Maintenance problems result in stinky backlog of rubbish at Keehi Transfer Station

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A mountain of trash overflowing at the Keehi Refuse Transfer Station is stinking up the neighborhood, raising health concerns from environmentalists.

There's about 1,600 tons of rubbish stored at the transfer station, which is more three times the 500 tons that's allowed at the location. The trash can fill more than 170 garbage trucks.

"It's pretty nasty here, I'm not going to lie. I definitely think they're beyond capacity. This is a pretty gross environment to be in," said Big Island resident Matt Couch.

The city did not allow Hawaii News Now to videotape the station, but we did obtain cell phone video from the public drop off area.

The city declined an on-camera interview but said in a statement the backlog is temporary, and partly due to maintenance problems with some of its transfer trailers.

It also blames construction at the H-Power Plant in Kapolei, which has reduced capacity. Most of the trash is burned at the H-Power plant, and the city is trying to avoid using the landfill.

Environmental watchdog Carroll Cox says it's a health hazard to anyone in the facility.

"Over the years, I've visited the site many, many years and have great concerns. This is the worst I've seen it because this is decaying matter," said Cox of Envirowatch Inc.

The city says it hopes to reduce the backlog in ten days by adding extra shifts and haulings.

In the meantime, people who live and work in the area or drop of their rubbish will have to endure the unpleasant smells.

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