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  • Writer's pictureKristy Ford

Updated: May 23, 2023

In our industry, the term “inert materials” is pretty common. But not everyone is aware of what it means, so we thought we’d expand!

Inert construction materials are chemically-stable substances used in building, landscaping and so forth. They don’t easily undergo chemical reactions or changes, making them reliable, popular and prime for reuse and should NEVER be landfilled. Here are some qualities you’ll typically find in these types of materials:

  • Strong & durable

  • Don’t degrade quickly or easily

  • Reliable in harsh environments & weather

For instance, concrete is a combination of cement, sand, gravel and water that forms a very hard and durable material. Another example, asphalt, is considered a sustainable paving solution made from a mix of mineral aggregates, liner and filler. The resulting mixture is designed to be stable, dense and easy to work with. Rock, dirt and sand are natural elements with varying degrees of size, texture and porosity (space for air or water to flow).

We accept all of the above materials at our site as they can be recycled and reused!


Our crushers have the capability to turn these materials into reusable, reliable products like different types and sizes of gavel, landscape rock and even topsoil. Since we’re not a quarry, we do not blast the earth and take from it, the materials we have for sale are a direct result of the original products we receive. The more people choose to bring us their rock, dirt, concrete and asphalt, the more we can encourage the quarries to minimize the scar on the earth.


In our commitment to environmental responsibility, there are certain things we can not accept, which include hazardous waste, trash, lead paint, and green waste. We often get calls asking about other types of recycling, like electronics, cardboard, cans and metal. We specialize in construction/inert materials, however we strongly encourage all recycling, whenever possible! There is a County E-Waste Recycling Program for electronics and recycle/redemption sites across the island. You can also call the Maui County Recycling Hotline at (808) 270-7880. As far as green waste, that can go to Kihei Compost or a new operation West Maui Green Cycle, who is accepting green waste, food scraps, unwaxed cardboard and 100% compostable #7 food service products. Reach out to them to learn more!


No matter the amount of rock, dirt, concrete or asphalt, we want it! So give us a call at 808-856-6231 or send us an email info@hmrmaui.com with specific questions or requests!


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Updated: Oct 12, 2023

Hawaii Materials Recycling accepts and recycles nonhazardous building materials



Island construction companies and contractors now have another option to dispose of nonhazardous materials. The new Hawaii Materials Recycling LLC in Kihei will not only take construction debris but also recycle it. Its focus is on concrete, rock, dirt, asphalt and most other earthen materials, said Pete Sullivan, one of the owners.


“We are creating less of a scar on the island by using the materials,” Sullivan said. “It’s about recycling.”

Sullivan said the facility crushes and screens the construction and demolition debris, transforming it into reusable material. It creates road base, pipe bedding, wall rock, topsoil, landscape rock, man-made sand, recycled concrete base, recycled asphalt products and different grades and sizes of fill materials and aggregates that are used in housing projects, road building and commercial and industrial site work.


Currently, the only place to legally dispose of nonhazardous construction and demolition material is at the county’s Central Maui landfill. The privately owned Maui Demolition & Construction Landfill in Maalaea closed in 2016 after reaching capacity.

Unlike a traditional landfill, where trucks just dump material, customers at Hawaii Materials Recycling can also pick up recycled construction material. This cuts costs in half, Sullivan said.


Maui County supports the concept. Department of Environmental Management Deputy Director Michael Miyamoto said the department has written letters in support of the Kihei facility as well as another in the works by another entity in Puunene.

Even though construction material doesn’t produce methane gas the way residential trash does, Miyamoto said “the thing that is bad” about construction material is that rebar in concrete may puncture the tarps that the landfill uses.

He added that the county has only limited hours when it can receive construction and demolition debris in order to give crews time to compact the material so trash can be placed on top of it. The county also requires paperwork to be done beforehand and some processing could take up to seven business days.


Michael Ratte, the department’s Solid Waste Division chief, said the county received 18,000 tons of construction and demolition material at the Central Maui Landfill in the partial fiscal year 2017. For fiscal 2018, Ratte expects the intake to be about 25,000 tons. Ratte added that the private Hawaii Metals Recycling facility is not a landfill, and any materials the facility cannot recycle or repurpose may be received as regular municipal solid waste.

Sullivan said his customers will still need to call ahead before making a drop-off, but the process with paperwork could take about an hour, far less time than it takes the county. He also said the company’s intake prices are lower than the county’s. Concrete without any reinforcement is $50 per ton and concrete with reinforcement is $65 per ton, but rebar must not protrude more than 2 inches. The county charges $75 per ton for concrete no larger than 4-by-2-by-2-feet with no protruding rebar.


Hawaii Materials Recycling, which is co-owned by Sullivan, Dave Sullivan and Lloyd Norquist, opened in April. It is located on 10 acres of Haleakala Ranch land and has a long-term lease.

The facility uses water from the nearby Kihei Wastewater Treatment Plant to keep the dust down. Its scale house is completely powered by a photovoltaic system.

Any company certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design can get LEED credit by buying the recycled materials, Sullivan said.

The facility does not take hazardous substances, hazardous waste, lead paint, rubbish, metal debris or green waste.

Hawaii Metals Recycling is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. For information, see hawaiimaterialsrecycling.com.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.


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