Solutions Barbados: Lower Estate Dump and Toxic Odours
After learning of alleged dumping occurring at the Lower Estate quarry, I investigated the matter. I did this because the quarry is located in St George North, and as an Environmental Engineer, I am qualified to investigate such matters.
I can confirm the following observations.
1. It is not possible for any vehicle to reach the bottom of the quarry, since the access road is completely blocked with stones and boulders.
2. The bottom can be accessed by foot, but it is extremely dangerous to do so. I was able to do so because I am accustomed to climbing over collapsed buildings following earthquake and hurricane events, and I had adequate safety equipment (it is normally kept in my work-vehicle).
3. The bottom of the quarry was extensively and thickly overgrown with shrubs and grass. There was no evidence of any tracks from pedestrians or vehicles in the abandoned quarry.
4. There was evidence of inert materials at the south-eastern corner of the quarry, but no noxious odours or skin irritation were detected.
5. There was no evidence of any material being dumped into the quarry from any of the quarry’s sides.
Instead, the likely source is the burning of waste materials. There was no evidence of burning of any materials in the quarry.
It is recommended that the prevailing wind direction to the affected communities be analysed, and used to trace the source of the odours.