Wednesday, November 25, 2015         

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Garbage contract thrown out

The trash will be trucked to HPOWER to be incinerated

By Gary T. Kubota


The city has scrapped its plan to ship trash to the mainland, and bales of plastic-wrapped garbage once destined to take a 2,600-mile boat ride to Washington state will now be trucked less than a mile to the HPOWER incinerator.

Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced yesterday that the city reached an agreement with Hawaiian Waste Systems to cancel the three-year contract. The company's failure to secure federal permits for the shipments had postponed numerous startup dates.

Hawaiian Waste will truck to HPOWER about 20,000 tons of solid waste that has been accumulating at three sites in Campbell Industrial Park since October.

In return the city will forgive Hawaiian Waste $1 million in refuse tipping fees, Caldwell said.

Caldwell said it will take about five months to dispose of the trash. Items that cannot be burned at HPOWER will be taken to the Waimanalo Gulch landfill on the Waianae Coast.

Caldwell also said the city will pay Hawaiian Waste $39.48 a ton to shred large items such as mattresses so they can be burned at HPOWER, the city's garbage-to-energy plant.

Caldwell said HPOWER does not have equipment to shred the trash, and that there is a "real need" for the Hawaiian Waste System shredding service.

Caldwell said the three-year contract to ship Oahu trash to the mainland had been intended to be temporary, until the city expanded HPOWER capacity in 2011. The contract began on Sept. 28 and was to end on Sept. 27, 2012.

"I don't want to ship opala (trash)," said Caldwell. "It's not sustainable, and I don't think it's environmentally friendly."

Trash had piled up at Campbell Industrial Park, and in March the company stopped accepting trash for baling and preparation for shipment.

State health officials fined the company $40,400 in May for the illegal storage of waste at Campbell Industrial Park.

Hawaiian Waste is contesting the fine and is scheduled to appear at an administrative hearing in October.

Meanwhile, the Yakama Nation in Washington state opposed the proposed trash shipments. They and others sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture, alleging the department failed to adequately analyze a number of issues, including environmental impacts and a tribal agreement.

The USDA pulled a compliance agreement allowing Hawaiian Waste Systems to ship solid waste to the Roosevelt Regional Landfill, after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order on July 29, preventing the start of shipments.

Hawaiian Waste Systems President Michael Chutz and Yakama Tribal Council Chairman Harry Smiskin could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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