Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and Council Chair Gladys Baisa announced Thursday that regular and holiday landfill operations and trash pick-ups will resume effective immediately.
Arakawa cautioned that this comes at the cost of depleting the Solid Waste Division’s annual funding in a few months and that to restore services will require the administration to submit a new budget amendment early next year.
“While I do not consider this the most fiscally prudent strategy, it is the only way to restore refuse services under the current budgetary and regulatory constraints the department is facing,” said Arakawa. “Simply put, if the council doesn’t approve our budget amendment, the department will run out of money and all landfill operations and regular trash pick-up for everyone in the county will again be impacted.”
Arakawa and Baisa also noted that taxpayers have already paid for more than $560,000 in non-compliance fines from the State Dept. of Health.
“When it comes to public services, we cannot let politics or personality clashes get in the way,” said Baisa. “The Mayor has never been hesitant to reach out to me and together we have always managed to find solutions. I agree with him that this is a temporary measure at best and that we need to look at long-term solutions to the challenges facing our landfills. Until then, we must restore services to the public.”