, Ministry of Health – have been saved from defending and promoting the unworkable and indefensible Greenland Garbage Dump Site. Against their common sense, their professional training and experience they supported the Greenland site with its long history of landslips and storm washouts.
If this project continues, the contents of the landfill including poisonous leachate will drain into the sea by the Greenland River and Green Pond on Morgan Lewis Beach. This will destroy the Marine life along the East, West and North Coast as far as Sandy Lane, St. James.
It was announced in February 1994 by Liz Thompson of the Ministry of Health, who as a Minister of Cabinet said on public television that “no Caucasian male” could tell her black Government what to do, and that the Barbados Garbage was to be dumped at Greenland. (Editor’s note: Minister Thompson raised the issue of Mr. Goddard’s skin colour when she could not reply to reasoned technical objections against the Greenland dump site. Watch her performance here)
The Government had been given plenty of free advice that Greenland is the worst site for a landfill. This advice has comes from the Residence of Shirley Village, St. Andrew whose fore Fathers has lived there since settlement of Barbados in 1627. Professionals like Edward Cumberbatch, former Solid Conservation Officer for the Barbados Government who worked in the area over 7 years in the 1960s, and Professors Bob Speed and Hans Machell, who are considered internationally the be authorities on the Geology of Barbados and who have worked in Barbados and studied its geology for 25 & 17 years respectively.
Government Departments advise against Greenland, including Ministry of Agriculture, Soil Conservation and Town Planning Departments. The topography is hilly and steep and the oceanic clay soil is 70 millions years old with five over/underground springs running through the valley. Today over $50 millions have been spend on the dump site plus $11 millions on roads and bridge works. Thirty years ago $6 millions in planting fruit Trees and building of two large water storage tanks and irrigation system was paid for by International Aid Company.
In 1984 the Landis report, requested by the Barbados Government and paid for Canadian International Development Agency, recommended incineration. It was pointed out by Landis that Barbados was too small a land area and too densely populated with a Tourist Economy for a Landfill anywhere on the Island. Incineration (waste to energy), sorting at source, recycling, composting etc is the way to handle solid waste in Barbados, where 1100 tons of solid waste is generated daily and increasing by 5% annually, with a disposal cost of $250.00 Per Ton or $30 Million annually. Private contractors move 60% and Government 40% of the garbage.
Like good soldiers, Prime Minister David Thompson and His Cabinet know how to retreat and in an orderly manner to fight and win at a later date. Remember Dunkirk during WW11.
Williams Industries (Bizzy) has the studies and plans for modern, modular incinerator which could be operational two years after a contract is signed.
Prime Minister Thompson: the Laws of Barbados require that all Government Departments and monies are to be accounted for annually and audited by the Auditor General of Barbados.
Remember Transparency Internationally has you and Barbados in their sights.
(Please note: this article has been edited for style and length by BFP)