Where does it go? Oahu’s Green Waste

Dec 5, 2011 by Rachel Harvey | Story Popularity: 5

On Oahu, waste collected in green curbside bins is taken to the Hawaiian Earth Products (HEP) Composting Center. This where the Menehune Magic soil and compost is made.

The Kapolei location produces mulch and compost from around 100,000 tons of green waste each year. Seventy percent of that material is collected from residential bins. The rest is commercial landscaping drop-offs. Materials are weighed, dumped, and moved through a series of shredding and grinding machines. HEP displays the whole process on their website.

The first by-product, mulch, is available for purchase. This material can serve as a weed suppressant or for water retention and beautification around landscaping. They also make decorative wood mulch solely from discarded (untreated) lumber. The second by-product, compost, takes 12 weeks to process. Shredded material is placed into 200 to 400 foot long “wind-rows” where it can be turned for aeration and watered.

Some of the pure compost is mixed with soil and sold as Menehune Magic at local home improvement stores. Importantly, buying the Magic soil supports a local product and local jobs! I can attest that it works wonders for plants and vegetables. (See my journal on Parking Lot Gardening.)

Earth Products Hawaii also has a Kailua location. Both places accept Christmas tree and yard waste drop-offs free from homeowners. They have on-site stations to fill your personal truck bed with the magic soil compost blend.

Green Waste Tips:
Avoid putting your green waste into a plastic bag. It’s better to loosely fill the bin. Otherwise, the bags have to be manually removed at HEP.

Acceptable Material for the "Green Waste" bin include:
Grass, leaves, branches, hedge and tree trimmings, stumps, logs, banana cuttings, coconuts, palm fronds, untreated lumber, untreated pallets, and Christmas trees.



Archived Comments

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  1. Olin Lagon says:

    I think the City has annual tours of the Kailua facility. I took it one year and learned a bit. One take away was seeing the dozen or so employees picking through the green waste piles to clear out trash, most of which seemed to be plastic bags. So if you send green waste to be recycled, it sure does help if it is not contaminated with trash or bagged up in plastic bags.

    Also, not sure if they still offer free compost but they offered all the compost you could pile into a truck for free. This was pure compost and not the premium mix with soil that they sell in stores.

  2. We filled up the back of our Subaru for less than $100. The website says $34 a cubic yard.

    But it is free for homeowners to drop off CHRISTMAS TREES or other yard waste.

Would you kokua and log in? All features are turned on when logged in. Mahalo!