Why Should Anyone Trust Ricardo Marshall Of The Solid Waste Project Unit?

Ricardo Marshall, project manager in the Solid Waste Project Unit, is one of the idiots most responsible for the disaster that is the Greenland Dump. As described by Professor Hans G. Machel…

Ricardo Marshall, as I have pointed out before, is ignorant and incompetent in the position he presently holds. He has proven this numerous times, both in the printed media and in his appearances at my public presentation and on Brass Tacks in February 2006. As an example, I refer to my lengthy article “Nothing good about Greenland”, which appeared in the Sunday Sun on February 27 2005. In this article I show, point by point, that Marshall does not understand the issue(s) at hand. Marshall needs to be replaced.

… from BFP’s Greenland Fiasco Dooms Barbados – Professor Hans Machel Names The Liars, Thieves & Incompetents

In the latest piece of deception about the Greenland Dump as published in the Nation News, Ricardo Marshall claims that the only waste going into the site in the future would be “residue” after all organic materials, plastics, chemical and construction waste was removed from the garbage.

Uh-huh. Sure.

Why should anyone trust Ricardo Marshall at this stage of the Greenland Project?

He has forged ahead in the face of a wall of technical advice against the site. The site has had to be rebuilt twice due to the instability of the ground and they still can’t get an engineer to certify it and structures yet to be built – like the leachate treatment station.

Ricardo Marshall and his co-conspirators have bet everything on making Greenland Dump operational – even without leachate treatment. They have totally ignored modern incineration/vaporization technologies because they have had tunnel vision for the last 15+ years.

Marshall can’t even tell us how much has been spent for this useless and dangerous project.

But the one thing he knows is that his career and personal credibility are tied to the Greenland Dump becoming operational… so he presses ahead despite all technical evidence against the location.

Further Reading

Nation News: Trash Talk: Waste of Money


Filed under Barbados, Disaster, Environment, Health

17 responses to “Why Should Anyone Trust Ricardo Marshall Of The Solid Waste Project Unit?

  1. Bush tea

    Thank you BFP…
    Now we are getting somewhere.
    For years we blamed the politicians, but the truth is that politicians especially, (and many so called ‘leaders’) are victims of the technocrats that advise them and administer their portfolios.

    If a politician is ‘told’ that the ‘facts’ suggest that Incineration cannot be considered because it causes polution and ‘violates international conventions’ most politicians (and certainly those of the ilk of Liz and them) will repeat that ‘advice’ and act accordingly.

    If they DON’T, you can’t imagine how difficult their lives could become – especially if they have things to hide….

    It is time to get to these Permanent Secretaries, CEOs and other nameless functionaries who mess up Barbados in their own interest.

    I have some questions about how wealthy some of these have become, based on their known salaries too…. but that may be the result of excellent thriftiness.

    We want some integrity legislation in there too.

  2. Jason

    As BFP points out sometimes too often, there is no rule against civil servants like Marshall from receiving gifts from the companies that made and will continue to make millions from Greenland.

  3. I am aghast that there have been only two comments on this vital problem.

    For months all of us have been ranting and raging against Liz Thompson, and more lately Dr Estwick, for their utter incomprehensible stupidity in pressing ahead despite expert opinion to the contrary, with the Dump at Greenland.

    And now we find that the politicians are only doing what their senior civil servant tells them!

    Do we have no protection against a situation such as this?

    When we employ at considerable cost overseas experts to do detailed analyses of our needs, are they blithely thrown in the garbage because some igonarant jerk of a civil servant does not agree with them?

    I am not going so say that such civil servants necessarily have a personal agenda for their actions. I am not saying they are being bribed or otherwise “persuaded” to hide their heads in the sand. For all I know they may be acting sincerely.

    But do we have no recourse to check whether they know what they are talking about?

    As I understand it Civil Servants come up through the ranks with little or no formal expert training in the field in which they are placed. They are transferred from one ministry to another for their competence in handling bureacratic routine, and handling interpersonal relations with their political masters with apparent skill.

    Civil Servants do not qualify in the areas in which they make vital decisions. They are assumed to have a skill in sorting the wheat from the chaff in opposing points of view. What a stupid assumption!

    So now we have Ricardo Marshall, competent paper-shuffler but totally untrained in the modern scientific technicalities of solid waste management, presiding over the garbage destiny of Barbados while the whole nation cringes.

    There has to be some method by which it is assured no civil servant has the authority to make or seriously influence decisions on subjects where his or her expertise is woefully lacking.

    We heard from (now retired) Government geologist, Leslie Barker that in his opinion Prof. Machel did not know what he was talking about in saying that Greenland was the worst possible place on our island for a garbage dump.

