EnviroWatch uncovers illegal dump site

Published: Jun. 24, 2011 at 5:27 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 24, 2011 at 10:22 PM HST
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By Jim Mendoza

KAPOLEI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The stash is enormous. Dozens of large plastic bags filled to the brim sit spilling their contents on a quarter-acre site in Kapolei.

Much of the garbage comes from the Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America ship, including paperwork, documents, and dozens of cabin cards with the names of passengers and the dates they sailed.

"It's going to break down and all of this is plastic. That plastic is made of oil. And guess what happens? Right into the environment," said Carroll Cox, president of EnviroWatch.

Cox was tipped off to the dump site that sits a short distance from a main road in Campbell Industrial Park.

Besides trash bags, old tires, carpeting and oil bins litter the ground.

On Friday, inspectors from the State Department of Health's Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch surveyed, photographed and documented the debris.

"The big white tanks here, those are tote tanks," said hazardous waste inspector Thomas Brand. "These two apparently held used oil. You can see some in the bottom of it. It looks like used oil. And that's what's spread across the ground here."

Cox called Honship Maritime Service, the company that collects NCL's garbage.

"That company has a contract with a company called The Trash Man to routinely pick up their trash and then haul it away and properly dispose of it," he said.

John Guinan, the president of The Trash Man Hawaii , declined our offer for an interview but did say he will survey the site himself to get the dates off the key cards and other items from the ship. He said several of his trash containers were stolen.

Cox said the company was cited in the past by the Health Department for running an un-permitted solid waste facility in Pearl City.

"For an extended period of time he's not been able to dump at HPOWER, where municipal solid waste goes. That's what this is," he said.

The state inspectors said they will follow the trash trail before pointing fingers. They reported the dumping ground to the state's Hazard Evaluation Emergency Response Unit.

"They'll come out, look it over, and contact the property owner and either clean it up themselves or have the property owner clean it up," Brand said.

Whoever is held responsible could face civil fines of $25,000 or more and possibly a felony violation.

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