Leeward coast communities upset over stinky landfill

Ken Williams
Ken Williams
Senator Colleen Hanabusa
Senator Colleen Hanabusa

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

KO OLINA (KHNL) - They were promised it would close and now that a Leeward coast landfill is staying open for another 15 years, residents aren't happy.

Another 15 years, that's how much longer Leeward communities will have to deal with the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill and they say it stinks.

Here at the Ko Olina Resort, it's the sizzling, sights, smells and sounds of steak. But just down the street, it's trash at the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill and it stinks.

"It's just not a compatible use," said Ken Williams.

Ken Williams runs the Ko Olina resort. With nearly 2,500 guests and 1,500 homes nearby, he says another 15 more years with the landfill nearby may make the entire area a loser.

"We depend on tourism in Hawaii we depend on the natural beauty," said Williams. "This area bears the brunt of ill-land use so to speak from refineries to H-power to all the tough industrial uses. Enough is enough."

"Enough is enough," said Colleen Hanabusa.

State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa says the community was promised Waimanalo Gulch would close and that the Land Use Commission has done nothing to lower dependence on the landfill. She says the dump makes it more difficult for the area to dig out of an economic slump.

"Until we say that the City isn't supposed to make money off land-filling and we're supposed to be truly conscious about the environment and how we protect the land it's going to continue," said Hanabusa.

"We need something that is going to replace the landfill or really reduce the need for it," said Williams.

While the City says it will look for a different site in three years, landfill operators say the company iwill look for better ways to manage it's solid waste.

Cooking up a new plan to reduce the rubbish.

Operators say they'll try to control the odors emitted from the landfill using things like muffing devices, tarps and aerosol dispensers.

While many other proposed landfill sites have been investigated, officials say Waimanalo is still the best option because of its location and infrastructure.