Trash shipment faces another delay - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Trash shipment faces another delay

Mike Chutz Mike Chutz

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Late Friday afternoon Hawaiian Waste Systems received notice that the suspension of the trial trash run will not be allowed by the USDA. Paperwork that was requested by the USDA was sent Friday morning but the USDA said that they will not be able to review the submitted paperwork until Monday, canceling the proposed Friday trash test run.

Earlier Friday Hawaiian Waste Systems held a press conference at the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)facility in hopes to send a test shipment of waste to the Roosevelt landfill in Washington.

Hawaiian Waste Systems President, Mike Chutz said that there have been a lot of regulations that they have needed to follow. A final US Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval was needed Friday afternoon in order to conduct a trash shipment test run.

The USDA's main concerns were the bails that were being used for the trash shipment. The concern was that alien pests would transfer over to Washington's ecosystem. However Chutz said that company procedures were created to ensure safety for both states.

"People with PHDs have studied this are of the opinion and came to the conclusion that the eight ply or eight layers of wrapping create a toxic situation where any living organism in that trash is killed," said Chutz.

He also stated that his company has a process to make sure that there is more than one checkpoint of trash evaluation.

"The remedy for that would be inspection both here and at our facility then at the dock, then at the dock on the mainland and then at the landfill…and then anytime during the course of that process. If there are any hitch hiking [pests] those containers will be segregated and they will be treated according to a protocol," said Chutz

Councilman Todd Apo said that shipping Hawaii's waste elsewhere is a great alternative to Hawaii's growing trash problem and would avoid the need of to expand the Waimanalo landfill on the Leeward side.

"We can move towards number one turning our waste into energy but if we don't… we need to find a landfill outside of this island," said Apo.

"In the meantime we will continue to cooperate with all parties in order to ship bailed waste in an environmentally responsible manner. Unfortunately because of the suspension the next barge sailing will not be in another three weeks," said Chutz.

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