Denver set to spend up to $4M on homeless clean up with hazmat team

At any given time in 2023, there were 5,818 homeless people in the city, according to a count done in January.
Denver, Colo.

Months after a libertarian think tank president left human excrement on the steps of the city council, the city of Denver is now set to pay millions for a hazardous materials crew to clean up waste and debris left behind throughout the city by homeless encampments.

Last year, Jon Caldara, who heads a free-market think tank in Denver, was fed up with the issues residents continued to face. In September, as previously reported by The Center Square, he took human excrement left by homeless people at his place of work to the steps of the Denver City and County Building in protest of the city's homeless problem.

"I wanted to make it clear that it wasn't my poop, and I have to clean it up anyway, and so the point is the people who caused this problem are not just the homeless who use private property and trespass as their bathrooms and party houses, but the people in that building who don't enforce the laws, those who don't police the problem, we can call the police, but they don't do anything about it, nor can they, and so maybe the people who caused the problem should start cleaning it up," Caldara said at the time.

At any given time in 2023, there were 5,818 homeless people in the city, according to a count done in January.

The city council will vote on a contract with Environmental Hazmat Services Inc. that will not exceed $4 million. The total cost of the project may be less, depending on how much work the city requests.

The contract is for on-call services with the private company. The city stated the scope of the work may vary from as small as picking up a left-behind bucket of oil to larger projects such as restoration of lands impacted by a large homeless encampment.

The company will provide services including picking up waste and drug paraphernalia throughout the alleys, parks, sidewalks, and public spaces across the city left behind after the closing of homeless encampments while continuing to care for the outdoor areas of the micro-communities, transitional housing, and the supply of portable units used in sanitation according to city documents.

The contract will run for three years.

The city of Denver is also dealing with the border crisis and has spent more than $63 million on the more than 40,295 people who have come from the southern border, according to the city website.

Environmental Hazmat Services Inc. did not respond to an email seeking comment.