On Feb. 25, Maui County’s new mayor Alan Arakawa gave a State of the County address, his first since taking office in January.
Amidst his 1,500-word speech about floods, rockslides, plastic bag bans and the general state of the Maui County economy, Arakawa spent 37 words talking about Molokai:
“On Molokai the county is helping to get rid of more than 3,000 abandoned vehicles. Besides being an eyesore these vehicles are dangerous as potential fire hazards and environmental threats due to chemicals leaking into the soil.”
Mayor Arakawa also mentioned ending furlough Fridays for all county employees and reducing the size of county government in an effort to reduce the $20 million deficit on employee benefit packages.
He also said we should all expect higher utility rates. “Your water bill is going up this year and most likely so will your sewer fees,” said Arakawa.
To improve the county permit process — an area in which his predecessor Charmaine Tavares received criticism — Arakawa announced changes. “I am also happy to announce that our Permit Process Improvement Team has already implemented some much needed changes,” he said. “Those in the construction industry have told me it’s easier to get things through the system now.”
Metal recycling on Molokai, as Arakawa said, will help remove the eyesore of abandoned vehicles and large appliances. A metal collection event will take place from March 15 to April 9 at the Molokai Metals Facility at the Molokai-Naiwa Landfill on Maunaloa Highway. Contractor Kitagawa’s Towing & Metals Recycling will conduct the recycling. Materials will be accepted during regular hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
During the last collection period, which took place in December, the county received more than 1.4 million pounds of metal materials in four weeks, including more than 300 vehicles, 1,200 appliances, nearly 2,000 tires, 400 batteries and more than 130 tons of scrap metal.
To drop off metals, make sure they are separated from other waste material and brought directly to MMF. There is no charge for this service. A vehicle or motorcycle must have a vehicle acceptance form and vehicle owners must also file a statement of junking form. These forms can be found online at http://www.mauicounty.gov/solidwaste.
The Community Work Day Program will be able to assist residents who need help removing a junk vehicle or an appliance from their home. Call CWD at 877-2524 to request assistance.
The next collection period will be scheduled for some time this summer. Call 658-9029 for more information about MMF.