Norwegian Cruise Line's Waste Found in Illegal Dump


For many years we have been concerned with cruise ships dumping their trash into the sea near our Hawaiian Islands, but a recent discovery by Carroll Cox of EnviroWatch, Inc. found  Norwegian Cruise Line's (NCL)  trash on land, in an illegal dumpsite in the Pearl City and Kapolei  areas on the island of Oahu.  Further checking revealed that a company named The Trashman LLC is the company that hauls  waste for the NCL and they were the ones allegedly seen leaving the scene where the ship's waste was illegally dumped.

A source informed Cox that he witnessed a truck belonging to The Trashman, a commercial trash hauler hired by Honship Maritime Service Corporation to pick up NCL's trash, driving out of an open field late in the day on a Saturday.  The source said he later went up to look at the area and found  illegally dumped municipal solid waste, plastic bags, and various other debris.  He gave Cox a description of the location. 

Cox visited the area and found an approximately 1/4 acre site covered with what can commonly be described as municipal solid waste.   Cox sifted through the trash and found  glasses with the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) logo on them,  uniforms, bathrobes and guest key cards for the Pride of America (an  NCL cruise ship), carpet remnants and tiles,   500-700 gallons of a black substance partially spilled from plastic containers, and empty chemical containers that once contained  soap,  water treatments, and adhesives.    He also found medical documents for passengers, a routing envelope, a list of workers, and other information about the ship and its passengers.       


After finding the trash, Cox contacted  "Stu"  from Honship Maritime Service Corporation and asked him if The Trashman LLC hauls trash for NCL.  He confirmed  they do.  Cox told him he found illegally dumped trash associated with NCL cruise ships.  Cox then asked him if he had any paperwork that could help identify who dumped the trash.  Stu said he did but never provided the paperwork and did not follow up with a site visit.  Cox called him a second time, but he did not show any concern even after Cox informed him that not only did he see these things, but  he  observed several containers at The Trashman's facility that  contained similar items consistent with the NCL waste.  Stu still was not interested.

Cox then notified the State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), and visited the site with members of the  Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch, along with the  Hawaii News Now film crew, to do a news story  about the dump (click here to view the news story).

Later that day, after Cox returned to the site again, he noticed that someone had been rummaging through the trash.   A short time later he observed  "Grant" (last name unknown) from NCL drive up to the site and begin to inspect and photograph the  trash.  Grant said someone from DOH called him to come up and see if the trash belonged to NCL.  He identified several pieces from the dumpsite that belonged to the NCL cruise ships and took some samples.   Shortly thereafter John Guinan, owner of The Trashman LLC,  arrived at the site and started sorting through the trash.  He said his people did not dump the trash and he was going to file a complaint that someone had taken trash belonging to NCL and dumped it in the field. 

Cox tried to talk to "Grant" from NCL, telling him that he had observed a number of The Trashman's containers holding  similar NCL trash and documents in Pearl City and in Campbell Industrial Park.    Cox then tried to explain to Grant that he had talked to Stu at Honship Maritime Services, informing him of what he found in the various locations, but Grant was still not interested.    Cox then tried to explain to Grant that The Trashman had  problems and was not in good standing with the City and County of Honolulu because he was at least $30,000 behind in payment of his tipping fees and had been banned from dumping at city facilities since February 1, 2009.  Cox then told Grant he should be concerned because, if The Trashman was hauling trash for NCL but was prohibited from dumping in the city dump, there was a good probability that this was why NCL's trash was illegally dumped in the open field.    Again, this explanation fell on deaf ears and Grant just did not care.

The Trashman LLC  also hauls construction debris but has been banned from dumping at the private construction debris landfill owned by PVT in Nanakuli for a period of time due to lack of payment for dumping at that facility.   PVT's management told Cox that on numerous occasions in the past The Trashman's construction debris was turned away because it was commingled with municipal solid waste, and that the waste looked  similar to the trash just identified as being from the NCL's cruise ship.  PVT also said The Trashman LLC was  behind in payments of  tipping fees at PVT.

It should be noted, Cox was already investigating The Trashman regarding other issues.  On the day prior to the NCL find,  John Guinan telephoned Cox to discuss the improper handling of two containers of  asbestos he was hired to haul for Clauss Construction to the PVT Landfill.     They also discussed Guinan's placement of his company's containers  filled with trash on city streets, and  Guinan's inability to dump at the Department of Health approved disposal sites,  H-Power plant,  Waimanalo Gulch Landfill, and the PVT  Landfill because he was delinquent in paying his bills for earlier dumping.   During the call Cox told Guinan about finding  NCL trash in the field.   Guinan then suggested that  he, Carroll Cox, had taken materials from his containers and planted them in the field to make it appear that Guinan had illegally dumped the waste.   After a short time Guinan realized how ridiculous that sounded  and then claimed that a former business partner,  Mr. George Grace, Jr, had stolen one of Guinan's containers with trash Guinan was hauling for NCL.  He said Mr. Grace  drove  the container to the field,  illegally dumped it, then called  Cox to have him file a complaint against Guinan's company.   

Trash containers parked on a city street                

A number of trash haulers have expressed their concerns about the bad image this incident will give the industry as a whole.  They also ask how is it possible that the City and County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaii permitted Guinan to service contracts when it was common knowledge that he could not legally dump the materials because he had been banned from the permitted facilities.

Further checking by Cox revealed that DOH's Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch issued a Notice of Violation in the amount of $59,640 to the Trashman  (see attached).     On Monday, 6/27, NCL hired workers to pick up the trash.  Click here to read about it, and view pictures of the clean up effort


The Trashman's baseyard