KAPA‘A — Traffic backed up Monday morning on the Kapa‘a Bypass Road after a garbage truck cleared a guardrail and ended up on its side.
A truck from Garden Isle Disposal, a private solid waste hauling company based in Lihu‘e, veered off the road near the southern entrance of the bypass, hitting a guardrail and a fence before coming to a stop in a shallow ditch.
The accident occurred at approximately 9:35 a.m., according to county officials. The accident caused Kaua‘i Police Department to close down the bypass road for about 20 minutes. The traffic remained slow for at least another 40 minutes due to “rubbernecking,” according to accounts from drivers who kept calling a local radio station to provide updates.
County officials said the driver was ejected from the truck. The driver complained of leg pains but sustained no visible injuries. Medics transported him to Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Lihu‘e.
“There was significant damage reported to the guardrail and a private fence along the roadway,” said county spokeswoman Sarah Blane, adding that there is no cost estimate of the damage.
She said the cause of the accident is unknown, but alcohol does not appear to be a factor in it.
Garden Isle Disposal had a contract with the County of Kaua‘i to process recyclables collected by the county’s curbside recycling program, but in May the County Council voted to eliminate the program because GID decided to increase the contract to $14,000 from $2,000 per month.
GID was established in 1992, and is the largest privately owned solid waste service company on Kaua‘i, providing customers with “cost effective solutions to their daily waste disposal needs,” according to its website.
The council wants to bring back the curbside recycling program — which consists of an automated truck that collects 96-gallon bins filled with recyclable materials — but intends to do so only after a Material Recovery Facility is built.