Oahu's trash still waiting to be shipped out - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Oahu's trash still waiting to be shipped out

Ann Kobayashi Ann Kobayashi
Tim Steinberger Tim Steinberger

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

KAPOLEI (HawaiiNewsNow) - At least ten times -- that's how many times Hawaiian Waste Systems has said it would start shipping out Oahu's trash but canceled for one reason or another.

"Either they start shipping or we cancel the contract and go with the next bidder," city council member Ann Kobayashi said.

Kobayashi heads the Public Infrastructure Committee. On Tuesday she pressed a Hawaiian Waste official for a definite start date but couldn't get an answer.

It's now six months into Hawaiian Waste Systems $10 million a year contract with the city. It's now storing 25,000 tons of waste on three different sites in Campbell Industrial Park.. Some of it is wrapped and stacked and some of it is in containers.

The company was supposed to be taking 2,000 tons of garbage a week. Because of the delays the city cut it back to 200 tons a week.

"It's very frustrating," Environmental Services director Tim Steinberger said.

"We have to sit down and go over this with the contracting officer and with our corporation counsel and then look and see what our options are," he said.

Hawaiian Waste Systems is waiting for the final clearance on an environmental assessment of it's operation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Company shareholder Ron Chutz told Hawaii News Now that Hawaiian Waste is working with the USDA to move the trash to a landfill in Washington state. He said he sees "no significant hurdles that can't be managed."

"It looks very positive for us to be shipping by the beginning of April at the latest, hopefully, " he said.

Kobayashi doubts it.

"They don't even have a permit with a shipper yet," she said.

Since a lot of the garbage is bulky trash, sanitation hasn't been a problem.

The city won't pay Hawaiian Waste Systems a penny until the shipment of garbage begins - whenever that is.

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