East Hawaii News

County Seeking Proposals for Garbage-Reduction Facility

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Hawaii County this week invited interested companies to submit proposals for a “waste reduction” facility.

The request for proposals issued Monday said that only companies using an established municipal waste-reduction technology with a “proven track record of at least three years” need apply.

Although the type of technology being sought is not specified in the RFP, it is likely to involve some form of incineration.

A form accompanying the RFP lists – along with “other” — four possible methods: combustion, gasification, pyrolysis and plasma gasification, all of which use heat.

The waste reduction facility, which would be the second of its type in the state, will be located next to the Hilo Landfill.

Oahu’s H-Power plant burns more than 1,600 tons of waste daily while generating about 7% of the island’s electricity.

The document issued Monday is Stage 1 of the request for proposals for the waste reduction facility, and is expected to whittle down the number of prospective companies to three or less.

The waste reduction facility is expected to process approximately 300 tons of waste daily, although the capacity and other requirements will be spelled out in detail in Stage 2 of the RFP.

The company selected would finance the facility which would either be owned by the county, or owned by the company with the county having an option to purchase it at the end of the contract period of at least 20 years.

The RFP lists several options for payments to the facility’s operator. The county would either pay the operator a per-ton fee for waste delivered to the facility, or an annual fee for a set amount and a per-ton fee for additional waste.

Kenoi has long been seeking an alternative to dumping trash at the Hilo landfill, which will reach capacity in a few years.

In 2008, under the administration of former Mayor Harry Kim, the county considered a $125 million incinerator project before it was rejected by the County Council as too expensive.

A press release about the project said the county will continue its recycling efforts. It said in 2013 the county recycled 217 tons of materials per day, including metals, glass, plastics and green waste.

The current project will not affect those efforts, Kenoi said.

Supporters of recycling have expressed concerns that continued diversion of those materials from the waste stream would leave too little remaining to make an incinerator viable.

The county will hold a “pre-proposal conference” and tour of the proposed site on March 21.

Responses to the Stage 1 proposals are due by April 15, with execution of a contract expected in April 2015.


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