HI5 redemption centers reopen

The Maui News – Aloha Recycling HI5 redemption centers reopened early Thursday afternoon after closing a day earlier over alleged late payment from the state Department of Health.

On Thursday, department officials denied the payment was late.

Maui County reported that Aloha Recycling’s locations in Kihei, Makawao, Haiku and at the University of Hawaii Maui College reopened as of 1 p.m. Thursday. The company’s private facility on Amala Street, across the street from Island Grocery Depot in Kahului, also reopened.

The state Department of Health said Thursday afternoon that it is pleased to learn the sites were reopened, but officials said the payment to Aloha Recycling was not late.

“As required by state procurement laws, DOH has 30 calendar days to make payments to its contractors. Aloha Glass Recycling most recently filed claims for reimbursement/payment, which were received by DOH between Dec. 28, 2017, and Jan. 8, 2018. As the contractor received its reimbursement check today, Jan. 18, DOH was well within its deadline for payments required by state law,” said Darren Park of the Office of Solid Waste Management, Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch.Aloha Recycling owner Tom Reed said prior to Thursday’s opening that he was waiting for $111,000 from the state in recyclable reimbursements for the first half of December. He said there have been changes in procedures with the state that could be the reason for the tardy payment.

“Nobody is sitting around over there. They are doing what they can,” Reed said. “My problem is if I don’t have cash to pay out, I just can’t do it.”

Reed could not immediately be reached for comment after health officials refuted his claims.

County drop boxes continue to accept nonrefundable recycling items such as cardboard, newspaper, glass, food cans and plastics No. 1 and 2 with necks that have been rinsed clean. The county also takes plastics No. 3, 4 and 5.

The county asks people to thoroughly rinse containers to make them free of food, oil and soap residue. Items that are not rinsed will be discarded.

The Health Department runs the HI5 redemption program. For more information, call the department on Oahu at (808) 586-4226.

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