Nanakuli recycling facility is a big step for isle energy and economy, officials say

Honolulu Star Advertiser - November 20, 2014
Kathryn Mykleseth

PVT Land Co. introduced its recycling system to state and city officials at a blessing ceremony Wednesday at the company's Nanakuli facility.

State Sen. Mike Gabbard and former state Rep. Karen Awana praised the project after PVT Land introduced a machine that can create fuel to help power Oahu homes.

PVT Land provides another resource Hawaii can use to lower the price of energy, Gabbard said.

"So many times we hear about solar and about wind and about all of the other things that help to reduce our energy bill," he said. "but no one is ever talking about what is happening here."

The private landfill and recycling facility on the Wai­anae Coast can provide fuel that can power up to 12,000 homes in Hawaii with construction debris sorted by a new machine.

Once operating at full capacity, the PVT recycling system can process up to 900 tons of feedstock, or burnable materials, a day to fuel energy production.

Approximately 1,775 tons of construction or demolition debris enters the 135-acre facility daily. PVT Land charges a minimum of $45 per ton for dumping. It then recycles more than half of the debris for feedstock to use in renewable-energy production.

Feedstock can be wood, plastic, paper or cloth. The materials are transformed into a fuel that can be burned to create steam to drive turbines in some of Oahu's power plants or can be used in a manufacturing process that burns the feedstock to produce synthetic natural gas, PVT Land said.

The system will help keep some of the money that Hawaii would otherwise spend to import oil in the state's economy, Gabbard said.

"With our material people may be able to produce about 5 percent of the power on the island as a whole," said Steve Joseph, vice president of operations for PVT Land. "It makes a big difference because all of those dollars stay on the island and stay in our economy."

PVT Land employs 30 workers to operate the recycling system.

The recycling system provides economic development for people in the nearby community, Awana said.

"About 80 percent of the workers are actually from the Waianae Coast," Awana said. "They're providing jobs and keeping people off highway traffic."