New Assessment: Oahu needs new landfill in 2038, mayor disagrees
HONOLULU - A new report shows the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill may only have 20-years left, but Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Monday afternoon, he does not want another landfill on Oahu.
"We should be working as hard as possible to reduce the need and eliminate the need for an everyday landfill anywhere on this island," said Mayor Caldwell.
According to an assessment of the City and County of Honolulu's waste management system, there is enough room at the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill to accept waste until 2038.
"This administration is not in support of locating a landfill anywhere other than where it is," said Mayor Caldwell.
The assessment was prepared by R.M. Towill Corporation and SMS Research Services in Honolulu.
According to the report, the top five locations recommended for a new landfill are-- Upland Nanakuli, Ameron Quarry, Kapa'a Quarry Road, Kaneohe near the H-3 Highway, and Kea'au.
"With the existing landfill, we have ample capacity, so there shouldn't be a need to site another landfill," said Lori Kahikina, Director of the Department of Environmental Services.
Officials with the City and County of Honolulu say there's been a steady decline in the amount of waste going into the landfill, and they hope to make it a thing of the past.
"The most progressive cities, the most future leaning cities are moving away from landfills completely," said Josh Stanbro, Executive Director for the Office of Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resiliency.
Stanbro expects some innovative solutions to reduce waste on Oahu in the near future.
"There is a ten year integrated solid waste plan that's kicking off right now, that can plan the next decade"
The assessment recommends starting the process of choosing a location for a new landfill in 2028.
"To shut down a landfill that we have today, that has a lot of capacity, to locate it somewhere else on this island and start that process all over again is, to me, seems like we're going in the wrong direction," said Mayor Caldwell.
The recommended locations could change in the next 10-years.