June 21, 2004
HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) through
its contractor, Unitek Solvent Services, Inc. (Unitek), has completed
the removal of a huge illegal tire dump at Lualualei Homestead Road in
Waianae. Total contract cost for the project amounted to $1,269,779.
DOH will now pursue the landowners of the former illegal tire site in
an attempt to recover the cost of removal.
Approximately 6,628 tons of solid waste material comprised mostly of
shredded and partially burned tires were removed. Of this amount, 5,014
tons were processed into tire-derived fuel (TDF) and sold to AES
Hawaii, Inc. for local power generation. Another 1,586 tons of unusable
wire and residue from the waste tires were delivered to the Waimanalo
The waste tires were initially brought to the Waianae site around
1994, and processed by a company formerly known as Industrial
Technology (IT). IT operated the tire recycling facility without a
solid waste permit from DOH. Among DOH’s concerns was that the
site did not contain the necessary precautions to prevent possible fire
hazards. Then on or about December 3, 1997, a pile of shredded tires on
the site caught fire and caused the evacuation of several nearby
IT filed for bankruptcy in August 1996 under Chapter 11 of the
Bankruptcy Code. The case was converted to a Chapter 7 proceeding in
July 1997. On March 1998, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Hawaii District
granted the IT trustees motion to abandon the property.
On December 23, 2002, DOH issued a Request for Proposals for the
removal of tires from the site, and through the bid process awarded the
project to Unitek Solvent Services, Inc.
DOH officials urge the public to dispose of used tires properly to
avoid the health threats associated with illegal dumping. Old tires
should be taken to tire retail stores. State law requires tire
retailers to accept your old tire in exchange for new tires purchased.
The final cost of the new tire includes the cost to dispose your old
tire, regardless of whether or not you turn in your old tire. The cost
to dispose your old tire is not subject to reduction or refund. Also,
tire retailers and wholesalers are required by law to deliver the used
tires to authorized motor vehicle tire recyclers.
For More Information Contact:
Laura M. Lott
Department of Health
Phone: (808) 586-4418
Department of Health
Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch
Phone: (808) 586-4226