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Clean-up dumps hazardous items
BOP crew improperly disposes material

By Dominic Colacurcio
Ka Leo News Editor
Published by Ka Leo News on November 22, 2005

A crew cleaning out the Ka Leo press building dumped hazardous materials into dumpsters for food waste only, prompting a response yesterday by the university's Environmental Health and Safety Office.

A crew headed by Board of Publications member Ross Kamakahi has been cleaning out the Ka Leo press building this month. Last weekend, they emptied excess trash from the press building into dumpsters for food waste behind Paradise Palms, the cafeteria behind Hamilton Library.

On Monday morning, the disposal service in charge of pick-up for the dumpsters behind Paradise Palms did not take the trash because it contained non-food waste items. EHSO investigated material found in the dumpster and found at least eight different kinds of hazardous materials. The EHSO also found materials such as inks and paints that must be disposed of with a special procedure.

"Many of those paints or inks are flammable, containing petroleum distillants, which makes it hazardous waste for disposal, because they're ignitable," said EHSO Hazardous Material Management Officer Tim O'Callaghan.

EHSO found about 105 items in three different dumpsters, including Paradise Palms. Out of those, nine items have been deemed hazardous so far, including Cadmium Yellow, an EPA regulated material. Most of the items were found at Paradise Palms, according to O'Callaghan.

"Oil, ink and paint, some photo chemicals. We did find one other thing, a small package of firecrackers, I guess maybe like 20 of them or something like that. Somebody's leftovers from New Years or something," O'Callaghan said.

At deadline, 12 items had yet to be identified.

"It appears that the unknown materials are paint-like. Some of the others are glazes, so, in which case we'll have to go back to the manufacturer to determine if they have any hazardous metals in them," O'Callaghan said.

BOP member Ross Kamakahi was in charge of the crew cleaning out the Ka Leo press building.

"I am responsible for removing and depositing the residue leftover that have accumulated over the years in [the press building] to points around campus," Kamakahi said. "I was not advised of any chemicals that needed special handling."

The Board of Publications has been trying to clean out the press building since late summer in order to use the space more efficiently.

"We needed to optimize the square footage that we occupy and less than one quarter of the building to one third is actually production oriented. Everything else was dead space," Kamakahi said.

The BOP originally asked professional staff to clean out the press building in June. When that did not happen, the BOP tasked Kamakahi with the clean-up.

Coordinator for Student Publications Jim Reis was asked during the summer to remove unnecessary material from the press building.

"Normally we use the press men during the summer or the breaks, when we're not printing the paper, to do clean up and maintenance and that kind of stuff, and we didn't have any. We started off the semester with one press-man because everybody either graduated or left. Kind of hard to do a clean-up with one guy. We didn't forge ahead during the summer because we didn't have the staff to do it," Reis said.

Kamakahi began the clean-up of the press building on Nov. 6. BOP Chair Paulo Maurin described the coordination between the BOP and press staff as "less than optimal".

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