Green Waste & Food Discards

Postponed until July 1, 2015:  New Greenwaste Recycling Program changes effective March 1, 2015, see Media Release for more information.

Green Waste

Organics (biodegradable products like paper products, greenwaste, food waste, and even cardboard) are dumped by the tens of thousands of tons into US landfills. Not only are these organic materials valuable resources diverted from industries that may benefit from these materials, such as agriculture and transportation, but they have a high negative impact on the climate when placed into landfills. These materials comprise more than half of our solid waste composition, and when they are buried in landfills, they begin to decompose anaerobically (without oxygen), causing highly toxic levels of methane, impacting our air quality and climate change. These organic materials can be used to create soil where there is none, improve soil where soil quality is poor, and support our farmers by creating affordable, local products, promoting self-sufficiency and high quality products.

Backyard Composting:

The most simple and cost-effective method for recycling greenwaste and food waste is to compost at your home, farm, school or business. Compost is a valuable resource for growing plants and food. By composting on-site, you have the added benefit of avoiding the transportation costs associated with hauling greenwaste and/or food waste to another location for recycling or disposal. For more information about Backyard Composting and Vermicomposting, see the Backyard Composting & Food Discards section after the mulch info below. 

COUNTY of HAWAI‘I GREENWASTE DIVERSION PROGRAM

The County has been providing greenwaste diversion services in both West and East Hawai‘i for over 10 years and has successfully recycled over 267,000 tons in the past 7 years.  However, another approximately 185,000 tons was being dumped in the landfills during this same period or an estimated 40% of the total greenwaste generated.

Greenwaste is a resource for making valuable mulch and compost.  Our goal is to increase our greenwaste and organic waste diversion and the County’s approved Integrated Resources and Solid Waste Management Plan (IRSWMP) recommended expanding greenwaste operations.  Starting in January 2013, the County offered new and improved greenwaste services that will help the County increase recycling and preserve its valuable resources for future generations.

For information on mulch scroll to the middle of the page or click this link: Mulch Pick-Up and Loading Information.

Changes in procedures for county greenwaste recycling

Effective March 1, 2015, only residential customers with self-hauled greenwaste from their private residential property will be allowed to recycle greenwaste at the County Recycling & Transfer Stations.

Businesses (including commercial landscapers and haulers), farms, government agencies or non-profits will only be allowed to recycle greenwaste at the West Hawai‘i Organics Facility (WHOF) or the East Hawai‘i Organics Facility (EHOF) and will be subject to a greenwaste disposal fee in accordance with Chapter 20, Article 4 Section 49, of the Hawai‘i County Code. Businesses (including commercial landscapers and haulers), farms, government agencies or non-profits will be temporarily allowed to use the Kealakehe (Kailua-Kona) Greenwaste chute to recycle their greenwaste. Kealakehe Greenwaste chute load size restrictions apply, see below.  Greenwaste disposal fees as allowed in Chapter 20, Article 4 Section 49 of the Hawai‘i County Code have been temporarily suspended.

Greenwaste drop-off at the Kealakehe Recycling & Transfer Station is restricted to only residential generated self-haul customers and Business/Agency customers with Type I or Type II vehicles (under 20,000# GVW and less than 6 cubic yard loads). Business/Agency customers with types of vehicles (greater than 20,000# GVW) or greenwaste loads greater than 6 cubic yards will be directed to the West Hawai'i Organics Facility at Pu'uanahulu.

Greenwaste Disposal Fee (Applies to Businesses, Farms, Government Agencies & Non-Profits Only!)

The greenwaste disposal fee is only $21.25 per ton (25% of the $85.00 per ton landfill disposal fee, pro-rated for any fraction). For example, 200 pounds of greenwaste will only cost $2.13 at the WHOF or EHOF. All businesses, farms, government agencies and non-profits are subject to the disposal fee. Customers that self-haul greenwaste from their private residences are not subject to the disposal fee. Implementation of the greenwaste disposal fee is needed to partially fund the cost of managing greenwaste and to expand the greenwaste recycling services to more communities.

All business, government agency and non-profit agency greenwaste customers must have a Solid Waste Disposal Permit.  Applications are available from the Scalehouse, the Department of Environmental Management Administrative Office or download this form.  There is an annual permit fee of $25.

