Citizens group offers alternatives to landfill
There are at least 20 alternative technologies that Honolulu could use instead of burying its rubbish, says the chairman of a citizens group that wants Waimanalo Gulch Landfill to close in 2008.
Five of the most promising prospects were to be presented last night at a workshop put on by the Landfill Public Education Task Force, Chairman Robert Kaialau III said.
Kaialau said he hopes people who want more emphasis on alternatives to a landfill will "voice their concerns" at city-sponsored meetings next Thursday and Aug. 10. Those meetings are to gather public comment on what issues should be addressed in a required environmental impact statement on city plans to use Waimanalo Gulch Landfill until 2023.
The city's current city and state approvals to operate the landfill expire in May 2008.* Mayor Mufi Hannemann said in April that the city must continue to have a landfill, even as it investigates alternate technologies to reduce the amount of garbage put in the landfill.
The task force that met last night at Kapolei High School is not affiliated with city government, and city Department of Environmental Services officials did not respond to requests for comment about it yesterday.
Kaialau said the technologies that were to be discussed included:
» Herhof Stabilat (www.herhof.com): a German technology that shreds garbage, then composts it in sealed boxes after removing recyclable materials. Estimated cost: $62 million for facility to process 200,000 tons a year.
» Bedminster "mechanical biological treatment" (www.bedminster.com): uses a large rotating steel drum to convert the organic portion of rubbish into bio-fuel or raw compost. Estimated cost: $20 million for facility to process 120,000 tons a year.
» HPOWER (www.honoluluhpower.com): Covanta Energy claims on its Web site that the HPOWER waste-to-energy plant has saved hundreds of acres of landfill space and more than 10 million barrels of imported oil on Oahu since 1990. Estimated expansion cost: $64 million to process 120,000 more tons a year.
» Geoplasma LLC (maven. gtri.gatech.edu/geoplasma/ processing.html), a division of Jacoby Development Inc. of Georgia, is exploring the "emerging technology" of a plasma arc, which uses high-powered electricity to create plasma (a form of artificial lightning) at very high temperatures. Prototype and commercial projects are being developed, the company Web site says.
» Leeward Land LLC proposes composting garbage underneath huge, airtight tarps made of Gore-Tex fabric at a proposed location on Lualualei Naval Road. Estimated cost: $60 million for a facility to process 160,000 tons year.
All cost and processing amount estimates here are from Kaialau, except those for Leeward Land LLC, which were from company officials. City meetings on the proposed expansion of Waimanalo Gulch were held July 10 in Nanakuli and July 11 in Kaneohe.
Additional meetings will be held 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. next Thursday at Mission Memorial Auditorium, 550 S. King St., next to Honolulu Hale; and Aug. 10 at Kapolei Hale, 1000 Uluohia St.
Friday, July 21, 2006
» The city's permits to operate Waimanalo Gulch Landfill on the Waianae Coast expire in May 2008. A Page A3 article yesterday incorrectly reported that the permits expire this May.