Action alert: Single use plastics ban hearing on April 17

Maui’s single-use plastics ban passed first reading (votes 8-1) in March. The council will next hear the bill on April 17. You can tune in to the meeting and submit testimony from the safety of your home:

We are asking folks to email our Council Members to thank them for voting for the ban in the first reading and also to email your testimony for the 2nd and FINAL reading in support of the Plastic Ban by Noon on April 16th.

to the Office of the County Clerk at or (808) 270-7171 (fax).


On April 17th at 9am:

To provide oral testimony, call 1-408-740-7256 or 1-888-240-2560 (toll-free) and input meeting ID 592474137 followed by Passcode 1139.

To join by videoconference, use the following link:


BNL Landfill Trash Proposal

2 Executive Summary

2.1 Proposed IWCEP Solution

BNL Clean Energy proposes, as a core element to the solution to the County of
Maui’s IWCEP RFP, our new-generation power system technology as part of an
integrated waste management system.

2.2 Overview of BNL Technology

The technology we propose is the result of many years of product research and
development, and has resulted in a series of applications for, and receipt of,
patents covering the key innovations inherent in our technology.
By going “back to basics”, we have engineered a Closed Loop Thermo-
Chemical Process (CLTCP) that allows us to take a wide range of source
feedstuffs and return a wide range of useful byproducts.

A key point of our CLTCP technology is that, by definition, it is closed-loop hence
there are no flues and no flue-gases being venting. Thus there is no emission of
greenhouse gases, and no emission of toxic materials into the environment.

2.3 Feedstuffs

These include:

* Municipal Solid Waste – of virtually any organic composition

* Municipal Biosolids

* Biomass – trees, woodland/forest waste, bio power station residues

* Used tyres

* Used oils – of both fossil or vegetable origins

* Municipal Landfill Clearance (MSW cleared from existing landfill)

This list is not exhaustive, but rather to give an indication of the flexibility that can
be provided – “speciality” waste streams such as medical biohazard waste or
aged explosives can also be processed if required but with appropriate handling.
An important point to note is that the feedstuff mix does not have to be
homogeneous; it can be varied depending on what is available at a given time,
but conversely, a “recipe” can be derived that will generally dispose of feedstuffs
in predefined proportions to address local storage requirements or transport

2.4 Outputs

A number of options are available with our technology, and most are relevant in a
higher or lower degree to the RFP:

2.4.1 Primary Outputs Synthetic Fuels

Depending on requirements, this can be diesel (typically commercial grade, for
truck and heavy plant operation), or kerosene (typically Jet A-1 for aviation use),
or light fuel oil (typically for maritime use).

Note that the type of fuel can be changed dynamically; i.e. to output a different
fuel type requires no physical changes to the equipment, only internal changes to
the chemistry being executed within the equipment. Electric Power Generation

A further option is to use a proportion of energy from a system to generate
energy via a closed-cycle gas turbine (CCGT).

The key point to note is that a CCGT uses heat generated directly from the
system – i.e. it does not burn fuel as a “normal” gas turbine does – thus the zero-
emission status of the system is maintained. Heating/Cooling

If required, a proportion of the thermal capacity of the system can be utilised for,
for example, district heating/cooling, ice manufacture, lumber kilns. This has
multiple benefits in terms of better utilisation by sharing infrastructure whilst
reducing demand on local electricity or other energy supply systems. Desalinated Water

If required, desalination facilities can be supported by our systems. Feedstock Drying

Low-grade heat is available for feedstock drying – for example, of sewage-related
semisolids – without loss of efficiency related to other outputs.

2.4.2 Secondary Outputs

A number of secondary outputs are generated to a varying degree that is entirely
dependent on the nature and/or mix of feedstuffs used. Inert Ash

Due to the technology process, all ash generated is clean and can be used for
road construction, horticultural deployment or equivalent use. Rare Earths and Heavy Metals Extraction

Unlike typical open-flue systems, these are captured with other non-organic
materials that are normally regarded as “problematic”. The containing wastes will
be barrelled and shipped to specialist metal recycling processors, most likely in
California Sulphate, Nitrate, Phosphate Extraction

Sulphate, nitrate and phosphate derivatives are extracted for reuse as inorganic

Read the entire proposal

County’s New Demands Cause Pacific Biodiesel Headaches

Pacific Biodiesel will continue collecting cooking oil and grease and continue supplying Biodiesel to Maui

Biodiesel refining operations to move to Big Island.

Here’s the press release issued by Pacific Biodiesel

America’s oldest biodiesel production plant has vacated the Central Maui  Landfill.  While continuing operations in the collection of used cooking oil and trap grease  waste, Pacific Biodiesel has closed its prototype facility.  Built in 1996, Pacific Biodiesel’s  Maui plant has been widely recognized as a pioneer in America’s biodiesel industry and was  the longest continually operating commercial biodiesel processing facility in the nation.  The  Maui operation has won awards from the Solid Waste Association of North American, the  National Recycling Coalition and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.


In December of 2013, Pacific Biodiesel was notified by the Maui County Department of  Environmental Management that continuing the current operation would require multiple  permits and extensive upgrades to comply with new County requirements.  According to  Robert King, President and Founder of the Company, “With just over two years left on our  contract, we couldn’t justify the costly site improvements that were required to meet the  County’s demands.”

