Hawai'i Nets to Energy Program
Due to oceanic currents and winds in the North Pacific, marine debris of all types accumulates in and around Hawai‘i. Much of the debris is made up of fishing nets, a type of gear not used by Hawai‘i fisheries, that have been lost, abandoned, or discarded. These nets are detrimental to animals and important habitat. Fishermen, communities, local removal groups, and trained divers regularly remove these derelict nets from the environment. Instead of adding the nets to already congested landfills, in 2002, a Hawai‘i multi-partner marine debris group devised a unique program to turn this marine debris into usable electricity.
The Hawai‘i Nets to Energy Program starts at Pier 38 in Honolulu where a large roll-off bin provides a no-cost disposal option for derelict nets that are collected by the Hawai‘i Longline Fleet and local removal groups. The bin is maintained and loaded by Pacific Ocean Producers, and when full the nets are transported to a Schnitzer Steel Hawai‘i Corporation scrap metal recycle facility. There, the nets are chopped into small pieces suitable for combustion at the City and County of Honolulu H-Power energy-from-waste facility run by Covanta Energy. Schnitzer Steel Hawai‘i Corporation transports the chopped net pieces to the H-Power facility. The nets are then burned, producing steam which drives a turbine that creates usable electricity. All services (transport included) are provided free of charge by these groups.The Hawai‘i Nets to Energy Program is possible only through the partnership and support of this multi-organizational marine debris group.