An Alternative to Recycling Oahu’s Scrapped Cars

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BY HANNI HARTMANN – It has come to our attention that Schnitzer and a few citizens continue to lobby Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle to pass Bill 36.  Accordingly, Schnitzer is threatening to stop suppliers from delivering scrap cars to the landfill, including the materials which eventually wind up as ASR or automobile shredder residue. Their argument is that the “dirt” will again litter the landscape here.

However, theirs is an desirable proposal for the following reasons:

  • It will be a boom for the remaining recyclers who export scrapped cars.
  • Recyclers, such as ourselves, will be happy to continue to accept cars and related scrap which will be baled and exported in their entirety.
  • The recyclers will provide the small suppliers with the same service that they currently receive.
  • This scenario will actually improve our competitive position to fight and secure this scrap material for export.

Unfortunately, Schnitzer is well aware of the net effect, so it will only be another threat which they will not follow through with. Therefore, it will be highly unlikely that more “waste” will wind up in our landscape.

Some council members appear to be eager to “help” the recycling industry. May we suggest this approach:  The City should reward recyclers who export 100% of scrapped cars including ASR. This would not leave any ASR here in the Islands.  Perhaps the City could also provide a bonus of xxx$/ton to these recyclers. And perhaps the City could also issue a similar penalty to companies who dump the ASR in the landfill. (Presently these companies are given a “tipping fee” break to dump in the landfill.)

This scenario would result in multiple winners:

  • The Oahu tax payer will be the biggest winner.
  • All Honolulu recyclers except for Schnitzer will benefit.
  • The environment and the noble cause of recycling will benefit.
  • The Waimanalo Gulch landfill will be ASR-free.
  • The City’s Department of Environmental Services for their year-long research and efforts.
  • The Mayor and City Council, who by their actions and responsibilities as servants to the people, will provide a creative and sensible solution to one of the city’s environmental problems.
  • The basic American concept of free enterprise and competition, in which individual entities are not supposed to be subsidized unfairly.
  • Hawaii-based small business entrepreneurs and recyclers will be acknowledged by politicians whose vision will lead us to a better Ohana.

Hanni Hartmann is with PMI, Inc, a Metal Trade-Project Management Company in Kapolei. This communication was sent to our Mayor, Managing Director and City Council.