Categorized | Government, News

Green waste collection temporarily suspended at Puakō transfer station

MEDIA RELEASE

Green waste collection will be temporarily suspended at the Puakō Recycling and Transfer Station beginning Tuesday, November 1, 2011, to remove a fire threat and enforce a ban on commercial green waste at the facility.

The transfer station will remain open three days a week according to its normal schedule for all other transfer station operations. However green waste has accumulated to amounts that could result in a combustion-generated fire and must be removed.

The suspension of green waste collections will allow Department of Environmental Management (DEM) crews to remove the pile of green waste and haul it to Hilo for mulching.

DEM also wants to stop illegal use of the facility by commercial green waste haulers, which has contributed to the growth of the pile. The Puakō Transfer Station is not permitted to accept green waste from commercial haulers. Only residential users may legally dump green waste at the facility. An off-duty police officer will be on site to enforce the temporary ban on all green waste at the facility.

New fencing is also being installed to prevent the disposal of green waste and other materials at the transfer station during hours when it is closed to the public.

When green waste collections resume in December at the Puakō Transfer Station, they will be on a dedicated green waste day which will be each Saturday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Residential loads must be no larger than five cubic feet which is approximately the size of an eight-foot pickup truck bed filled to the height of the cab.

“We want to be proactive in mitigating these concerns,” said Greg Goodale, Solid Waste Division Chief for the Department of Environmental Management. “We regret the potential inconvenience to residents however, and express our sincere appreciation for their patience and understanding.”

Similar restrictions will be announced for the other transfer stations that collect green waste – Ke‘ei, Kea‘au and Pahoa — to make them uniform in their operations, to control costs, to regulate the flow of green waste and curtail illegal commercial use.

In West Hawai`i, commercial haulers and residents may still dispose of green waste without charge at the green waste pile at the Kealakehe Recycling and Transfer Station. Residents in the community have been briefed by DEM about the fire concern and about plans to alter the green waste collection schedule at the transfer site.

For more information call Hunter Bishop, DEM Deputy Director, 961-8083.

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