STAND. COM. REP. NO.2769

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2002

RE: S.B. No. 2909

S.D. 1

 

 

Honorable Robert Bunda

President of the Senate

Twenty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2002

State of Hawaii

Sir:

Your Committee on Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 2909 entitled:

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO COUNTIES,"

begs leave to report as follows:

The purpose of this measure is to establish county requirements for separate collection and recycling of food waste by specified restaurants, food courts, hotels, markets, food manufacturers or processors, catering establishments, hospitals, schools, and businesses.

Testimony in support of this measure was received from Eco-Feed, Inc., H. Pacific Environmental Technology, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, and one individual. The Department of Health testified in opposition. McDonald's Restaurants in Hawaii submitted comments.

Your Committee finds that Act 324, Session Laws of Hawaii 1991, codified as Chapter 342G, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), established requirements for county integrated solid waste management planning, including a recycling and bioconversion component, and set solid waste diversion goals of twenty-five per cent by 1995 and fifty per cent by 2000. After ten years, recycling efforts still reduce only a fraction of the solid and liquid waste generated. Landfills on all islands are approaching or have already reached capacity, and both expansion of current landfills and relocation efforts are meeting widespread community opposition.

Despite a clear need for more recycling opportunities, your Committee has heard opposition to the measure that it is an "unfunded mandate" and that currently, only the City and County of Honolulu has the recycling capacity to meet the requirements of this measure.

Your Committee believes that the success of the City and County of Honolulu's recycling programs, including food waste recycling, demonstrates the need for comparable programs on neighbor islands. Your Committee recognizes the fiscal concerns of the counties, but notes that one of the program elements of a county integrated solid waste management plan is a recycling and bioconversion component, which includes food wastes. The fact that for over ten years, it has been an element for consideration should have given all counties an opportunity to consider how such programs could be developed and implemented.

Your Committee understands that not all counties have the capacity to begin immediate implementation of a food waste recycling program. However, given the crisis situation at many landfills, such a program is critical to meeting statewide goals in reduction of the waste stream to the landfills.

Your Committee has heard concerns regarding implementation costs for public schools, but believes that these state facilities may be able to benefit from moneys collected under the State's solid waste management surcharge of 35 cents per ton. These moneys are deposited into the environmental management special fund under section 342G-63, HRS, and the Department of Health has some latitude in how these moneys may be expended, including the authority to develop a grant program.

Your Committee has also carefully considered the questions raised by a Deputy Attorney General that this measure may represent an unfunded mandate. Your Committee reviewed a number of options to address this concern, and will continue to evaluate funding strategies as this, and any comparable measures, move through the legislative process.

Your Committee has amended this measure to:

(1) Expand the findings and purpose section and include it in the new part in statute;

(2) Require all food establishments to recycle a minimum of fifty per cent of total food waste generated and delete the majority of the references to a specific number of meals served;

(3) Exempt a food establishment that generates less than fifty gallons total food waste per week;

(4) Authorize the counties to assess a civil penalty and allow for an appeal of the civil penalty under chapter 91, HRS;

(5) Authorize each county to assess an annual food waste recycling surcharge as a means of addressing the issue of an unfunded mandate; and

(6) Allow a county to request an exemption if the state Department of Health (DOH) determines that a county does not have the recycling capacity to meet the requirements of the chapter, and require DOH to review annually all county exemptions and rescind the exemption if DOH determines the county had achieved such a recycling capacity.

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2909, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2909, S.D. 1.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs,

____________________________

DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair