HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The cost of Hawaii County's organic waste diversion program doubled last year with the signing of a new contract that includes construction of a composting facility.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that the contract with Hawaiian Earth Recycling requires the county to pay for the production of mulch from green waste and more nutrient-rich compost made from food scraps and other organic sources.
The county is paying about $85 or $100 per ton, depending on where the mulch is produced, up from about $42 and $45 per ton.
County solid waste division chief Greg Goodale says the new rates are cheaper than what it could cost to put the same amount of mulch into the Hilo landfill.
The mulch is free for residents.