GREENWASTE Recycling Program locationS & HOURS OF OPERATION

Location
Hours of Operation
Types of Customer Allowed
Fees?
West Hawai‘i Organics Facility (WHOF) in Pu‘uanahulu Daily. 7:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Business, Farm, Government Agency and Non-Profit Greenwaste tip fee has been temporarily suspended.
Residential Self-Hauler No.
Kealakehe (Kailua-Kona) Recycling & Transfer Station Daily. 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Business, Farm, Government Agency and Non-Profit.   Vehicle load size restrictions apply (Type I & Type II vehicles only with GVW under 20,000 lbs and less than 6 cubic yards loads. Larger vehicles & loads must go to WHOF.

Greenwaste tip fee has been temporarily suspended.
Residential Self-Hauler No.
Puakō Recycling & Transfer Station Sundays only. 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Residential Self-Hauler ONLY No.
Ke‘ei Recycling & Transfer Station Sundays, Tuesdays & Fridays. 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Residential Self-Hauler ONLY No.
East Hawai‘i Organics Facility (EHOF) in Hilo Daily.  6:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. (Closed 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily) Business, Farm, Government Agency and Non-Profit Greenwaste tip fee has been temporarily suspended.
Residential Self-Hauler No.
Kea‘au Recycling & Transfer Station Daily. 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Residential Self-Hauler ONLY No.
Pāhoa Recycling & Transfer Station Daily. 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Residential Self-Hauler ONLY No.

Holiday Closure Schedule:  All County of Hawai‘i Solid Waste Division Facilities are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Year's Day.

For a map and directions to the nearest organics acceptance facility please see the Map & Directions to Solid Waste Division Facilities.

GREENWASTE & mulch pick-up customer procedures

West Hawai‘i (WHOF) & East Hawai‘i (EHOF) Organics Facilities
Customer Procedures for Recycling Greenwaste & Untreated Wood Pallets, Mulch Pick Up
  1. All greenwaste (including untreated wood pallets) drop-off and mulch pick up customers must drive up to the County Scale. 
  2. Vehicles will be weighed and an authorized pass will be given to each customer.  Scale Attendants will give directions to customers to drive to the entrance of the Facility.
  3. Upon arrival at the facility, a contractor's employee will accept and log the pass from the customer, they will also screen all incoming loads for contaminants and then direct vehicles to the appropriate area within the facility.  No entry will be granted to customers without the authorized pass.
  4. Customers wanting to pick up mulch may choose to self-load or request assisted mechanical loading. There is no cost for the mulch and no mulch loading fees. Mulch is available on a first-come-first-served & while supplies last basis during normal operating hours. Please make sure your vehicle has a tarp or other method for covering your mulch load to avoid spillage on roadways!
  5. Customers must return to the Scale to weigh out.  Customers who do not weigh out may be subject to the tip fee (if applicable) assessed on the entire gross weight of the vehicle and future prohibition from the facility.

All business, government agency and non-profit agency greenwaste customers must have a Solid Waste Disposal Permit.  Applications are available from the Scalehouse, the Department of Environmental Management Administrative Office or download this form.  There is an annual permit fee of $25.

Kealakehe (Kailua-Kona) Mulch Pick Up

Residential Self-Haul & Business/Farm/Government Agency/Non-Profit Customers

As a convenience, the County has established mulch pick up at the Kealakehe Recycling & Transfer Station.   Customers wanting mulch have the option of self-loading (no fees) or using the assisted mechanical loading service (fee).  The service is offered daily from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. only.

Assisted Loading Fees: All businesses or residents requesting assisted mechanical loading will be subject to a small loading fee of $5.00 to $18.00 depending upon the size and type of vehicle. Customers will be required to pay at the time of service and will be served on a first come basis while supplies of mulch are available. Please note that the only forms of acceptable payment are MasterCard and VISA debit/credit cards. No cash or checks will be accepted.

Please make sure your vehicle has a tarp or other method for covering your mulch load to avoid spillage on roadways! No private mechanized loading equipment allowed at this site.

General Mulch Questions?

For mulch availability or questions about payment of loading fees, contact Hawaiian Earth Products at 808-935-2277.

Holiday Closure Schedule:  All County of Hawai‘i Solid Waste Division Facilities are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Year's Day.

The current contractor for the operation of West Hawai‘i & East Hawai‘i Organics Facilities and the Kealakehe Mulch Pick Up Area is Hawaiian Earth Products (better known by their Menehune Magic line of soil improvement products).  They can be contacted via phone (808-935-2277), email (gotcompost@menehunemagichawaii.com) or website (http://menehunemagichawaii.com/locations/hawaiian-earth-products-big-island).

For a map and directions to the nearest organics acceptance facility please see the Map & Directions to Solid Waste Division Facilities.

