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Metal Recycling to Resume

After seven months with no metal recycler on Molokai to dispose of junk cars and appliances, the County of Maui has secured a new contractor to run the island’s facility.

Kitagawa Towing, a metals recycling company based on Maui, will oversee the disposal of metal scraps, appliances and junk cars with an event-based collections program on Molokai. The public can dispose of metal material for about two weeks during the collection events, which are expected to take place two to four times per year.

Patience Gaia, vehicles and metals administrator for the county’s Solid Waste Division, said the first Molokai collection event will be held within the next sixth months.

“I expect it to be much sooner than that,” she added. Residents are asked to hold onto any metal rubbish until then.

The former metal recycling station, located at the Molokai Landfill, was shut down by the county in December after the previous operator, Ray’s Rentals, exceeded the limit of items allowed on-site and was no longer in compliance with permit requirements.

The county put out a bid for a new contractor in March, but received no response. After revising the proposal so the operator would only be required to hold periodic collection events in lieu of running the facility on an ongoing basis, they were able to snag the interest of a few bidders in late June.

Gaia said the new event-based approach will make mobilization of the metal material much easier, and therefore help the contractor stay within permit allowances.

“We want to go about this the right way,” she said, “so that we don’t have to shut down again.”

The collection events will be highly publicized through multiple media to ensure the opportunity extends to every one on the island, Gaia said.

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