East Hawaii News

New Commercial Greenwaste Fee Effective in March

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A new tipping fee is scheduled to take place beginning March 1 for businesses that deposit green waste at recycling facilities in Pu’uanahulu and Hilo.

The County of Hawai’i Department of Environmental Management says that revenue generated from the fee will aid in the expansion of green waste recycling island-wide. Officials say that the new fee will not affect individual residents who will continue to be allowed to drop off residential green waste free of charge.

More than $1.6 million is spent every year on recycling green waste into mulch. The mulch is then distributed to the community for free.

It is estimated that the new tipping fee will raise more than $500,000 a year, which will help finance the expansion of organics recycling services throughout the island, including the establishment of new green waste recycling locations at additional transfer stations.


A new green waste program is already in the works at the Waimea transfer station and is scheduled to launch on May 1.

“Adding new green waste drop-off and recycling locations at additional transfer stations will help us divert more organics from our waste stream, and will extend the life of our landfills,” Bobby Jean Leithead Todd, director of the Department of Environmental Management said. “Our residents have been asking for more recycling opportunities and we feel the timing is right to launch this initiative.”

Commercial operators should expect to see the new fee set to $21.25 per ton, which is 25 percent of the normal solid waste tipping fee of $85 per ton. The Hawai’i County Council established the green waste tipping fee in 2005 but the county administration delayed imposing the fee during the recession.


Beginning March 1, commercial operators will be required to deposit green waste at either the Pu’uanahulu or Hilo organics recycling facilities. Residential users, on the other hand, can continue to deposit green waste at designated areas in Hilo, Pu’uanahulu, Kealakehe, Ke’ei, Puako, Pahoa, and Kea’au.

Additional information about greenwaste recycling or free mulch visit the Hawai’i Zero Waste website.

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