Pahoa Hi-5 Redemption Center Seeks Permit

Those who want to give input on on the Planning Department’s permit for Business Services’ Hi-5 redemption center in Pahoa need to contact the  department immediately.According to planning director  Duane Kanuha, the department is in the final stages of drafting its permit requirements.

Kanuha says that the center has been operating without a permit until now. Contrary to some reports within the community, Business Services isn’t applying to expand its activities into a full-scale recycling center, only to get the proper permit for a current redemption center.

According to Kanuha, after the company lost its Hi-5 redemption contract with the County, it opened its own centers in Kona and Pahoa. “They started doing one in Kona.We caught them there and told them what they needed to do.  “We actually cited them.  Then we found out they were doing this one in Pahoa,” Kanuha said.

There is no formal mechanism for public input on this type of permit, but Kanuha said calls from the public about problems such as noise at the site were being taken into account. Among other requirements that Planning would make of the owners, he said, would be  fencing or barriers in addition to landscaping, specific hours of operation, specifically marked ingress and egress routes, paved driveways and parking stalls, including handicapped stalls. When the Chronicle mentioned that we’d also heard complaints about smells at the site, he added that the department would also consider smell abatement measures such as closed containers.

–Alan McNarie


7 replies
  1. Charles
    Charles says:

    Is this the new one in the middle of town? Why do we need this? We have a transfer station. I realize the transfer station isn’t open every day, but people can plan around this. There must be other businesses that can occupy this space that don’t create excessive noise and smells.

  2. shelley stapleton
    shelley stapleton says:

    ms hunt I remember you being a journalist, and even as being upright and respected. However, over the last few years that has definitely taken an about face. Considering your journalism background, I would have expected that information you post would be accurate and verified as true. Also that you would be certain to be clear to your reader about what you were saying. The way you are saying things leads me to believe that BSH (Business Services Hawaii) is operating without the necessary health and/or business operation permits. Which (if you had bothered to look) are posted on the window on the front facing wall of their structure.
    The reason I say “if you bothered to look” is because I was the last second customer that was being processed when you came to BSH at around 3:35 or 3:40 two days ago asking to be able to turn in your HI-5 recycling. So I happen to know that you were told they were actually closed, but that they would help you and asked you quite nicely to try to come earlier in the future. Not only did these employees give you service above the norm, they did it with a smile and true spirit of aloha.
    At this time, you were nothing but smiles, and a full-on attitude of gratitude. Which is the real you? For shame on you, how two-faced is this?
    Finally, in what is in my opinion the final insult to injury, from the view-point of a true recycler you appear to be pissed off with BSH enough to flat out lie about their past and current business practices. I stay on top of recycling companies, their current rates, locations, and possible changes so I know for a fact that BSH did not open in Kona, or claim that they were going to do full scale recycling in Pahoa. They did ask a lot of questions of their known “heavy-duty recyclers” as to whether or not in our opinion a full service recycling center would do well here and what were the needs of the customers in this area. Which is what any viable company would do. Then they were talking about how an on site notary of the public would be necessary and that they would like to be able to conduct business out here in that capacity but that it is a “we’ll see” until further research, etc. Basically, they see people in Puna recycling and they would like to help us to continue to do so at a higher level and at the same time throw Atlas and other companies some competition which in the end only benefits the Puna recycler.
    So in closing, Ms. Hunt, I say to you that this posting only makes you, Duane Kanuha, and the Pahoa Planning and Developement Committee seem to be petty and small minded. It appears that someone is upset that they started doing business without waiting for the approval from sources unclear or following guidelines not even available to them or any other recycling company not willing to be confined to dump sites (outside of Hilo). I personally am grateful for their presence. And many people with transportation challenges are as well I assure you. In this time of serious economic stress, it is a true blessing indeed to be able to avail myself of their services 7 days a week! For shame on you for promoting your own agenda!

  3. Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt says:

    Ms. Stapleton,

    I do own Big Island Chronicle, but I did not write the post above; Alan McNarie did. I have asked him to edit the post to include his byline and to respond to your comment.
    For the record, I have not taken a public position on the recycling center, nor have I submitted any comment to the County Planning Department like other residents and business owners have.
    And as for our supposed interaction the other day, I do believe you have mistaken me for someone else. It is true that I have brought recyclables to that Hi5 redemption location, but it was approximately Aug. 11, and you were open and the workers there were kind enough to help me sort through my hodgepodge of recyclables and let me run over to the post office while they were weighing them. Fyi I drive a white Toyota Tacoma. Just to further jog your memory, I showed up the morning that the “free cell phone guy” drove his Toyota Tercel into your banner and had lodged his vehicle onto the rocks and the metal pole holding up the banner. I actually tried to use a tow rope to tow him out, but the guy’s vehicle was so stuck on the rocks that my tow rope snapped. I respect and can take criticism, but in this case I believe it is misdirected and you have definitely jumped the gun. You have the wrong girl.
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt

  4. Alan McNarie
    Alan McNarie says:

    I posted the story, not Ms.Hunt. Everything in it was based on what I was told by Mr. Kanuha in a personal interview. I have no political or economic affiliations with Mr. Kanuha, nor with Business Services Hawaii, nor did Ms. Hunt give any input nor exert any pressure I decided to post the story quickly because postings were occurring on the Internet saying that there was a 48 hour deadline for public input (not true, according to Kanuha; this sort of permit requires no formal public testimony period, but the department was already in the drafting stage when I spoke to him) and citing other details that, according to Mr. Kanuha, were not true. I’ll continue to follow the story, and will let the public know of any new developments (and make any corrections, if needed).

  5. Alan McNarie
    Alan McNarie says:

    I should also add that Mr. Kanuha showed me Business Service’s application, which was submitted last month. I don’t know what piece of paper Ms. Stapleton saw at the site, but I stand by the story.

  6. dawn miller
    dawn miller says:

    I work for business service hawaii at the pahoa site and I can tell you we have a license to operate. The license is visible to the public on the window facing the post office. We have any where between 70-100+ customers a day who all say they are pleased we are there. Also we do not and have not been operating in kona since losing the county contract. We never got cited also. Those are straight up lies and could be called slander. We are not business solutions. I think this whole article is ridiculous.

  7. Dick
    Dick says:

    I use the BSH recycle center normally on a twice a week schedule and greatly appreciate the flexibility their hours offer me. Their opening at this site was not a surprise as the folks there had told me back in June that they were opening a new site. Their site is always clean and organized and as a frequent user I have noticed no odors. Their permit is posted. I find that quoting a county employee without any substantiation from the county to be questionable at lest.

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