Waimanalo Gulch
landfill cost is lowest

Continuing to use Waimanalo Gulch Landfill would cost the city less than half as much per year as the next-cheapest competitor among four sites being considered to replace it, a city committee's report says.

Waimanalo Gulch Landfill would cost $653,842 a year to operate over a 20-year life, according to a Mayor's Advisory Committee on Landfill Selection report made public on Friday.

Nine members of the 15-person committee removed Waimanalo Gulch last week from a list of recommended sites for a landfill to be used after 2008, when the city's state permit to use the landfill expires.

The four sites the committee is recommending would annually cost:

>> $1,482,578 in Maili, which has a 15-year life.
>> $1,594,075 in Nanakuli, which has a 16-year life.
>> $1,644,923 in Makaiwa, which has a 25-year life.
>> $1,775,070 in Kapaa Quarry in Kailua, which has a 15-year life.

Four members of the committee quit in protest before Waimanalo Gulch was removed from the recommendations, saying it was irresponsible not to consider the most cost-effective site.

Committee members that voted Waimanalo Gulch off said city officials promised the Leeward Coast community, the state Land Use Commission and investors at Ko Olina Resorts that the current landfill would close by 2008.

The committee's report said it began its work in July with a list of 45 landfill sites drawn up decades ago. The list was cut to 40 sites by excluding locations that did not meet Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

It was cut to 34 sites by the fact that six sites were developed for other uses, then cut to 16 sites by rules prohibiting landfills above drinking-water aquifer recharge zones.

Of the 16 contenders, eight were eliminated because they did not have at least 10 years of landfill capacity, based on current usage.

The committee created a 31-point scale to rank the final eight sites, including consideration of community, environmental, economic and technical factors.

Waimanalo Gulch scored highest of the finalists, followed by Makaiwa, Nanakuli, Kapaa Quarry and Maili.

A site called Waimanalo North was pulled from consideration by the state Department of Land & Natural Resources, which said it was slated to become a forest reserve. The former Bellows Air Force Station was removed by the Marine Corps, which plans to hold training exercises there. The Ohikilolo site was removed because of concern about Hawaiian archeological and historical sites.

The City Council is required by a Land Use Commission order to choose one site by June.


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