Pacific Biodiesel will continue its full range of pumping and collection services on Maui and  Lanai as well as all its collection and processing operations on Oahu and Hawaii Island. Distribution of the Company’s biodiesel fuel will continue Statewide.

Prior to closing, the Puunene facility was providing pre-­?processing of waste oils for shipping  to its state-of-the-art biodiesel refinery in Hilo.  Now that the landfill facility has closed, the  cooking oil collected on Maui will be transferred directly to Big Island Biodiesel.  Grease trap  waste will continue to be processed on Oahu and Hawaii Island.

“Needless to say, it was difficult to shut down the plant after all these years but we found  ourselves with little recourse given the extent of the requirements to continue operations”,  said King. “We are committed to our community-­?based model and hope to return to Maui  with our industry-­?leading technology in the future.”


In the meantime, Pacific Biodiesel will continue to collect Maui County’s waste oils and  grease and distribute premium distilled biodiesel across the state.  To date, the Maui-­?based  company has diverted over 22 million gallons of waste from the community’s landfill,  greatly reduced the frequency of wastewater spills due to clogging by grease, and saved the  county’s restaurants a lot of money. Retired Pacific Biodiesel Operations Manager Larry Zolezzi estimates the savings to Maui  restaurants to be about $1 million, explaining, “The pumpers used to charge $1 per gallon to  pick up and dispose of used cooking oil (uco) and $2 per gallon for grease.  As the first  biodiesel company in the U.S., we changed the culture about what to do with uco and now  grease.”  Since 2010 Pacific Biodiesel Logistics has been collecting uco for free and offering  restaurants reduced rates for grease trap service.

Maui Sierra Club Trash Forum Sparks Change

Reprinted from Maui Weekly:

Anaergia Plan Morphs Again

Most of the changes are significant and add, modify or remove major components.

December 26, 2013
Jeff Stark – Chair, Maui Recycling Group Public Education Committee , Maui Weekly

On Sunday, Dec. 8, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) ran a full-page paid advertisement in The Maui News. In this ad, NRDC Senior Scientist Dr. Allen Hershkowitz presented the latest version of the NRDC/Maui County/Anaergia Services Inc. proposal for the county’s Integrated Waste Conversion To Energy Project (IWCEP).

The initial proposal submitted by Anaergia included a so-called “dirty” Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Maui Recycling Group, Maui recycling businesses and many community members objected in part on the grounds that a “dirty” facility increases contamination, and thus, decreases marketability of recyclable commodities.

It now appears the NRDC/Maui County/Anaergia plan calls for a “single stream” or “clean” MRF. We are pleased that they have joined us in that preference, but we still contend that this represents a significant change in a major element of their original proposal.

Another major change is that there was no mention in the NRDC advertisement of Refuse Derived Fuel, which are, essentially, bricks of solid waste. This was a major component of the original proposal–Anaergia would take the dry portion of our waste stream and make solid waste bricks. The company would then sell them to be burned in incinerators, power plants or other industrial facilities. Concerned businesses and others objected.

One reason is that there is no market for this fuel on Maui. Another reason is that, whatever it is called, this material is garbage and burning it will produce an array of ecological and economic problems. These problems will occur wherever this fuel is burned. We can’t avoid our environmental responsibilities just by shipping our garbage elsewhere. Now, NRDC suggests that perhaps we should landfill this portion of our waste stream. Needless to say, we do not agree.

Finally, the NRDC advertisement claims that our “household, noncommercial” recycling rate is an “abysmal” 1.7 percent. What they are referring to is the production from our Community Recycling Dropbox Program. However, the drop box program is only one of 14 programs tracked and/or overseen by the county. When taken together, these 14 programs, which involve a mix of commercial and residential waste streams, tell a different story. Overall, our “landfill diversion rate”–the standard measurement throughout the world–is 42.9 percent. This is the best rate in Hawai’i and nearly a full 10 points higher than the national rate of 33 percent.

To view the official County of Maui Landfill Diversion report, go to

One of the best ways to immediately increase our recycling production from the residential sector is to implement the county plan for island-wide curbside recycling. This plan is recommended by the County of Maui Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan. It has been approved by the County Council and the state Department of Health. It has been proven in a successful pilot project.

To see how effective the curbside pilot project was, and how ready-to-go the island-wide plan is, go to Strangely, despite their public pronouncements regarding their support of recycling, the Arakawa administration has refused to fund this program in their Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

The NRDC/Maui County/Ana-ergial plan requires a 20-year commitment by the county–commitment that will allow Anaergia to raise the tipping fees it charges the county and other “customers” of its facility.

Lately, it seems that every time we hear from this plan’s backers, it has changed. Most of the changes are significant and add, modify or remove major components.

We continue to hope that our County Council will recognize that the NRDC/Maui County/Anaergial proposal has “morphed” into something quite different than originally presented. In addition, it has not been committed to writing and has not been made available to the public or to the council. With this in mind, we ask that the council’s Committee on Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs reject the resolution supporting this plan as soon as possible.

Let’s focus on island-wide curbside recycling, which will be a major component of any integrated plan, and keep moving forward, not sideways.