Pahoa Recycling & Transfer Station Brings in Bronze to County of Hawaii’s Solid Waste Division

The Solid Waste Division of the County of Hawai‘i’s Department of Environmental Management has received a bronze award for the Pāhoa Recycling & Transfer Station, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has announced.
SWANA’s Excellence Awards Program recognizes outstanding solid waste programs and facilities that advance the practice of environmentally and economically sound solid waste management. The newly remodeled Pāhoa Recycling & Transfer Station was blessed in June 2011 after $3.9 million in renovations. It features solar power and a catchment water system, along with alcoves to accept various separated materials.
Terin Gloor, Solid Waste Division Chief, said the design and construction of the Pāhoa facility as true partnership between the Department of Environmental Management, two Puna council representatives, and the community.
“During project development one our primary considerations was, ‘how can the design influence the behavior of the community?’” said Gloor. “We wanted to make sure that the facility would motivate increased recycling, promote green construction, and inspire civic pride. To accomplish these goals we built a facility that reflects our commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Mayor Kenoi attended the opening of the Pahoa Transfer Station

In addition to convenient design of the five-structure facility, recycled materials were used in its construction. Concrete from construction demolition sites was used in both construction and the landscaping of the site. Recycled and shredded tires were also integrated into the landscape design, along with crushed, recycled glass. It is also designed for modular expansion.
Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi said the Pāhoa Recycling & Transfer Station will be used as a model as the county continues to upgrade its transfer stations around Hawai‘i Island. “It demonstrates efficient, effective, and innovative design,” said Mayor Kenoi. “It also fosters essential practices in our quest to reduce the amount of solid waste we generate.”

In celebration of the award, the public is invited to a ceremony at the Pāhoa Recycling & Transfer Station on ‘Āpa‘a Road tomorrow, September 20 at 1 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call the Mayor’s Office in Hilo at 961-8211

Gloor said he is proud of the partnerships fostered by the project. “We came to deeply appreciate the community that was patient and enthusiastic about the project,” he said, noting the cooperation of Puna Councilmen Emily Nae‘ole and Fred Blas, Contractor Willocks Construction Co. and the design team of R.W. Beck, Engineering Partners, Leonard Bisel Associates, Wallace T. Oki PE, and Neil C. Erikson & Associates.
“Our construction team went to great pains to help us make sure that we were on time and on budget,” said Gloor. “And our design team that helped us make sure that we captured and delivered the project goals.”
This year’s SWANA awards honor 41 programs and facilities in 14 different categories spanning the width and breadth of the municipal solid waste industry. Award winners represent the most innovative and dynamic organizations throughout North America and SWANA is proud to recognize their accomplishments.
“The recipients of the SWANA Excellence Awards represent the best solid waste management practices in North America today,” said John H. Skinner, Ph.D., SWANA Executive Director and CEO.  “Community leaders should be very proud of the valuable contributions that these projects provide to their citizens,” Skinner added.
The winners were acknowledged Aug. 14 at the annual WASTECON conference in Washington, D.C. Gloor traveled to Washington D.C. to accept the award.
For 50 years, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has been the leading professional education and training association in the solid waste management field. SWANA’s mission is “to advance the practice of environmentally and economically sound management of municipal solid waste.”SWANA serves over 8,000 members and thousands more industry professionals with technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses. For more information, visit

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