Acceptable & Not Acceptable organics/greenwaste

These items are NOT Accepted. Please make every effort to keep them out and dispose these unacceptable items with regular rubbish:

  • garbage bags and rubbish
  • post-consumer food waste
  • lumber including sawdust
  • plastics
  • rocks & dirt
  • glass
  • metal
  • treated or painted pallets (identified by paint or tinted wood color)
  • invasive species of any kind (plant or animal)
  • logs, branches or other material in excess of 18 inches in diameter or 5 feet in length at the East Hawaii Organics Facility (EHOF) and the West Hawaii Organics Facility (WHOF), All Recycling and Transfer Stations maximum is 18 inches in diameter or 4 feet in length. (must be reduced in size prior to arrival at our facility).

These items ARE accepted:

  • palm fronds
  • tree and hedge cuttings
  • grass clippings
  • untreated and unpainted wood pallets
  • logs, branches or other material less than 18 inches in diameter or 5 feet in length at the East Hawaii Organics Facility (EHOF) and the West Hawaii Organics Facility (WHOF), All Recycling and Transfer Stations maximum is 18 inches in diameter or 4 feet in length.

MULCH PICK-UP & LOADING

Free mulch is available on an as-is, first-come-first-served & while supplies last basis during normal hours of operation at the Kealakehe Mulch Public Pick-up Area, the West Hawai‘i and East Hawai‘i Organics Facilities.  Please call 935-2277 for more information on mulch availability at the Kealakehe Mulch Public Pick-up Area, and the West Hawai‘i & East Hawai‘i Organics Facilities.  There is no informational number for mulch availability at the Hāwī Mulch Public Pick-up Area.

Location Days & Hours of Operation Mulch Availability? Mechanized Loading Assistance of Mulch? Mulch Fees Contact Info
Kealakehe Mulch Public Pick-up Area Daily - 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. When available, first-come-first-served & while supplies last basis. Yes. Daily from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. No private mechanized loading equipment allowed. Self-loading also available; bring your pitchfork or shovel for free mulch and tarp to cover your load. Manual self-loading is free. Assisted mechanical loading has a nominal charge. For rates call 935-2277. 935-2277
West Hawai‘i Organics Facility (at Pu‘uanahulu) Monday through Saturday - 7:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. When available, first-come-first-served & while supplies last basis. Call 935-2277. Yes. Assisted mechanical loading available on an equipment & time permitting basis. There may be a short wait period for assisted loading. Self-loading also available; bring your pitchfork or shovel and tarp to cover your load. Currently no mulch or mulch loading fees.
Customers must weigh in and weigh out via County Scale.
935-2277
East Hawai‘i Organics Facility (in Hilo) Daily - 6:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. (Closed 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily) When available, first-come-first-served &
while supplies last basis. Call 935-2277.
Yes. Assisted mechanical loading available on an equipment & time permitting basis. There may be a short wait period for assisted loading. Self-loading also available; bring your pitchfork or shovel and tarp to cover your load. Currently no mulch or mulch loading fees.
Customers must weigh in and weigh out via County Scale.
935-2277

Hāwī Mulch Public Pick-up Area - click link/name for exact location. (TEMPORARY Limited time ONLY)

Daily - 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. When available, first-come-first-served & while supplies last basis. No. Manual self-loading only. No private mechanized loading equipment allowed. Bring your pitchfork or shovel and tarp to cover your load. Currently none. N/A

To abide by road regulations, please remember to bring a pitchfork/shovel to clean off any loose/overflowing mulch and a tarp to properly cover truckloads of mulch. (HRS §291C-131)

Holiday Closure Schedule:  All County of Hawai‘i Solid Waste Division Facilities are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Year's Day.

INVASIVE SPECIES INFORMATION

You can help prevent the spread of invasive species (plant or animal) by checking your greenwaste prior to transport and making sure you do not bring any invasive species to our Organics facilities. For more information click on the links to Hawai‘i's High-Profile Invasive Species or the Hawaii Invasive Species Council or check the Big Island Invasive Species Committee website for a listing of invasive pests.

untreated/unpainted wooden pallet & palm fronds and other greenwasteNotice (2014-09-18): The State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) recently conducted extensive surveys of the Hilo Greenwaste Mulching Facility (a.k.a. East Hawai‘i Organics Facility or EHOF) and detected Little Fire Ants (LFA) in the unprocessed greenwaste pile and in the processed mulch.  None have yet been detected at the Kealakehe Mulch Public Pick-up Area or the West Hawai‘i Organics Facility (WHOF).

The County of Hawai‘i and Hawaiian Earth Products with the assistance of the State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture implemented a LFA control management plan for the EHOF to help prevent the spread of this invasive pest.

