Landfill Moves Closer To Expansion

Wednesday - March 21, 2007
By Kerry Miller
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With an expansion in the works for the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill, owner Waste Management and the city Department of Environmental Services are working hard to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the area.

“We’re currently going for a landfill expansion, going through the EIS process,” explained Russell Nanod of Waste Management and Community Affairs Manager for the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill.

Nanod adds that the landfill is a 200-acre facility, and the expansion will occur within that 200 acres.

“We’re not actually going larger,” he added.

Four public meetings were held in 2006, including one at Kapolei High School, to give the community a chance to comment on a draft of the EIS. At the Kapolei meeting, citizens expressed concern about the structure and stability of the landfill, monitoring of methane gas levels, possible overfilling, how to minimize the amount of waste that goes into the landfill, and various other issues. Responses to these questions will soon be posted on the DES website,

At each meeting, Wilma Namumnart of the city’s Department of Environmental Services explained the reason for the landfill expansion. Her information is posted at

In short, though some area folks would like to see the landfill closed by 2008, Mayor Mufi Hannemann vetoed a bill to close the facility because a new site will not be ready by next year. The city found that Waimanalo Gulch was the best site (environmentally speaking and cost-wise) to be used for solid waste,H-POWER ash and other refuse that can’t be reduced, recycled or reused.

According to the website: “Last fiscal year, Oahu generated over 1.5 million tons of rubbish, of which over 600,000 tons was converted to electricity at H-POWER, about 500,000 tons were recycled; over 200,000 tons went to private landfills,and the remaining tonnage was sent to the existing municipal landfill at Waimanalo Gulch. Every day over 1,500 tons of refuse and ash from H-POWER must be landfilled. This need and its importance in maintaining public health and safety is the reason for seeking the expansion of Waimanalo Gulch.”

In addition to preparing an EIS, Waste Management is also making efforts to improve the quality of life for the area surrounding the landfill. The company helped Honokai Hale and Nanakai Gardens obtain an electric golf cart, which will be used for patrolling the neighborhood. Other community service intiatives by Waste Management include a donation of $5,000 to a local chapter of U.S. Vets, an organization dedicated to helping homeless veterans; sponsoring representatives from the Leeward Coast, at $500 each, who participated in the March 17 Walk For Diabetes, and partnering with Kapolei High School for a community clean-up project.

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