Hannemann to seek
alternatives to landfill

Mayor-elect Mufi Hannemann said he will try to end the need to expand the landfill at Waimanalo Gulch by pursuing alternative measures to deal with Oahu's garbage.

City & County of Honolulu "I know it's a tall order, but that's what you're paid to do as mayor and that's what the public wants," Hannemann told reporters yesterday.

Hannemann's comments came a day after the City Council voted to expand the current landfill at Waimanalo Gulch.

The permit for the current landfill is scheduled to expire May 1, 2008, and the Council was under orders by the state Land Use Commission to pick an alternative.

Hannemann said he also wants to talk to Leeward Coast residents about a proposed benefits package to ameliorate the presence of the landfill in their community.

"I don't think it's for us to decide," he said, about what the community needs. "I think it should come from the community that's going to be affected."

But he said Leeward residents should first consider basic services such as roads, sewers, parks, solid-waste management and public-safety projects.

"That would seem to me would be the area that they suggest. However, if they have some other ideas, obviously they're entitled to that," he said, and his administration would be open to their ideas.

He also said that the operator of the landfill, Waste Management, should not expect to continue running it in perpetuity.

Hannemann criticized Mayor Jeremy Harris' administration, saying the mayor went back on his word to shut down the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill in 2008.

"We have to make the landfill work there until 2008, but as I said, I don't want to take the same posture that this administration took, which was just to be content to have a landfill. Then, they were very dilatory in terms of the other stuff that they should've been doing over the past several years, identifying options, alternative technology."

But if a third boiler at HPOWER comes online, and curbside recycling is established islandwide, there might not be a need for a landfill past 2008, city spokeswoman Carol Costa said, referring to Harris' past comments.

Costa said that the administration is already moving forward with putting out a second request for proposals on technology as an alternative to a landfill.

Hannemann said that all options, including shipping garbage off island and plasma arch technology, should be considered to reduce the need for a landfill.

"I think everything now needs to be put on the table that speaks to an alternative to a landfill," he said.

"It's patently unfair for other communities on Oahu to feel that it's OK to put it out on the Waianae side because they've always had it there," Hannemann said.

The mayor-elect also said he wants to break the impasse between the city and the United Public Workers union on the implementation of curbside recycling.

City & County of Honolulu

E-mail to City Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- https://archives.starbulletin.com