Kauai, HI looks to construct new landfill as capacity looms
- Kauai, HI officials are looking at a 270-acre plot of land near Hanamaulu for a new municipal landfill, as reported by The Garden Island News. Officials are taking public comment until May 23.
- Acting County Engineer Lyle Tabata told Garden Island News local authorities were wrapping up "years" of work that included community meetings and site assessments. The proposed site is more than a mile from the ocean and has an estimated lifespan of 264 years.
- The first phase of new landfill construction is estimated to cost $58.3 million and includes infrastructure and improving access roads.
Many public comments from the initial impact report are concerns about how traffic will change if the new landfill is constructed. While not an unusual move, it is still a practical move, in terms of community goodwill, to begin the new project by working on roads and infrastructure around the proposed site.
The area's current landfill is expected to reach capacity in the next 10-12 years, so moving forward on construction in a timely manner will be important for local government officials to ensure there are no service disruptions. There is a waste-to-energy facility in Hawaii, but it's located on a different island, and shipping garbage there for disposal presents additional cost and risk.
Waste management is a contentious issue in Hawaii, however, so it is unclear how this new operation could be perceived in other parts of the state. The issue particularly plays out when it comes to siting new facilities: Kahului, a city on Maui, is considering a new anaerobic digester that some oppose because of odor and pollution concerns. The mayor of Honolulu said, for example, that he would oppose a new landfill on the island of Oahu. The city is facing a difficult choice between sending material to be recycled or saving upwards of $7 million by sending recyclable material to WTE.
Hawaii's isolation makes these decisions difficult, but also crucial — the state has truly limited space for disposal, and the state is already feeling heavy effects from China's scrap import policies.
- The Garden Island News County takes another step in creation of new landfill
- Government of Kauai Final Environmental Assessment
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