First waste shipment to the mainland delayed

First waste shipment to the mainland delayed

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

KAPOLEI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The company hired to ship trash to the mainland started wrapping up garbage a month and a half ago but the first barge still hasn't left Oahu. Hawaiian Waste Systems changed its shipping route from Hawaii to Washington. In doing so it also had to modify its federal permit. Meanwhile thousands of tons of trash are sitting at the port or at their Campbell Industrial Park facility.

Hawaiian Waste Systems has been collecting about 300 tons a day since September 28 to ship to the Roosevelt Landfill in Washington but a change in plans has the rubbish stacking up.

"We decided to stop at this up river spot, a port that's closer to the ocean than Roosevelt and we're waiting for USDA approval on that," said Tim Hodge, Hawaiian Waste Systems. "It's not a new analysis. It's merely changing the steps in our system."

The city says it's not a problem, at least not yet, but it is starting to get concerned about the back up. Hawaiian Waste says there's no need to worry because it's still able to take in Oahu's trash.

"There's no substantive effect on the program and certainly not on the level of service we're providing," said Hodge.

Coincidently the city is also trying to change a law so that it can allow private companies and federal and state agencies to drop waste off at the Hawaiian Waste Systems facility to ship. The city would charge about $91 dollars a ton in fees and surcharges. A city spokesperson says just in case the other H-Power plant goes down shipping waste would be a backup. It's a change that Hawaiian Waste would be happy to have.

"We've got a great facility out there so the more customers the better for us and we look forward to it," said Hodge.

A hearing with the city council on the waste shipping charges is scheduled for Wednesday.

In the meantime Hawaiian Waste expects to have the permit approved soon and the first shipment should go out next week.