Junk at Molokai Landfill Finally Recycled

MOLOKAI (KHNL)--Hawaii environmentalist Carroll Cox and his one-man Envirowatch organization marked a huge milestone.

A long-standing threat of a lawsuit against Maui County prompted it to clean up the neglected Molokai landfill. Now it's a done deal.

For the past decade the Molokai landfill has been a dumping ground for items never intended to go here. "It was an absolute mess and disgrace the amount of material scattered all over the acres and acres of the landfill," says Schnitzer Steel's Jim Banigan.

There are large construction vehicles, cars, buses, even equipment like giant cranes.

At a cost of more than a million dollars, Maui County hired Schnitzer Steel to clean it up and send it all off to be recycled.

"We understand the county needed to expand the landfill and with all the metallic debris scattered around they couldn't expand the cells in the landfill so all the material had to be removed and recycled."

Monday, the last of three barges of Molokai scrap metal arrives on Oahu.

It took contractors about 8 months to remove this massive mountain of scrap metal, so now the landfill at Molokai will have a lot more room."

From Chopper 8, you get a sense of the scope of the cleanup.

This barge deck is the size of a football field. Barges ferried nearly 9,000 tons of debris to the Kalaeloa deep draft harbor. It's lifted by giant cranes, into trucks, then sold for scrap and shipped to South Korea.

The scrap metal is being sold to Hyundai and could become rebar or part of your next car.