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  • Writer's pictureJenny Sullivan

Saving Materials, Saving Millions in Maui County

Updated: Jan 17, 2020

Hawai’i Materials Recycling Keeps $7.93 Million Worth of Materials out of Landfill.

KIHEI, HI - Hundreds of thousands of tons — of concrete, asphalt, sand, rock and dirt.

Millions of dollars — right here where we live.

That’s what Hawai’i Materials Recycling (HMR) has SAVED Maui County and taxpayers, since

launching in June of 2018! Company co-owner Pete Sullivan breaks down the numbers, based on the (conservative) estimate of 155,000 tons of inert material dropped off over a 16-month span.

“If we looked at 155,000 tons, it equates to roughly 103,000 yards, and some years ago I was

told by the Director of the Department of Environmental Management that it costs $77 per cubic yard to make landfill space,” says Sullivan. “So the simple math equals about $7.93 million that the county and we as taxpayers will not have to spend, because we diverted that from the landfill.”

That equals about 6,200 truck loads (at 25 tons per truck load) dropped off at the HMR site off East Welakahao Road in Kīhei. The beauty is, trucks don’t have to leave empty! Trucks can dump their waste and get what they need by loading up on-site, saving in time, gas and money. In fact, that scenario would save $875,000 in trucking costs based on the initial numbers above.

Putting the numbers together, factoring in the low prices, less wait time and what WASN’T spent at the landfill, HMR has saved the public and county around $13 million. And they only opened last June! Just imagine what’s to come.

“The amount of money is really astronomical that these kinds of operations save the County in the long run,” says Maui County Councilperson Kelly King, who attended the blessing ceremony for HMR. “We’re beyond the point where we can just throw our trash away and not worry about it; we have to be responsible for all our waste and if we know it’s coming to a place like this, that’s the responsible thing to do.”

While HMR is very proud of the cost-savings, the fact is, value is not only measured in dollars.

As more and more customers make the choice to join in, our community can repurpose what’s already here and make a positive impact on our natural resources.

“If we looked at a yard of concrete that weighs about 2.2 tons, and you think about the materials it takes to make up that yard of concrete, I don’t care what form it’s in, it should never go in the landfill,” explains Sullivan. “So if we can avoid that and we can process it here, we’re creating less of a scar on the island.”

Since HMR is not a quarry, all products sold are from recycled material with a major added

benefit: no blasting or drilling into the earth. HMR practices its own sustainable methods onsite; for instance, the scale and scale house office is 100% powered by solar panels, with a

generator for back up. They also use only recycled (R1) water from the nearby Maui County

Wastewater Reclamation Facility.

Representatives from landowner Haleakalā Ranch share the passion for sustainability, as a

longtime local company that makes stewardship a top priority.

“We’re here to take care of this land; we treat our ownership of this property as more of a

responsibility to do what is right by the land and the people,” says Scott Meidell, Senior Vice

President of Haleakalā Ranch. “We’ve been at this for 131 years and I’m very proud to work for a company that emphasizes the need for stewardship, and I think that’s an apt characterization of what projects like these are.”

HMR is extremely grateful for its growing customer base — many of whom have already

diverted tons upon tons of inert materials from the landfill, picking up the processed products they need, including all types of spec rock, recycled concrete base, asphalt, soil, sand and more. Our dedicated customers include Aloha Waste, Elite Concrete, Mākena Builders, Maui Disposal, PB Sullivan Construction, Rojac Construction, Shoreline Concrete, The Rock Landscaping and West Maui Construction, among many others.

With low prices, short wait times and a range of selection, HMR is encouraged to see so many companies make the informed choice to not only save on costs, but do their part to help preserve our ‘āina. Learn more in this recent coverage from Hawai’i Public Radio and get details on our website!

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