JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Three egrets, at left, seemed to be a captive audience yesterday as a bulldozer crushed debris including boxes of beef that arrived at the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill for disposal.
State buries recalled burger
About 28.6 tons of recalled meat Hawaii received through the federal government's National School Lunch Program was buried at the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill yesterday in Nanakuli, officials said.
Trucks delivered 3,700 40-pound cases of fine ground beef to the landfill, said Russell Nanod, community affairs manager for Waste Management of Hawaii. The beef had been stored by food distributor Y. Hata & Co.
The meat, intended to be cooked for meals at Oahu schools, was to be covered with trash and soil to trap the smell and speed up decomposition, Nanod said.
The meat is among 143 million pounds of frozen beef recalled nationwide after a U.S. Department of Agriculture investigation found evidence of health violations at Westland/Hallmark Meat Co.'s slaughterhouse in Chino, Calif. Westland supplied meat the USDA distributes to schools, needy families and seniors.
Oahu received 174,670 pounds of recalled meat, said state Department of Education spokeswoman Sandy Goya.
Recalled meat sent to Kauai (14,410 pounds) and Maui (32,750 pounds) has already been tossed, and today the Big Island was scheduled to throw away the 42,660 pounds of affected meat it received, Goya said.
There have been no illnesses traced to the recalled meat, state education officials have said.