    Presumably Ricardo Marshall agrees with Barker’s views, two ignoramuses with bigoted and uneducated opinions who regrettably were allowed to have their say because The System did not protect us from them.

    We do not allow persons to start practising medicine without satisfying rigorous standards of training and evident QUALIFICATION. Then why, oh why, do we allow honest incompetents to practice in other specialised fields such as Waste Management without demonstrating that they are fully qualified to do so?

    It is essential that we be protected against this blatantly inefficient method by which many decisionmaking Civil Servants rule this country, whatever the politicians may intend.

  4. Natural Mystic

    Dear guage: You of higher knowledge rant about Mr. Marshall, but I would stake my personal bottom dollar that he knows significantly more than you, a self-professed expert.

    What we are witnessing at Greenland and Mangrove Pond is the interaction of politics and environment, with a liberal dash of lust for money thrown in.

    Why don’t we all take a drive down to Central playing field and then come back? Then you’ll know who and what is driving this deal and the millions spent.

  5. Citizen First

    “And now we find that the politicians are only doing what their senior civil servant tells them!”

    Greengage’s withering insult about the intelligence of politicians (and of the public) as implied by the statement above demands comment.

    Ricardo Marshall did not make the decision to establish the landfill at Greenland. Ms Liz Thompson along with the then Cabinet of Barbados made that decision. Those people had access to all the counter arguments to Greenland and still made their decision.

    If the landfill at Greenland is put into operation that will be the decision of the present Cabinet of Barbados presumably on information presented by Minister Estwick not by Marshall or any other civil servant. Anyone with interest in this matter can avail themselves of the many arguments against Greenland as a site for a landfill. These arguments and counter proposals are in the public domain.

    It is the politicians (in this case Minister Estwick and the Cabinet) about whom questions of trust should be made as the decision lies in their hands.

    Futhermore, it is my opinion that far from being an “ignoramus”, Mr Leslie Barker is one of the most knowledgeable persons when it comes to the geology of Barbados. This does not mean that he cannot be wrong but Greengage’s ill-tempered comment is uncalled for.

  6. Natural Mystic

    Barbados has to choose between 2:
    1) Incineration- the fast combustion of materials to dispose of and tyo create electricity. Natural decomposition is also a combustion but it is much slower and does not comnbust inert, non-biodrgadable materials. If this mode were chosen Barbados would be well-advised to marry incineration with the northern electricity station Light and Power is building. Will this affect the lust of the nameless who must have Harrison’s Point? Only asking.

    2) Landfill. Greenland is a nightmare, yet politicians have spent tens of millions on it. We do not know what kinds of remuneration al this has entailed, but we can ask a question. If Mangroive Pond is a good site then I shall discuss it, but will post again forthwith.

  7. Natural Mystic

    Sandy Lane won’t be able to develop its spots with a landfill there. One can smell it when one approaches the top road on a day/night.

    We heard about a large check as a donation, but we only can imagine whether it could be related.

    Apes Hill is in direct competition to Sandy Lane, and one could conceivably form the opinion that someone nameless doesn’t want that dump to move from Mangrove to prevent Sandy Lane.

    Is that nameless someone related to Greenland in some way? Can anyone tell us?

    You cannot hide in Barbados because land mass is small. I’m lately getting the feeling that the corruption is insurmountable here.

    In the end will we have an incineration plant brought to us the same as the flyovers, complete with foreign partners and a plethora of offshore accounts for all concerned, private and government?

    But hey, I don’t know anything, I only speak for the trees.

  8. John

    Thing is Apes Hill is another disaster waiting to happen.

    Any school child armed with knowledge of the hydrologic cycle and the relief of Barbados could easily be convinced of the inadvisability of this and other “developments” in the upper elevations of the island.


    In my day at school this was standard second form stuff.

    Add in some knowledge about the limestone cap and even a child would wonder what sort of lunatics would consider or even sign on the dotted line to allow them.

    Like Natural Mystic I’m lately getting the feeling that the corruption is insurmountable here.

    Lately is a curiously Bajan term.

    It can mean anything from a couple of microseconds ago …. to many many many years ago.

  9. Hants

    Another one bites the dust.

    80 000-square-foot prime beachfront property –
    one of the few remaining “windows to the sea”.

    Paynes bay will now have the last great window to the sea in St.James.

  10. Natural Mystic-
    Contrary to your assertion that I am setting my self up as a “self-professed expert”, I fully agree that Ricardo Marshall may know much more than me about solid waste disposal but it is evidently nearly not enough.

