Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Un-awarded contracts
will not delay city
recycling program

The city's curbside recycling program will start in Central Oahu and the North Shore on Nov. 15, despite the fact that contracts have not yet been awarded for collecting or processing recyclable materials, a city official said yesterday.

City & County of Honolulu City Environmental Services Director Frank Doyle said he is not worried about the fact that Island Recycling, the apparent low bidder to process mixed recyclables for the city program, has been asked to leave its Sand Island location.

Island Recycling leases land from the state Department of Transportation on a month-to-month basis, but the department asked the company to vacate on Oct. 12.

Doyle said the department is giving the recycler "a reasonable amount of time to find a new place."

"We're discussing with them what sufficient time is needed to find a new location, relocate and clean up their existing area," Transportation Department spokesman Scott Ishikawa confirmed yesterday. "We don't want to jeopardize the city's islandwide recycling program, if they are the lowest bidder."

But the DOT wants Island Recycling to pay $64,200 in back rent and post a $500,000 cleanup bond before it gets an extension, company President Jim Nutter said.

Losing its location is just the latest hurdle for Island Recycling, which had a huge fire at its Sand Island site on May 30 and has been working to rectify a number of problems that have blocked it from being awarded the city contract to process recyclables.

Among them were violations of the city building code and being fined by the state Department of Health for not having the proper storm-water permit.

Doyle has said in the past that the company must clear its record to get the job. He said yesterday that the company is close to accomplishing that.

Another missing piece of the city's recycling program is who will collect the paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and aluminum in curbside bins and deliver it to the processor.

In mid-August the city stopped its pilot recycling project in Mililani after the Hawaii Labor Relations Board ruled that the city had violated its bargaining agreement with unionized city refuse workers. Doyle said the city has not been able to reach agreement with the United Public Workers bargaining Unit 1 and will contract the work.

Doyle said yesterday that the apparent low bidder for collection is Pacific Waste Services.

The city plans to begin curbside pickup on Nov. 15 in Mililani, Doyle said. Other communities slated to begin pickup in November are Wahiawa, Whitmore, Laie, Hauula, Kahuku, Kaaawa, Kahaluu, Waialua, Haleiwa and Sunset Beach, according to the Solid Waste Services Web site, www.opala.org.

The current administration's plan calls for Windward communities to be added in December, followed by the rest of the island beginning in March.

Both mayoral candidates questioned the wisdom of instituting a new recycling program before a new administration takes over. Some City Council members have objected to hiring Island Recycling because of what they call its history of permitting problems.

City & County of Honolulu


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