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Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 2:00 am | Updated: 8:51 am, Wed Aug 13, 2014.

LIHUE — Residents may soon be feeling a new kind of crunch when it comes to throwing away their trash.

A measure now being considered before the Kauai County Council, Bill 2551, would implement a new waste management program, called pay as you throw, which aims to divert some waste from the Kekaha landfill and bolster recycling practices. It would charge residential and commercial customers incremental rates based upon how much they choose to throw away.

But the change being considered today could also mean residential users may pay the same amount for smaller bins than they have now, and higher fees if they want to throw away even more.

“Pay as you throw provides an economic incentive for waste diversion and raises awareness about how much waste individuals are generating in their homes,” County Solid Waste Program Coordinator Allison Fraley said. “Implementing such a program not only increases recycling behavior, but increases source reduction and reuse as well, which are no-cost programs for the county.”

If it is implemented, Kauai would become the first county in the state to implement a pay-as-you-throw program.

In 2013, Kauai residents and businesses threw away 77,000 tons of trash, according to Department of Public Works figures. About 60 percent of those materials, county officials estimate, could have been reused, recycled or repurposed.

Fraley estimates that it costs each county household about $60 a month to maintain current refuse collection and disposal services.

The county, however, currently charges most residential customers about $12 per month for refuse services.

Overall costs to manage waste and recyclables for Kauai residents, she said, is about $15.5 million per year.

“Diverting materials from disposal saves and reduces both operating and capital disposal costs — landfill capacity is preserved; landfill life is extended; and siting, design, permitting and construction costs for new cells are deferred,” the proposed Kauai County Council bill reads.

Not everyone is sold on the concept.

Former Deputy County Engineer Arnold Leong, who lost his bid for Kauai County Council in the primary election, said he is concerned about the high costs associated with recycling.

Waste collection fees currently tacked onto real property tax bills, he said, should be removed, if the pay-as-you-throw programs and fees are implemented.

“It’s OK, provided that they back the number out of the fees that are currently tacked onto our property tax bills,” Leong said. “They shouldn’t try to disguise a tax as a fee.”

Residential properties are currently assessed a monthly $6 base fee, which allows residents to use the county’s five refuse transfer stations in Hanalei, Kapaa, Lihue, Hanapepe and Kekaha.

Those residents who choose to use the county’s weekly refuse collection service are assessed an additional $6 fee monthly for up to three 32-gallon carts, or one 96-gallon cart. A $12 monthly fee is assessed on top of those charges, if homeowners request three additional 32-gallon carts or another 96-gallon cart.

But under the pay-as-you-throw program, homeowners would pay the same rates for smaller waste carts and pay higher fees for additional ones.

Homeowners, under the county’s proposal, would be assessed a monthly $6 fee for either two 32-gallon carts or one 64-gallon cart — a $12 charge would be assessed each month for any additional carts requested.

Households who opt for either three 32-gallon carts or a 96-gallon cart, meanwhile, would pay a monthly $15 fee — $9 higher than the same user is paying now. Additional carts would cost these homeowners $21 a month in fees.

“It will be important for us to make sure the public understands that their current fee will not go up if they effectively manage and reduce the amount of waste they dispose of each week,” Fraley said. “This can be accomplished by most households and we will provide guidance on how it can be achieved.”

Nonresidential properties, including businesses and transient vacation rentals, wouldn’t see higher rates if they threw away the same amount of trash. Instead, they would have an opportunity to downsize their bins and fees.

They currently pay a $84 monthly fee for up to three 32-gallon carts, or one 96-gallon cart, collected each week.

If the bill is passed, commercial properties would be charged monthly fees of $64 for one 64-gallon cart, or two 32-gallon carts, for weekly collection.

Those that opt for a 96-gallon cart, or three 32-gallon carts, would be charged $84.

The Kauai County Council will consider the proposal beginning at 1:30 p.m. today in the Historic County Building Council Chambers.

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  • Local boy posted at 7:49 am on Sat, Aug 16, 2014.

    Local boy Posts: 1

    Does anyone think about what the sides of the roads are going to look like with all the trash people are going to throw away....

    what about at the transfer station will we need to pay there

    Hey Jay since you came up with this idea can I drop off my rubbish at your house?

  • Eagle 6 posted at 8:21 pm on Fri, Aug 15, 2014.

    Eagle 6 Posts: 1159

    Linda NBCT has a very good observation.

