Thursday, July 5, 2001

Waianae says no
to larger landfill

The Waimanalo Gulch Landfill
may hit its capacity by 2002;
the city wants to expand it

By Rosemarie Bernardo

No more landfills in our back yard, say members of the Waianae Neighborhood Board.

"The community was against it from the beginning," said Chairwoman Cynthia Rezentes about the landfill expansion near Kahe Point.

The Waianae Neighborhood Board on Tuesday voted 14-2, with two abstentions, against landfill expansion at the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill.

The city Department of Environmental Services is seeking permits to expand the landfill to 60.5 acres to provide more space for garbage until 2017.

Waianae residents believed the landfill would shut down when it reached capacity by 2002 or 2004. The landfill currently is at 80 percent capacity. But a revised draft supplemental environmental impact statement requests an additional 15-year term for the landfill.

"There's a sense of betrayal," Rezentes said.

A representative of the city Department of Environmental Services, who refused to give her name, said a landfill benefits the whole island and that 60 percent of waste goes to H-Power while 40 percent is landfilled.

"There are noncombustibles that have to be landfilled."

Rezentes said the board understands the need to have a landfill.

"The question becomes one of when are we going to get a break," she said.

There are enough industries in the community, she said, such as James Campbell Industrial Park, Hawaiian Electric Co.'s Kahe Power Generating Station and a construction and demolition landfill.

"It appears that we continually get challenged with additional industries that are not looked upon as clean industries," Rezentes added. "It's very discouraging at times. We keep trying to beautify and improve the area."

Rezentes said the city has not done adequate planning for an eventual closure of the landfill and is making expansion the only alternative.

Ken Williams, general manager of the Ko Olina Community Association, said: "It's been in this back yard for a long time now. ... We want it closed down."

Board member Albert Silva said plastic bags from the landfill are blown toward the ocean.

"You can see the plastic bags go airborne," Silva said.

But board member W. Richard Boddy said it would be a good idea to take advantage of the existing landfill.

"I would be supportive to have a landfill expansion and to make the best use of what we got already," Boddy said.

The city official said a vacuuming system had recently been obtained by Waste Management Inc. to contain the trash within the landfill.

The city will hold a public meeting to discuss the landfill expansion on the ground-floor meeting room at Kapolei Hale on Uluohia Street on July 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Public comments have been extended from July 23 to Aug. 7.

E-mail to City Desk

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