Off-island trash dispute on hold as city warns haulers of law


POSTED: Thursday, July 23, 2009

A private waste-shipping company says it will wait for resolution of a case by a state agency before shipping solid waste off island despite objections from the city.

Meanwhile, the city Department of Environmental Services is reminding trash haulers that an ordinance requires that they dispose of refuse at sites designated by the city—either Waimanalo Gulch landfill or the HPOWER waste-to-energy plant in Kapolei.

Violating this directive “;may result in the loss of your license to haul refuse,”; Environmental Services Director Tim Steinberger wrote in a letter dated July 18 to hauling companies. Haulers also may be subject to fines.

Hawaiian Waste Systems has said it is ready to ship Oahu's waste to a main-land site.

The Seattle-based company was the low bidder on a city contract to haul waste, but was informed last month that it would not receive a contract because it had been “;non-responsive”; in obtaining the proper permits and for prematurely installing a scale at its processing site, raising questions of who would control the flow of trash from Oahu.

The city says it needs to control waste to ensure there is enough for HPOWER. Jim Hodge, HWS chief executive officer, has said he always intended to turn over operation of the scale to the city.

While HWS has contracts in place to begin operations, Hodge said he is awaiting the outcome of his appeal.

Hodge said he complied with all directives from the city and was surprised by the rejection of his bid. After the city denied his protest, Hodge took the matter to the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.