Waste shipping company starts new contract with City - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Waste shipping company starts new contract with City

Ann Kobayashi Ann Kobayashi

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

KAPOLEI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Things didn't work out exactly as planned for shipping trash to the mainland, but now Hawaiian Waste Systems is back working a revised contract with the city.  Instead of shipping trash clear across the Pacific Ocean, it will only need to take it less than a mile to the H-Power plant.

After court challenges, a failed trash shipping venture and a fire at the facility, Hawaiian Waste Systems is now accepting piles of city garbage.  It's the bulky items left on the curb.  The company is shredding the waste into smaller pieces in order for it to burn at the H-Power plant.  The city says it reduces the amount of rubbish sitting in the landfill and maximizes recovery of recyclable material because Hawaiian Waste separates metals and ewaste.  The city will also take 25 percent of the money HWS collects from recycling. 

"The waste delivered to the Campbell Industrial Park Materials Recovery Facility is normally destined for the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill. This pilot is intended to maximize the recovery of recyclable materials, recovery of non-recyclable combustible material for power generation at H-Power, thereby reducing the waste stream load that would normally be landfilled," said Tim Steinberger, City Department of Environmental Services Director, in a written statement.

The city is paying Hawaiian Waste System $39.48 a ton to shred and deliver the garbage.  It plans to take up to 36,000 tons of bulky waste over the next 12 months.  The deal is worth more than $1.4 million dollars. 

Not everyone is happy about giving the company that much business.

"Let's clean up our act, lets watch the taxpayers money," said Ann Kobayashi, Honolulu City Councilmember.

Councilmember Kobayashi is still angry the city waived the tipping fees for the 20,000 tons of trash that was supposed to be shipped to Washington.  That was about $1.5 million in costs the city absorbed.

"I said why are we waiving the tipping fees and they said the company is insolvent. So I said why are we giving them a contract? Why does the city contract with an insolvent company," said Kobayashi, referring to a previous council committee meeting.

The city already has its own scale at the Hawaiian Waste facility.  The deal is also temporary until the third boiler at H-Power is built in April. 

Like in the past there's a problem.  The scale is broken so they can't weigh exactly how much trash is brought in, but Hawaiian Waste will only be paid for what they shred and deliver to H-Power or recycle.

There are concerns other trash could be mixed with what the city brings in and then the company will be paid for more than it should.  However the city says only city trucks will go into the HWS facility.  They do bundle cardboard there but do not take any bulky waste other than what the city drops off.

The replacement parts for the broken scale are going through an emergency procurement and should be ready in the next few weeks. 

A Hawaiian Waste Systems manager says the scale has water damage from the recent rains and it is a relatively easy fix.  The manager also says the project is going smoothly and they expect to meet all the terms of the deal.

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