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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Trash set to sail in March

By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Advertiser Staff Writer

City officials are now estimating that a private company will begin shipping municipal waste to the Mainland in the second week of March.

Tim Steinberger, city director of environmental services, gave the projection during a City Council Public Infrastructure Committee meeting yesterday.

Washington-based Hawaiian Waste Systems has a contract with the city to ship 100,000 tons of municipal trash to the Mainland. But the company has been unable to get trash off the dock since it began accepting the waste on Sept. 28.

The key issue has been Hawaiian Waste's inability thus far to obtain clearance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to transport the trash.

Steinberger said yesterday that he's been told USDA officials are fairly confident it will issue a permit to the company by the first or second week of March.

The company has also told the city that it is close to finalizing a contract with a shipping company and hopes to have that phase completed after the USDA clearance is granted, Steinberger said.

In the meantime, the company has asked the city to again reduce the amount of trash it is taking to Hawaiian Waste's baling facility in Campbell Industrial Park from 100 tons a day to 200 tons a week until shipping begins, Steinberger said. The contract calls for the city to drop off 300 tons a day.

The company is also apparently looking for a third site in Kalaeloa to store its increasing containers of trash. Hawaiian Waste last year began leasing space on E.K. Fernandez land across the street from its Campbell Industrial Park baling facility. The state Health Department has issued warnings to Hawaiian Waste for failing to get a permit for the site.

Hawaiian Waste officials did not attend yesterday's meeting.