Residents Make A Stink About Landfill Proposal

Robert Kaialau
Robert Kaialau

(KHNL)  The on again, off again decision to keep the Waimanalo Gulch landfill open seems to be back on again and that has nearby residents putting up a stink.

They met Wednesday to discuss the issue at Kapolei High School.

The current permit expires in 2008, but talk of extending it beyond the year 2020 has many who live nearby crying fowl.

Kuulei Jolonino of Honokai Hale says the dump above her home should be shut down.

"We do get smells depending on how the winds are blowing," said Jolonino.  "We do get the terrible odors and to me, that's the worse."

The city's landfill at Waimanalo Gulch was supposed to be closed in 2008, but now the city plans to extend it another 15 years.

The landfill opened in 1989 and after 17 years of dumping trash there, a 452 foot mountain of garbage exists.

People who live below say keeping the landfill open for another 15 years will be a huge mistake.

Robert Kaialau of Makakilo describes the devastating effects.

"It destroys our whole water system. It pollutes the air, and it's bad."

He adds, "Throughout the world, landfills are closing all over the place, and we live on such a little island. We don't have anymore land space here."

The landfill permit originally expired in 2004, but the city council at the time extended it to July 2008.

Then this year, the council passed a bill to shut it down after that, but when it went to the mayor for signing, he vetoed it.

"It's ludicrous!" said Kaialau.  "Fifteen years from now, another mayor is going to blame this mayor about not doing the right thing, and that's the reason why he's got to dump the garbage into our ocean - the way that this mayor's blaming other mayor's for dumping in the Ala Wai."

The landfill operator told KHNL NEWS 8, it's company will conduct an environmental impact statement before moving forward.