    I set myself up to be only a serious reader of Prof. Machel’s detailed and expert analysis of our problem, and I am persuaded by it. If you have taken the trouble to read it (within BFP archives for your ease of reference) tell us with which conclusions you disagree.

    Citizen First-
    I am delighted that my withering insults and bad tempered comments have awakened you and hopefully others from your lethargic complacency. This is too important an issue to lie fallow.

    Barker may have qualified as a geologist, and undoubtedly knows more about the geology of Barbados than nearly all of us, but apparently that does not necessarily make him correct as you yourself suggest in championing the garbage dump at Greenland.

    Prof. Machel refuted what Barker had to say about slippage etc at Greenland in a public forum, quoting chapter and verse in evidence of his views.

    Just because semi-technocrats like Marshall and Barker may be the best we have at hand should not give them the power to foist off on the nation a potentially disastrous solid waste program especially when we have better qualified advice to turn to.

    It is lunacy to ignore the advice given to us by those most expert in the field.

  11. Citizen First


    My simple point is that we must focus on those who are authorised to make the decisions that effect us all. Those people are the appointed Ministers of Government. We must not accept the implied argument that the politicians only do as they are told (by civil servants).

    The unfortunate reality that it does not matter if you or I ignore or accept the advice given by those most expert in the field. It matters that Minister Estwick and the Cabinet review and include all such experts.

    My limited knowledge in these matters means that I have little to add to issue in terms of the technical matters. However as a hopefully responsible citizen, I can (and do) agitate that the politicians in a transparent and rational manner include all information and viewpoints in reaching the best solution. This “best solution” should be defensible by reference to freely available data and analyses especially if these have been attained by use of public funds AND subject to public scrutiny before implementation.

  12. Citizen First-

    Baa, Baa….

    Ye, like sheep are led astray- right into the Greenland Dump.

    You get what you deserve.

  13. Natural Mystic

    It is sitting there right in front of our noses:

    1) To burn diesel/fuel oil/natural gas and to generate electricity makes greenhouse gas.
    2) To burn garbage and to generate electricity makes the same greenhouse gas, but we do not buy diesel/fuel oil/natural gas.

    Harrison Point is sitting there waiting.

    I am neither for nor against Greenland/Mangrove Pond sites, but why can we not start this process of recycling/incineration, and do it honestly for the good of Barbados, without foreign partners?

    Mr. Marshall is involved in the practicalities of these processes. We applaud him and urge him to please lobby the beaurocracy in the above mode, while calling for the greener alternative cleaner modes to be implemented simultaneously.
    Thank you, that is all.

  14. I am surprised that Barbados Free Press did not comment/post on Liz Thompson’s selection by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) as this year’s Latin America & Caribbean (LAC) representative for the “Champion of the Earth” award — especially since one of the principal reasons cited was her role in setting up Barbados’ waste “management” program!

    Even more astounding to me (since I work/write on waste/recycling issues, particularly policy on it in LAC) was the claim that she got Barbados heavily into recycling. Huh??? My understanding is that Barbados’ recycling rates are very low, and the government program (such as it is) could diplomatically be called “low profile.”

    I also have to dispute her claim that the Barbados waste management program is used by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as a model for others to emulate throughout LAC — as someone who has looked at nearly every waste management program in the region, I find this claim to be utter nonsense!

    The UNEP video of her talking about the award is… interesting. I wonder what BFP readers would say about her claims about her accomplishments. The video can be seen at http://www.unep.org/champions/photo_gallery/videos/movies/barbados.mov

    Keith R

  15. No opinions? How odd for BFP…

  16. permres

    I suspect, ioman01, that waste disposal is not a priority issue in Barbados. It is too easy to tip the garbage over the sea cliff, or into the gullies. In the 1970s I walked the hills of North Wales, UK, and could not believe how the locals used these sorts of sites to get rid of their old cars, fridges, or minor garbage.

    I am intrigued by how the Trinidadian accent is so similar to the Welsh “sing-song” accent, as we used to call it in the UK. No dis-respect here, it is all about educating ordinary (ignorant – that is, uniformed, not un-intelligent) people about how to dispose of their garbage.

  17. Rumplestilskin


    I agree fully. I did not see the video, but seeing the reporting that the former Minister received such an award and knowing the state of the infrastucture here, as well all do, I found it a travesty that she received this award.

    You will see my previous comment under the topic ‘About Us and Submissions’.

    Even worse, is that the Barbados Government has not even seen fit itself, to publicly recognise such trailblazers and true champions of nature as the late Colin Hutson.

    As I said, some like to ‘write’ history according to what they want perceived, whether based on truth or not.