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Thursday, June 29, 2000

trash landfill
expansion plan

The city wants another 80 acres
and 15 years for the fill
across from Ko Olina

By Treena Shapiro


Nearby residents are raising a stink over the city's application to expand a sanitary landfill across the highway from the Ko Olina resort in Kahe Valley.

Map The landfill has created problems with litter, dust and odor, said Ken Williams, general manager of the Ko Olina Community Association. "The litter comes primarily from paper and plastic shopping bags that come from the supermarket," which are blown out of the landfill, he said.

Williams and residents from Ko Olina to Kapolei had been expecting relief from the trash when the 66-acre Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill is full in about two years.

Instead, they have learned that the city would like to expand it by about 80 acres and extend the permit by 15 years, said Steve Cassulo, district manager for Waste Management Inc., which operates the municipal landfill. The landfill is used for solid waste disposal and sterilized biohazardous and chemotherapy waste.

Cassulo said there are 200 acres available for landfill use, and the expansion would be back into the valley, making it even less visible than it is now.

But the Makakilo/Kapolei Neighborhood Board is opposed to any expansion of the landfill. According to board Chairwoman Maeda Timson, the city had agreed in 1984 that the landfill would not be expanded.

"In 1984, when the landfill was created, we thought it would be over once (it reached) maturity," Maeda said, adding that when the site was selected for a landfill, the area was still undeveloped.

An expansion keeping the landfill in operation for another 15 years would increase community concerns about trucks coming through the "second city" of Kapolei, trash blowing out of the landfill and waste leaching into ground water, Maeda said.

The board suggested that the city look for an alternative form of waste management or move the landfill to another remote area.

But Cassulo said, "We're here for the community; we're not here to harm anything." Expanding the landfill would help the community deal with its trash concerns and would use existing space instead of creating a new landfill in a different community.

The neighborhood board has asked for a 45-day extension of the public comment period on an environmental impact statement because it just received a copy last week. If the extension is not approved, the comment period will end July 7.

E-mail to City Desk

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