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Compost facility fire causes several hundred thousand dollars in damage

June 13, 2013
Maui Weekly

Maui News - A three-day fire at the EKO Compost facility at the Central Maui Landfill was mostly contained Tuesday, June 4, with officials estimating that the blaze caused several hundred thousand dollars in damage.

With the fire contained, the landfill, Maui EKO Systems Inc. and Pacific Biodiesel were reopened Tuesday. The Olowalu Recycling & Refuse Convenience Center was accepting trash again Tuesday after it was closed the day before because it had reached its capacity with overflow waste from the Central Maui Landfill.

On Tuesday, county refuse workers were making up for Monday's missed residential pickups before proceeding to Tuesday's regular routes, officials said.

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Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga classified the EKO Compost facility fire as accidental.

"The landfill was closed for health and safety reasons, and I would like to personally thank all of the landfill personnel, county and state firefighters, and public works crews who have been working for more than 24 hours in thick smoke to get this fire under control," Mayor Alan Arakawa said.

Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga classified the fire as accidental. It was first reported around 2:30 p.m. Sunday and involved two acres and about a 30-foot-high compost pile.

EKO Systems Inc. President Tom Pawlish said compost facility officials speculated that dry weather and high winds sparked and fanned the fire.

The fire destroyed EKO equipment, including a green waste grinder, a tractor-trailer and an aeration system that pulls air down through the compost piles, Pawlish said. He estimated that damage could be around $300,000.



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