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Department of Health Cites Island Container Redemption, Settles with Atlas Recycling Centers for Deposit Beverage Container Violations

The Hawai’i State Department of Health (DOH) Solid & Hazardous Waste Branch has issued a Notice and Finding of Violation against Island Container Redemption, LLC (ICR), and signed a Settlement Agreement with Atlas Recycling Centers, LLC. (Atlas) – both for violations of the State Deposit Beverage Container (DBC) law.

DOH has assessed ICR a penalty in the amount of $33,772. From January 17, 2007, through June 28, 2011, ICR violated DBC requirements at multiple certified redemption centers on O’ahu. DOH conducted multiple inspections at ICR facilities, performed follow-up inspections, and issued the company warning letters prior to assessing the administrative penalty. ICR has requested a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty.

The ICR violations are: (1) conducting unpermitted baling activities; (2) failure to inspect containers for HI 5¢ deposit label and/or contamination; (3) failure to use appropriate weighing procedures to calculate accurate customer refund amounts; (4) failure to keep customer loads separate until the transaction was completed and the customer approved the refund amount offered; (5) making payment of refund value on non-HI 5¢ labeled, contaminated, broken, and/or otherwise ineligible beverage containers; (6) accepting customer reported counts; and (7) failure to post the state issued certified redemption center sign prominently where customers could view it as they approached the center.

Atlas and DOH Solid & Hazardous Waste Branch have settled on an agreement to a penalty amount of $30,000, paid incrementally by Atlas within two years. On May 24, 2010, DOH filed an enforcement case against Atlas for violations of the DBC certified redemption center laws and assessed a total penalty of $36,471. The violations included: (1) failure to inspect recyclable containers for redemption eligibility; (2) use of an unapproved, dysfunctional, and/or inappropriate scale; (3) obstructing customer’s view of DBC scale; (4) not paying full refund value for eligible containers; (5) paying refund value on ineligible containers; and (6) not correcting infractions in the time specified by DOH.

By entering into a settlement agreement, DOH and Atlas agreed to resolve this enforcement case without an administrative hearing and without further litigation. Non-compliance with the settlement agreement will subject Atlas to stipulated penalties of $1,000 per day.

To protect the environment, and verify recycling of plastic, glass and metal beverage containers, the DOH regulates recycling facilities participating in the Hawai’i Deposit Beverage Container Program. Program inspectors regularly monitor certified redemption centers to ensure that center operators are accurately providing deposit refunds to the public and properly recycling beverage container material.

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