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FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE                               November 28, 2006





            Beginning December 18, the City Department of Environmental Services will no longer accept private disposal of green waste at the Keehi Refuse Transfer Station.

            Homeowners and other private parties who show up with green waste – lawn clippings, branches, leaves and other plant matter – will be directed to the two Hawaiian Earth Products facilities that turn green waste into compost and mulch. Those are located at 101 Kapaa Quarry Road in Kailua and at 91-400 Malakole Road in Campbell Industrial Park. Or they can save themselves a trip by using the City’s free, semi-monthly curbside greenwaste pickup service.

            “We apologize for the inconvenience this will cause for some people, but the growing volume of waste coming in to Keehi requires us to make this change,” said Environmental Services Director Eric Takamura.  

            “The Keehi transfer station handles all of the refuse our crews collect from 80,000 homes and apartments in the area between Makapuu and Halawa. It opened in the 1970s and was designed to handle up to 500 tons of refuse per day. We’re right up to that figure right now.”

            He noted that the City only began allowing household green waste to be dropped off at Keehi in 1995.

            “However, we’re seeing an increasing volume of green waste being dropped at Keehi, and not only from homes. Some landscaping firms have been avoiding commercial tipping fees by taking advantage of the Keehi privileges,” said Takamura.

             “In order to preserve landfill space, we separate green waste from the other solid waste at the Keehi facility. The green waste is hauled to Hawaiian Earth Products and the other waste goes to H-POWER or Waimanalo Gulch Landfill.

            “By eliminating private green waste dropoff at Keehi, we’ll be better able to manage the volume of refuse there. By law, refuse can only be left there no more than three days.”

            In the urban Honolulu area served by the Keehi station, the City provides free manual  collection of bagged or bundled green waste twice a month. (See for schedules.) 

            “We urge the public to please use our free ‘greencycling’ service,” said Takamura. “We also offer manual green waste collection in Leeward and Central Oahu. Earlier this year, we began doing automated pickup of green waste from the blue bins that were issued to 50,000 homes in Windward Oahu, the North Shore and portions of Central Oahu.”

            All of the green waste collected manually and from the blue bins is taken to Hawaiian Earth Products.

            Oahu generates about 200,000 tons of green waste each year – one-eighth of the 1.6 million tons of municipal refuse the City collects annually. Only about one-third of the green waste is recycled. The rest goes to the H-POWER garbage-to-energy plant or to the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill. Green waste is a poor fuel for H-POWER because of its high moisture content. Every bit of green waste that winds up in the City landfill at Waimanalo Gulch is taking up space there that might otherwise be used for other waste, hastening the day when the landfill will be full.





            Eric Takamura, Director of Environmental Services, 692-5159  

            Ken Shimizu, Deputy Director of Environmental Services, 692-5206  


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

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