The County and the current greenwaste contractor continue to take precautionary measures, in addition to monthly ant baiting, to prevent the spread of LFA at the EHOF.  While every effort is being made to minimize the likelihood that our mulch contains LFA there is always the slight risk that it might contain LFA.  The Hawai‘i Ant Lab and the County have developed a brochure to advise customers on proper control methods to prevent the spread of LFA via mulch on your property should the mulch contain them, please read and follow those directions.

You can help prevent the spread of the Little Fire Ant by making sure the greenwaste you bring to our Organics sites is free of the LFA pest. Please read the LFA brochure produced by the UH College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources (CTAHR) and HDOA. This brochure lists control methods for your property and HDOA contact information to report infestations. Also visit the Hawai‘i Ant Lab website for more information on managing invasive ant species, it is a project of the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit of the University of Hawai‘i.

We appreciate your kōkua in helping to stop the spread of this invasive pest.

Backyard composting & FOOD DISCARDS

gusanito worm binAbout 40% of consumable food in the US is discarded. One of the best ways to reduce discards is to shop smarter, keep produce fresher and reduce wasted food, check out the Food: Too Good to Waste website for more information and tips.  In order to recover these valuable resources, food waste can be composted into your compost machine along with your green waste.

If the food is still good, especially if it is non-perishable, donate it to your local food bank.  This reduces waste and helps find the highest value use for this resource.

Another solution for food discards, particularly if you have little or no outdoor space to set up a backyard composter, is through vermicomposting. Vermicomposting is a compost system that uses a heterogenous mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste and bedding materials, like shredded paper or cardboard. Pure vermicast (or worm castings) produced during the course of normal vermiculture operations is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by some species of earthworm. Containing water-soluble nutrients and bacteria, vermicompost is an excellent, nutrient-rich organic fertilizer and soil conditioner.

There are vermicompost bins available on island:

Green Room
(808)987-3731, zaryan@mac.com
Residential worm bins

HawaiiRainbowWorms.com
piper_selden@yahoo.com
For large-scale worm bins or compost tea brewers

For commercial food discard service, businesses and restaurants located in Kona can contact Waiaha Farms at (808)756-7945 or email info@waiahafarms.com for more information.

Backyard Composting Workshops:
Backyard Composting workshops are available from Recycle Hawai‘i.  During these workshops you may learn about the process of composting yard waste and kitchen waste, vermicomposting (with worms) and constructing your own composter.  Workshop fees apply.  For upcoming Composting Workshops go to Recycle Hawai‘i's Backyard Composting webpage.   Or build your own following the easy steps in the Backyard Composting Brochure.  Enjoy the benefits of creating quality compost or mulch in your own garden.

Other Composting Resources:

The following are permitted greenwaste recycling operations that will accept various types of greenwaste:

  • Organa Grow, North Hawai‘i/Waimea, 882-7931 (Greenwaste recycling)
  • Big Island Landscaping, North Hawai‘i/Hāwī, 882-1143 (Greenwaste recycling) 

USED COOKING OIL & FOGs (Fats, oils, greases)

Did you know that your used or waste veggie oil and your FOGs can be reused as biodiesel to run your vehicle? To learn more about how to produce biodiesel for your household use, visit the following resources:

DIY Biodiesel Fuel (includes video)
How To Make Your Own Biodiesel or Find It Nearby
Biodiesel: How It's Made, Environmental Impact, Where to Find a Fueling Station, & More
How To Make Biodiesel

The following are permitted businesses to handle pick up and disposal of used cooking oil and/or FOGs:

  • Eden Earthworks, Island-wide, 333-7444 (Used Cooking Oil - free pick up)
  • Hilo Pumping Service, 934-7673 (Used Cooking Oil & Grease Trap Waste Service)
  • Kona Lua, 329-1318 (Used Cooking Oil & Grease Trap Service)
  • Pacific Biodiesel Logistics, Island-wide, 935-7718, logistics@biodiesel.com (Used Cooking Oil - free pick-up & Grease Trap Waste Service)

For very small quantities (< 1 gallon) of used cooking oil from your own kitchen, you may solidify by means of an absorbent material (old/shredded newspaper, rags, kitty litter or oil spill absorbent) and then dispose with your regular trash. It must be completely absorbed (not liquid) before disposal; freezing it doesn't count. Used cooking oil is not considered a Household Hazardous Waste and will not be accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events.

AttachmentSize
Facts of Composting and Burning 2006 - RH.pdf 928.78 KB
HILO LFA flyer 2009-04-06 - web.pdf 92.3 KB

Hawai'i County is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.

© Copyright 2008-2015 County of Hawaii, Department of Environmental Management