An Update on Dealing With Solid Waste in Kauai

July 31, 2012 Update

As the wrangling continues it appears inevitable that the site of the new Kauai landfill or recycle center will be Ma’alo. But it comes at quite a price. A recent study… yes one more please, details the pros and cons of Ma’alo which is located 2.5 miles north of Lihue.

Mayor explaining solid waste on Kauai

Mayor Carvalho in 2011 in Kalaheo

The plus is that it is centrally located on the island, has a low nuisance factor, it is situated at a distance from any communities. Additionally there is no active agricultural pursuits on this site.

This was a contentious point in 4 other sites selected by an independent study in 2010 and a major sticking point with the Kalaheo community that booed the Mayor’s proposal. Originally the County selected a 100 acre site currently in coffee production and designated as prime agricultural land for a site.

But the battle for a new site is not in the last round. There is a concern with the Ma’alo location because of possible issues with native wetlands.

The 80 acre Ma’alo site has the highest initial costs of any of the 8 sites identified in the 2010 study at 38.1 million dollars. However if we can make sure this is the last site ever needed on Kauai it may be our only alternative. If we can recover most of our waste we could provide jobs and sell the commodity to close our waste stream circle.

Tell us what you think, are you recycling now? We would love to hear from you.

About Joe Sylvester

Aloha! I have lived on Kauai for 33 years where I have worked as an Agronomist for 17 years, owned an art gallery for 11 years and own a vacation rental for 17 years in the town of Poipu. I am a former Peace Corps volunteer and have been married since 1985.
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  1. I think that moving the landfill to a more central location on the island make tremendous sense. With the cost of fuel and moving the rubbish all the way to the west side of Kauai makes little sense. I don’t know if the proposed location is the best fit or if it is not but a move is prudent.

    • Aloha Kendall, thanks for your input. Too long the westside community has been living with an outdated system much to the detriment of the Mana coastal plain. Hopefully the new “Recovery Park/Landfill” will be the last the island ever needs. No question that being located close to the population centers of the island will reduce hauling costs. The recent announcement that 4 of the redemption centers will be closed is troubling. We need to make redeeming recyclables easy for the community.

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