    Kauai is the end of the line for every product that ends up here. My, yard sale things won't last long and will HAVE to be thrown away .

    Green waste?

    Time to go back to burning it in your back yard!

  • tunataxi posted at 9:32 am on Fri, Aug 15, 2014.

    tunataxi Posts: 572

    More trash fees?? Our last increase was part of the modernization of the pickup system. I called last year wondering when i was to receive the "New Can" for my refuse. I was told January of this year so I held off buying regular trash cans in anticipation of the "New Can" I paid for with the new fees. It's now August... 8 months later and still no "New Can" and they are already talking about a New Tax.... my confidence in the County doing anything it says is gone.... except for bringing on New Taxes

  • WestKauai posted at 10:23 am on Thu, Aug 14, 2014.

    WestKauai Posts: 219

    The cost of trash collection was originally paid through our property taxes. Then the county added the $12 per month "fee" in addition to our taxes, $84 per month for those with short-term rentals in their homes. Apparently that wasn't enough for this tax and spend county government...

    If they are serious about limiting the amount of opala taken to Mt. Yukimura in Kekaha, then they should implement curbside recycling for the entire island. It seems to work on Oahu and other enlightened communities...

  • Bajingas posted at 11:38 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    Bajingas Posts: 38

    according to count website...JAY FURFARO was the genius who came up with this idea. I wanna know if there are any other county council members who support this possible fee so I wont vote for them in November!!!

  • upnup posted at 6:51 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    upnup Posts: 130

    I agree with Bobofthenorth. This bill will result in smaller bins for the same current rate and end up costing the county more to handle more recycling which in turn will drive up the refuse fee in the near future. Everyone currently pays for pick up and transfer station use. What about the folks who don't use the transfer station? They end up paying every month too. They should drop the automatic transfer station fee and charge a nominal fee($5-10) per load. Some of us only use the transfer station twice a year.
    I think Fraley is misled or misleading us. Bill or no bill, the cost to manage waste will only increase. Anytime government imposes laws to regulate something, that takes more manpower which increases government cost which ultimately results in bigger government and higher taxes. Economics 101.

    Look what the Council did to your property taxes this year. Now you can use this Bill to further help you decide who to vote for in the general......and don't vote for Bynum. Remember, he sued the County........you the tax payer.

  • imua44 posted at 6:43 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    imua44 Posts: 260

    Recycling may be a good thing, but be clear Recycling cost more to handle and process than regular old trash. Just dumping everything is cheaper, but may have greater impact on the environment.
    I recycle, but a Recycling program is subsidized by the tax payer and is the most expensive way to get rid of opala.
    The taxpayer is getting a double whammy. They pay for recycling out of taxes and now you pay for trash out of fees.

  • kapaa33 posted at 6:35 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    kapaa33 Posts: 186

    The" Waste to Energy" concept might be around the corner. The County can make a fortune by selling all waste that can be used for fuel to the Green Energy biomass power plant. Keep the trees and burn the waste. Recycling at it's best.

  • Linda NBCT posted at 6:11 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    Linda NBCT Posts: 22

    When i up-grade my household goods, often they have a few months worth of wear left in them and I give them to Salvation Army or pass them along to a family in need. The next owner of that item probably will wear it out, it already is half-way there.

    The inequity of this piece of legislation is that it favors the person who buys the new sofa, who replaces items that still have usefulness and can be reused. As long as I drop everything at Salvation Army I do not have to pay the dump fee for that older item that is not quite worn out....

    Studies have been done to prove that the lower the socioeconomic status of a family the larger the amount of trash they generate due to this wearing out factor.

    Talk with the Salvation Army, currently there already is an abundance of dumping of rubbish at their door step.

    How can you discourage people from buying packaging and excess goods?

  • Speeding Snail posted at 5:18 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    Speeding Snail Posts: 188

    Any fee increase from the current rates for trash collection is going to backfire. This will only increase litter, illegal dumping, and dumping on private lands. You can't continue to break Kauaians backs any more than you already have. Charge the tourist more, charge the local less.

  • epicjourney posted at 3:17 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    epicjourney Posts: 8

    Who came up with this idiotic idea! How many more county workers we have to hire to weigh our trash? People going be dumping trash illegally. We have to recycle everything? What actually happens to recyclables? Do the companies that charge the county for these recycling bins end up taking their load to the landfill?

