State Releases audit on beverage container recycling program

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "Recycling is a good thing, keeps all of our waste out of our landfills. It's the right thing to do to save our resources."

Acting State Auditor Jan Yamane voices her support of recycling. It's the Deposit Beverage Container Program that she has issues with.

Her office released a bi-annual audit of the program, which illustrated several shortcomings for fiscal year 2012.

One of the criticisms is that the program takes in less money than it pays out, making it financially unsustainable.

Yamane points to an accrued28 million dollar difference in handling fees dispersed over container fees collected as an example.

The report also points to a lack of positions being filled.

"They have the positions, they could hire staff, but right now, they have only one inspector and you can only do so much with only one staff" she said.

Deputy Director of the Department of Health Gary Gill which oversees the program, refuted the findings.

He told Hawaii News Now the positions have been filled since the time of the audit.

The audit also states there is potential for erroneous reporting or even fraud because the redemption centers receive their funds without having to verify the amount of material or weight claimed.

Gill states that some improvements do need to be made, but said he's proud of the 75% redeem rate of beverage containers statewide.

Yamane makes some concessions as well.

"I think they have acknowledged that it's something they should look at or will look at. They just haven't."

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.