Ruling helps clear path for compost plan
Whatever happened to that private company's proposal to take garbage and recycle it into compost at the old cement plant site on Lualualei Naval Road?
Answer: Bedminster Oahu LLC, a company formed by Georgette and Joaquin Silva, is still pursing its plan to build a "mechanical biological treatment" facility that would turn 100,000 tons a year of garbage into 58,000 tons a year of landscaping compost.
It plans to use a proprietary process controlled by business partner Bedminster International. The company has 14 plants in operation on the U.S. mainland and in Australia and Japan, plus six in planning stages.
On Thursday, the company overcame one hurdle when the Honolulu Board of Zoning Appeals upheld an earlier decision of Honolulu Planning and Permitting Director Henry Eng.
The four board members who heard the appeal voted to back Eng's ruling that the proposed composting operation is allowed without a special permit under the site's industrial zoning.
Waianae Coast community members, including Alice Greenwood and Cynthia Rezentes, had appealed Eng's ruling. They said that because the plant would be dealing with garbage, it should have to obtain a conditional-use permit, which requires a public hearing.
The next two steps for Bedminster Oahu are to obtain a state Department of Health solid waste handling permit, which is pending approval, and to get permission from the city Department of Environmental Services to have garbage delivered to its plant.
Environmental Services Director Eric Takamura had said the city will not approve directing any garbage to a private facility until after it has reviewed a consultant's 25-year solid waste plan expected next year.
The Silvas own the 25-acre site of the former Kaiser and Hawaii cement plants and are using it as a baseyard for their Pine Ridge Farms trucking company.
This update was written by Diana Leone.
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