Leeward Residents Say Landfill Plan is Rubbish

Carol Fletcher
Carol Fletcher
Mayor Mufi Hannemann
Mayor Mufi Hannemann

KO OLINA (KHNL) -- Some are calling the city's decision over the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill, rubbish! That's because residents in Leeward Oahu will have to live near the landfill for another 18 months.

The Waimanalo Gulch Landfill was slated to close on may 1st. The 18-month extension has some Leeward Oahu residents concerned about the future of the landfill in their neighborhood.

When Carol Fetcher moved to Ko Olina in 2002 she was under the impression the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill would close in May of 2003.

"Five years later we now have another 18-month extention, need less to say, very disappointed," said Leeward Resident Carol Fletcher.

The state land commission made the decision last week claiming more time is needed to find another site.

"No one wants a landfill in their backyard, but if the landfill has to be there that it remain in Waimanalo and not move to any other place, especially in Nanakuli where it would be in people's backyards," said Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

For Carol Fletcher it's not so much the smell of the landfill, but traffic on the freeway with big trucks carrying loads of trash, and debris flying in the air on windy days.

"The showers of plastic bags that come over our homes and into the ocean right here in front of us," said Fletcher.

She believes other alternative would be to ship our island trash, but the mayor says it might be more beneficial to keep some of it here.

"We can't ship everything away if we want to convert that opala into energy," said Mayor Hannemann.

Carol Fletcher and other Leeward residents are hopeful the landfill will be gone soon but they've been told this time after time.

"I don't have confidence in the people who are making the decisions that they're exploring alternatives enough and they're moving forward," said Fletcher.

The 18-month extention becomes final once the city is granted one more permit from the State Department of Health.