Another delay expected for shipping solid waste


POSTED: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shipping of solid waste off island is expected to be delayed another month as a private contractor continues to work with the city on storing bales of trash at Campbell Industrial Park while awaiting federal permit approvals.

In a best-case scenario, shipping could begin by the first or second week of March, said Jim Hodge, president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Waste Systems.

“;The city and ourselves and the Department of Health are working through this quite cooperatively,”; Hodge said yesterday.

Until the first shipment can be sent, the company has asked the city to reduce the amount of trash it diverts to the West Oahu processing plant to 200 tons a week, from the current 100 tons per day, said Tim Steinberger, city director of environmental services.

Under its original agreement, the city had envisioned diverting 300 tons a day for shipment off island.

Steinberger provided the update on the trash shipping situation yesterday to members of the City Council's Public Infrastructure Committee.

In discussions with all parties involved, Steinberger said it is reasonable to believe that all necessary approvals will be in place so that shipping can begin next month.

Hawaiian Waste Systems reached an agreement with the city in September to temporarily ship up to 100,000 tons of solid waste off island each year at a cost to the city of $100 per ton. Delays in acquiring the needed permits for hauling the trash to sites in the Pacific Northwest have forced the company to store the trash—baled and shrink-wrapped—in containers at two sites in Campbell Industrial Park.

While the company has been working with state and county agencies to ensure the trash does not pose a threat to public health, officials also have indicated that if shipping does not begin soon, a third storage site might be needed.

“;All in all, we're waiting for the (permits) to be issued, and hopefully they can get all this trash off the island and operations can start going smoothly,”; Steinberger said.

If permitting problems continue, the city would have to evaluate its options, he said.

“;I think we have to give them a chance to succeed,”; he said.

Meanwhile, yesterday, the Public Infrastructure Committee advanced a proposal by the Hannemann administration to levy heavy fines against those who leave bulky waste items at curbsides earlier than the evening before the scheduled pickup date.

The original bill called for fines up to $500, but the committee advanced Bill 09-78 with unspecified amounts of fines violators could face. Committee Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi said she wanted to solicit more public input on the measure as it goes before the Council for a second reading.