LIHU’E — Hundreds of batteries, a few thousand gallons of paint, pesticides
and herbicides were collected during a household hazardous waste pickup project
sponsored by Kaua’i County last month.
The project was deemed a success by
the county Department of Public Works.
More people participated in the
project this year than last year, said Troy Tanigawa, the county’s solid-waste
Had the materials not been collected, they might have been
dumped on back roads or in rural areas and could have become environmental
hazards, Tanigawa said.
Grace Simmons, a supervisor with the state
Department of Health’s Hazardous Waste Division, said the two-day project
helped divert hazardous waste from entering the Kekaka landfill.
the landfill is lined, parts of it could become shredded over time, allowing
liquid from hazardous materials to leech into groundwater sources, she said.
The chemicals could degrade the quality of the water and increase the risk
of damage to marine animals offshore, where “irreparable damage” would be done,
Allowing these chemicals to enter our waste stream increases
the risk of serious health and environmental hazards, Tanigawa said.
He said the county program provides a disposal alternative for chemicals
that are “precarious and costly to dispose of.”
The collection was
conducted by EnviroServices and Training Center, a Honolulu-based contractor,
at the Hanalei and Kapa’a transfer stations on June 10 and at the Hanapepe and
Lihu’e transfer stations on June 11.
Tanigawa said people deposited 313
automobile lead acid batteries, 170 pounds of non-liquid and 1,000 gallons of
liquids. Officials identified the latter as being either “ignitables,”
solvents, oil-based paints, pesticides and herbicides.
All of the waste
will be shipped off-island. The batteries are to be delivered to a
subcontractor of EnviroServices for disposal, and the liquids are being put in
containers to be sent to the mainland for disposal, Tanigawa said.
hazardous-waste collections got under way in 1987 with federal funds to dispose
of chemicals and cleansers from households and businesses. But because funds
have not always been available, the project hasn’t been staged yearly, Simmons
The collections were held in 1991 and again in 1992, after Hurricane
Iniki, when federal funds were available, she said.
Since 1996, the state
has left it up to the county—because it maintains the landfill—to conduct the
collection projects, Simmons said.
Staff writer Lester Chang can be
reached at 246-3681 (ext. 225) or email@example.com