  • outofhere posted at 2:34 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    outofhere Posts: 409

    Did anyone notice all the appliances, garbage thrown over cliffs, by side of the roads? A long time "local" tradition......

  • pcl posted at 8:48 am on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    pcl Posts: 14

    The other thing that increased trash collection fees will cause is dumping trash on vacant properties.

  • pcl posted at 8:43 am on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    pcl Posts: 14

    OK, so in addition to substantial tax increases we will now be paying more for the same trash pickup service we have now. This is an indirect tax.

    I would like to see more recycling, but in my experience recycling is difficult. Frequently the recycling bins at the recycling centers are full, particularly the ones for cardboard. The recycling bins should be emptied more regularly.

    It would also be interesting to know what becomes of the materials we recycle. Is the cardboard reused? What about the plastic? Or are these items loaded on a ship and disposed of in some third world country? What is the value of recycled matter? Is it sufficiently valuable to entice someone to pick it up?

  • jjr kauai posted at 8:34 am on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    jjr kauai Posts: 56

    Last chance Kauai. Vote these rascals out of office or they'll have a mandate to further raise our taxes.

  • StevenMcMacken posted at 7:57 am on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    StevenMcMacken Posts: 185

    I like the "Pay As You Throw" concept. I live in a condominium development and far too many of my lazy neighbors toss nearly everything they have into the trash—glass, cardboard, paper . . . you name it—without giving it a second thought. Why should the rest of us, who take the time to recycle regularly, pay for their selfish behavior?

    To be honest, I don't think it goes far enough. Recycling should be made mandatory on Kauai with healthy fines imposed on those who don't. But Bill 2551 is a start and I hope it passes with support from EVERY council member.

  • BorninHawaii posted at 7:34 am on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    BorninHawaii Posts: 371

    I believe in this concept, although I am not sure how they would implement it. Sometimes I only have only one 13 gal trash bag in my big bin. So if it was by weight I would benefit alot. Opting for a smaller Bin with a reduced amount would be optimal and fair for all.

  • BobOfTheNorth posted at 7:08 am on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    BobOfTheNorth Posts: 74

    Not sure of the exact number, but if we're about 30,000 households, that $15.5 million for recycle operation is about $37 / month / household. I know that the recycle bins at the Princeville transfer station fill up. If we do more recycling, it will require more frequent trucking of the recyclables. That sounds like more trucks and drivers, and maybe some additional bins.

    But how does a little less waste per household reduce the cost of refuse collection? Do we start collecting garbage every 8 days or 9 days instead of 7? I think it will still take the same crews of 1 truck, 1 driver, and 2 loaders running on a weekly schedule. I don't think changing to a different day every week will sit will with the folks.

    Seems to me that this will leave refuse collection costs about the same and increase the cost of recycle collection. Or am I missing something?

  • brnnrzd posted at 6:07 am on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    brnnrzd Posts: 199

    We going be known as the Garbage Island should this pass. Lazy cheap buggahs going be dumping trash all in the backroads for sure. Would be good to go the H-power route but EPA makes if virtually impossible to set up a system like that on Kauai. Perfect timing this story comes out before the November elections! Barca just got a boost via the Garbage Isle Newspaper.

  • Eagle 6 posted at 4:43 am on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    Eagle 6 Posts: 1159

    That this mumbo jumbo tax is being blabbered about at 1:30 today is pretty short notice.

    Alison be very ashamed of the political jibber jabber you just blabbered to the paper.

    No wonder dumping illegally is a problem.

    "going to raise our awareness by charging more"

    That is worse than commie crud.

    At the council meeting that know one knows about.

    Recommend that this woman is not only fired, but whoever planned this cowardly tax is identified.

    I take back the fire her part, but I think I want to know who made her say it!

    We are watching county clowncil

    You are ALL on the short list

  • paystatus posted at 4:33 am on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    paystatus Posts: 134

    the "Trash by the Pound" heading is misleading, just like the Kauai Counsel;

    on this proposal you are charged based on the number and size of countainers; not by the pound;

    if this passes my neighbor and i will just share the same container and cut our bill in half;

    other less witty folks, will simply haul their trash to the Walmart or McDonalds dumpsters; or worse, LOSER (Leave On Side of Every Road);

    if we want to regulate trash, we need to stop bringing so much onto the island via the shipping containers;

    pretty much all of our trash is delivered to us !

    thanks and have a good day;


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