The Future of Waste Management In Hawaii




Through the integration of advanced waste conversion and recycling technologies from around the world, the Maui Resource Recovery Facility (MRRF) will set a benchmark for how municipal waste is managed in Hawaii. The facility is designed to significantly reduce the volume of waste which is currently being landfilled in central Maui by increasing material recycling and producing renewable fuels from what was once considered waste.

The MRRF will not only help to preserve Maui’s natural environment through landfill diversion, but will also reduce Maui’s reliance on imported fuels and reduce the County’s carbon footprint by an amount that is equal to removing 25,000 cars from roadways.

As the waste from municipal, commercial and institutional sources arrives at the MRRF, the first step of the process will be the recycling of plastics, paper products, metals and other products at a material recovery facility. With a target removal rate of up to 75% of the recyclable material, the MRRF will have one of the highest material recovery rates in the country.

Next, an advanced organic extrusion press will be used to further reduce the volume of waste by processing biodegradable material such as food scraps into liquid and dry portions. The liquid portion will be sent to an on-site anaerobic digester where it will be converted into biogas through a natural decomposition process. The biogas will be further processed into renewable natural gas to offset the need for importing fuel to the Islands of Hawaii. The residual product that is left after anaerobic digestion can be used as an organic compost or fertilizer, depending on local needs. The dry organic product will be used to produce an engineered solid fuel that can be used as a sustainable coal substitute at power plants and cement kilns.

After recycling and organics extrusion, the remaining volume of waste which typically consists of dirt, sand, rocks and other inorganics will be sent to the landfill. This advanced waste diversion process will significantly reduce the volume of waste and extend the life of the central Maui landfill by up to five times, helping to preserve the local environment.

In partnership with the County of Maui, the facility will provide economic, environmental and social benefits through the integration of proven technologies, combined with best practices from around the world.


Maui Resource Recovery Facility, LLC was contracted by the County of Maui on January 8th, 2014. At this time project development efforts are underway, including site analysis, detailed analysis of various municipal waste streams as well as preliminary process engineering.

The next step will be to pursue project approvals from various agencies and start detailed engineering efforts. Once detailed engineering is near completion, procurement of long-lead specialty equipment will start. Upon completion of detailed engineering and acquisition of building permits, construction efforts can begin.


The goal of the Maui Resource Recovery Facility is to significantly reduce the amount of waste that is currently being sent to the landfill and to fully utilize the valuable resources embodied in organic waste. This approach has many positive environmental benefits, including:

Environmnetally conscious
  • Preservation of Maui’s natural environment
  • Extension of the life of the central Maui landfill by up to five times
  • Diversion of approximately 85 percent of the county's municipal solid waste from the Central Maui Landfill - currently, only about 43% of the waste is diverted
  • Recovery of up to 75% of recyclable materials such as paper, plastics, metals
  • Production of sustainable and renewable fuels
  • Reduction of reliance on imported fuels which reduces the County’s carbon footprint by an amount that is equal to removing 25,000 cars from roadways
  • Production of organic compost or fertilizer


“The Maui Resource Recovery Facility’s solution bolsters recycling efforts for the community and advances significant landfill diversion, while providing a considerable net environmental benefit, renewable fuels and long-term cost savings in the millions of dollars over the 20-year term of the agreement.”
- Alan Arakawa
Maui County Mayor

"According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, landfills are the third greatest emitters of methane pollution in the United States. Methane is a greenhouse gas 60 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The government of Maui should be commended for seeking to enhance the county's recycling infrastructure. The opportunity that Maui now has by attracting a company willing to invest tens of millions of dollars to enhance the island's recycling infrastructure is not something to be discarded casually."
- Allen Hershkowitz
A senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council

“Living on an island we are always looking for ways to preserve our aina and make better use of our natural resources. That is why this IWCEP project is so important. We are looking at reducing waste in our landfill, cutting down the emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, producing a clean bio-fuel for industrial consumers as well as greatly expanding the recycling of materials in our community.”
- Alan Arakawa
Maui County Mayor

“Maui’s Integrated Waste Conversion and Energy Project is one of the foremost global examples of how a clear client vision and a strong public-private partnership can reduce energy costs, improve the local environment and foster long term economic growth for the community.”
- Steve Watzeck
Independent Director at Anaergia


Lahaina News / April 24, 2014

Bill supporting West Maui biofuel facility advances WEST MAUI - Maui legislators are pushing hard for Senate Bill 3008 SD1 HD1 - a measure that directly addresses the landfill waste issue on Maui in an environmentally sustainable way, said Tenth District Rep. Angus McKelvey of Lahaina. Read More

Waste Management World / January 13, 2014

DEAL TO BUILD RECYCLING, WASTE TO ENERGY & BIOGAS FACILITY IN MAUI, HAWAII. A resource recovery facility that will incorporate recycling, waste to energy and anaerobic digestion to produce biogas from organic wastes, is to be developed on Maui, Hawaii. Read More

Maui Now.com / January 10, 2014

Mayor Arakawa signing the agreement at the Akakū studio in Kahului. Seated (from left): Communication Director Rod Antone, Mayor Alan Arakawa, Managing Director Keith Regan, and Chief of Staff Herman Andaya. Standing in the back are: Anaergia Director of Business Development Karl Bossert and Maui County Department of Environmental Management Director Kyle Ginoza.

Read full article from Maui Now.com
Agreement Signing
Pacific Business News / January 10, 2014

Maui County inks agreement for new waste facility. Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa on Friday said that the county has inked an agreement with the Maui Resource Recovery Facility LLC to finance, design, build, own and operate a state-of-the-art resource facility, which will divert about 85 percent of the county’s municipal solid waste. Read More


Maui Resource Recovery Facility
PO Box 1705
Kahului, Hawaii
United States, 96733
Phone: 808-280-6021
Email: Contact Us