City taxpayers have picked up the tab for nearly $2.6 million worth of emergency cleanup after January rains washed garbage into the ocean from the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill.
The city paid or approved payment for the amount of $2.59 million, according to the Honolulu Department of Environmental Services. Waste Management, the company that manages the landfill, submitted 22 different invoices for reimbursement from Feb. 11 through Sept. 30.
The invoices submitted to the city, included at the bottom of this article, show that Waste Management charged the city a 10 percent “markup” for every expenditure.
Civil Beat previously reported that in its final report submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in August, Waste Management estimated costs at $2.25 million. That figure included only costs paid to contractors hired to help but did not include internal costs like labor, Hawaii general excise tax or the markup.
The expenses — which include items like liner repair, pond pumping and even legal fees — stemmed from an administrative order issued by the EPA in late January.
The 22 invoices submitted to the city actually totalled $2.67 million — meaning the city has not yet agreed to pay about $78,000 requested by Waste Management. Environmental Services Department spokesman Markus Owens said those expenses were for things like legal fees and media relations — costs not covered by the city’s contract with Waste Management.
Everything else required by the EPA-mandated cleanup falls under the contract, Owens said.
Owens said the city has no new information about potential fines or penalties stemming from the spill. Both the EPA and the Hawaii Department of Health have also said there has yet to be any enforcement action taken against the city or Waste Management for the January incident.
Read the invoices submitted by Waste Management as well as Waste Management’s contract with the city, both provided to Civil Beat by the Department of Environmental Services: