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.
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