Auditor General suggests city cut ties with Tomlinson Group over dump mismanagement

A scathing audit of the city’s Springhill Landfill in Osgoode released Thursday points to years of mismanagement.

The reports exposes ground contamination, unaccounted royalties, and lack of oversight, according to the Auditor General.

The landfill is operated by Tomlinson Group. The city inherited the dump and contract with Tomlinson when it amalgamated with Osgoode Township in 2001.  

Auditor general Ken Hughes says the deal has benefited  Tomlinson Group more than the city of Ottawa.  

“This has not been a good partnership for the city,” Hughes said.

Hughes adds that the city is likely to pay more in cleanup for the dump than it has earned.

Over two decades Ottawa has been given $6.3 million in royalties, according to the report.

The cost to cleanup the ground contamination and close the dump is estimated to cost close to $8million.

It is believed the city is owed additional royalties. Hughes alleges Tomlinson was not willing to provide the documents to look into it.

Based on this partnership, Hughes suggests the city no longer work with Tomlinson.

There were 16 recommendations made in the report to the city. All have been accepted by city management.

In response to the report, a spokesperson for Tomlinson said “we have every intention to move forward in partnership, with the City to address all of the issues and concerns raised so that the path forward is one of strong cooperation and one that is in the best interests of Ottawa residents,” said Michael Clement, General Manager, Tomlinson Environmental Services.

City staff say last month Tomlinson provided documents including financials for the last four years. 

Documents will need to be reviewed to determined how much, if anything, the city is owed. 

The city says it will meet with Tomlinson over the summer to move forward.