Less Than Two Weeks Ago Government Announced Greenland Dump Was Dead
Now Health Minister Says Greenland Will Still Be A Dump!
Minister Estwick Will Attempt To Build Leachate Treatment Plant On Unstable Soil
Seven SUVs and a twenty-passenger bus rolled into the Greenland Dump on Friday afternoon at 12:33pm as part of a tour of the island’s waste-disposal facilities. Out popped the Minister of Health, Dr. Estwick – and his personal assistant who never strayed more than 43.2 inches from the Minister’s side. For a moment we thought we were watching the famous Royal Air Force Red Arrows in low-level formation.
Minister Estwick visited Greenland, Bagatelle old metal quarry and Mangrove Pond/Vaucluse garbage tip with an phalanx of advisors, engineers and folks who want to make some money assisting Barbados to get rid of all that garbage that you and I generate every day.
Let me be clear about one thing: there is nothing wrong with folks making a reasonable profit by serving the needs of the people of Barbados. We just have to make sure that any project is to the benefit of the people of Barbados first – with all other considerations secondary.
And that is the basic problem with Greenland and the history of this money-pit. We have always known that the soil at Greenland is unstable. We have always known that there is not a worse spot on the island for any structures – let one something designed to contain or process toxins.
Yet the previous government persisted in pouring millions upon millions of dollars into the construction companies who have pretended at least a half a dozen times to build something useful upon the site.
Soil So Unstable That Government Can’t Find A Construction Firm That Will Guarantee The Quality Of The Final Product
The soil is so unstable that the government has had to fully indemnify the construction and engineering companies working on the project. That means that the government has promised in the name of the people of Barbados to not sue anyone who recommended, designed or built the projector. When this goes bad (and it will) the people of Barbados will not be able to seek or obtain payment in the courts.
That alone should be enough of a red flag for Bajans, but it looks like the big shots haven’t got what it takes to admit they were wrong – and now the Barbados Government will continue heading towards an ecological disaster.
The Big Lie Being Told By Health Minister David Estwick
In the Nation News today, Estwick does a two-step dance in an attempt to say that Greenland is still going to be used as a dump, but only for “non-toxic” waste. (Nation News: Greenland Still Option)
“Non-Toxic” waste? Do the people of Barbados look that stupid?
No Engineer Will Sign Off On The Leachate Treatment Plant, Liners & Foundations
Leachate is the poisonous liquid that drains from garbage into the soil and drinking water surrounding any garbage dump. It can and usually does travel for miles. Even if the dump is built in a location with stable soil, and is lined to reduce leakage, there is always leachate that escapes into the surrounding area.
Plants to treat leachate like the one that Estwick wants to build at Greenland only go so far. What comes out of them is still liquid death, just not quite as concentrated.
All this talk “non-toxic” and “liners” and “leachate treatment station” at Greenland is deception. The project has not been completed in almost twenty years because it is being built upon shifting sand and gravel. If Estwick and Thompson are successful in having it built, it will only retain the liquid poison for a time. There is no doubt that it will break and we will see an ecological disaster that will poison the surrounding area and coastal waters for a hundred years.
Environmental Impact Assessment For Greenland Dump Kept Secret All These Years
Bruce Thompson is a Canadian who was an employee of Stanley Associates of Edmonton. He was sent to Barbados to conduct the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on Greenland in 1996. Thompson has a doctorate in chemistry and did a very professional investigation for the EIA. He spoke to all persons about both the pros and cons on Greenland, together with scientific research.
When he had completed his draft EIA, then-Minister Liz Thompson had asked him for a private briefing, and when he explained that he couldn’t recommend Greenland as a garbage disposal site, she went into a rage and said he could not write that. We were told that the EIA was only a draft, and that it had to be tidied up. It was taken from Thompson’s hands.
To date we have never seen the final EIA study on Greenland, but we have every reason to believe that it was “doctored” to meet the objectives of government. When we pointed out that it was a public document paid for with taxpayers’ money, we were told that Cabinet had to see it first, and it has been carefully hidden, perhaps in the Central Bank’s vault, from public scrutiny.
Like Other Small States Barbados Should Be Using Power-Generating Incineration Of Waste
Greenland could be a national park where the land is grassed and shade trees planted, with the 200,000 gallon storage tanks reactivated, and spring water used to irrigate. Also the other agricultural lands which are government owned from Greenland plantation, should be leased to small farmers in 3 – 5 acre lots, and no permanent buildings be allowed. Only sheds for tools and products and shelter from the elements. No animals would be allowed to destroy the crops.
Since 1984, the Landis report recommended incineration, which is waste to energy, with separation at source, composting, re-cycling and the final 40% incinerated. In 1984 Barbados had 350 tons of solid waste daily. Today, 24 years later, it is 1,100 tons daily and successive governments still think no further than burying garbage in the soil.
This is a national disgrace and it appears that Doctor Estwick and the David Thompson Government intend to continue with the same short-sighted, irresponsible – even criminal – policies that were adopted by the previous government.
… parts of this article were contributed by BFP readers