The Hawai’i County Department of Environmental Management will be reducing the operating hours and days at County Solid Waste Recycling and Transfer Stations (a.k.a. Solid Waste Transfer Stations). This change will also apply to the operating hours and days for associated onsite HI-5 Beverage Container Redemption Centers and Reuse Centers. The new hours and days of operation are provided in the table below and will take effect on December 1, 2009.
In addition to improving the management of these County solid waste facilities by increasing the presence of County staff at each facility, the department is implementing this reduction in operating hours and days to reduce facility operating costs. Cost savings are particularly important now in order to address County budgetary constraints and the increased costs associated with solid waste management.
This increase stems from two factors. Firstly, solid waste rules and regulations require the supervision and monitoring of materials accepted at County solid waste facilities to protect public health and safety, as well as to keep hazardous or other prohibited materials from being disposed at County solid waste facilities. Secondly, in accordance with the County’s waste management plans and goals, the County is working to maintain and expand sustainable waste management programs including two-Bin recycling, organics diversion, household hazardous waste collection, Reuse Centers and recycling of vehicles and appliances. These programs are intended to further the County’s progress on the path to “Zero Waste”.
County Solid Waste Division staff, specifically, Solid Waste Facility Attendants, will supervise the transfer stations, monitor waste materials for prohibited materials, document inappropriate or illegal use of facilities, provide information on sustainable waste disposal practices and perform facility maintenance.
Businesses and non-residential organizations are prohibited from using the transfer stations in accordance with Hawai`i County Code §20-43(b)(2), which states that “Prohibited materials shall include all commercially hauled rubbish, garbage, swill or refuse, prohibited materials as defined by the State department of health and partially listed herein, refuse generated by a business, Federal or State agency, religious entity or non-profit organization, construction or demolition wastes, abandoned vehicles, dead animals, animal carcasses and other similar organic wastes.”
Ten of the County’s twenty-one transfer stations will remain open daily. The remaining eleven transfer stations will be opened three days per week on alternating days that will allow for a transfer station to be open when an adjacent transfer station is closed, thereby minimizing inconvenience to local residents.
The schedule of hours is restricted by labor agreements and existing resources. County Solid Waste Facility Attendants work a 10-hour day from 6:30 am to 5:00 pm. They report to one of four solid waste division base yards around the island to pickup vehicles, receive assignments and perform other duties. Therefore, transfer stations in Kailua-Kona (Kealakehe), Hilo and Waimea will open at 6:30 am and will close at 5:00 pm. The Miloli’i transfer station will not be affected by these changes. The Wai‘ōhinu transfer station will open at 7:00 am and close at 5:00 pm. All of the other transfer stations as listed below will open at 8:00 am or 9:00 am and close at 4:00 pm.
New Operating Schedule for Solid Waste Transfer Station Facility Hours Days Glenwood 9:00 am to 4:00 pm – Sunday/Tuesday/Friday Hilo 6:30 am to 5:00 pm – Open Daily Hāwī 8:00 am to 4:00 pm – Open Daily Honoka‘a 9:00 am to 4:00 pm – Open Daily Honomū 8:00 am to 4:00 pm – Monday/Thursday/Saturday Kailua-Kona 6:30 am to 5:00 pm – Open Daily Kalapana 9:00 am to 4:00 pm – Monday/Thursday/Saturday Kea‘au 8:00 am to 4:00 pm – Open Daily Keauhou 8:00 am to 4:00 pm – Open Daily Ke’ei 9:00 am to 4:00 pm – Sunday/Tuesday/Friday Laupāhoehoe 9:00 am to 4:00 pm – Sunday/Tuesday/Friday Pa‘auilo 9:00 am to 4:00 pm – Monday/Thursday/Saturday Pāhala 9:00 am to 4:00 pm – Sunday/Tuesday/Friday Pāhoa 8:00 am to 4:00 pm – Open Daily Pāpa‘ikou 8:00 am to 4:00 pm – Sunday/Tuesday/Friday Puakō 8:00 am to 4:00 pm – Sunday/Tuesday/Friday Volcano 9:00 am to 4:00 pm – Monday/Thursday/Saturday Waiea 9:00 am to 4:00 pm – Monday/Thursday/Saturday Waimea 6:30 am to 5:00 pm – Open Daily Wai‘ōhinu 7:00 am to 5:00 pm – Open Daily
Residents who normally use the transfer stations on their commute to work will likely have to make some adjustments. Some suggestions to consider:
Compost organics like food, paper & green waste to reduce the frequency of using the Solid Waste Transfer Stations;
Use a different Solid Waste Transfer Station that is open longer hours;
Change the day that you would normally go to the Solid Waste Transfer Station;
Hire a local hauler to pick-up recyclables and rubbish; and
Find a neighbor or friend who is available to take recyclables and rubbish during the open hours.
A potential impact of the reduced hours and days of operation may be an increase in illegal dumping. Everyone is responsible for properly removing their solid wastes to facilities permitted by the State Department of Health. Anyone including property owners, tenants, contractors and waste haulers may be subject to administrative, civil or criminal penalties and held responsible for property cleanup. Illegal dumpers may be subject to enforcement action and administrative and civil penalties of up to $10,000/day for each offense (§342H-9, HRS). Those who knowingly dispose of solid waste equal to or greater than one (1) cubic yard and less than ten cubic yards are subject to criminal penalties of up to $25,000/day for each offense (§342H-39, HRS). It is a class C felony offense to knowingly dispose of solid waste equal to or greater than ten cubic yards anywhere other than a permitted solid waste management facility without the written approval of the Director of the Department of Health (§342H-37, HRS). Each day of violation is a separate offense.
A joint effort by government, landowners, the construction industry, waste haulers and concerned citizen’s groups is needed to address and prevent illegal dumping. Property Owners are encouraged to maintain and control unwanted entry into their property to the best extent possible, using “No Dumping” signs placed in high-incidence areas, lighting, barriers like fences, posts, berms, rocks, concrete barriers, landscaping and beautification projects. Contractors are encouraged to evaluate proposals with low bids carefully. Look for a line-item estimate on “waste disposal” and compare that with the volume of waste that the bidder expects to remove, make haulers responsible to deliver the wastes they generate at the project to permitted solid waste disposal or recycling facilities and require them to submit receipts to prove that wastes were properly delivered.
Report any suspected illegal dumping activity by filing a complaint with:
Dept. of Attorney General, Investigations Office: 586-1240;
Dept. of Health Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch: 586-4226;
Dept. of Health District Offices: 933-0401 (Hilo), 322-1507 (Kona); or
County Police Department at 935-3311.
Important information necessary for filing an illegal dumping complaint includes the following:
Names on trucks;
License plate numbers;
Location of dumping activity;
Type of material(s) disposed;
Estimated quantity of waste;
Other marks of identification
In the past, when gates were installed at the transfer stations, many residents were convinced that it would result in widespread illegal dumping, but this was not the case. Most Big Island residents and visitors respect the land. The County encourages all of our residents and visitors to act responsibility and to report illegal dumping occurrences to the appropriate authorities. The department will be undertaking a media campaign to publicize the new operating hours as well as providing information on responsible waste management practices and the impacts of illegal dumping.
The new schedule and additional solid waste management information is available on the Department’s website at www.HawaiiZeroWaste.org. For further information, please contact Mr. Mike Dworsky, P.E., Solid Waste Division Chief, at 961-8515.