Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023 |
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When I was invited by my two friends, Dr. Raymond Chuan and Carol Bain, to view
the Kekaha landfill, I anticipated seeing a huge hole in which our trash and
garbage were dumped. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see this
state-of-the-art site that takes care of most of our solid waste — an
operation that is very complex and very expensive to run.
The area of the
landfill not used for dumping was irrigated and had green grass growing and no
paper or trash was in sight — very impressive when compared to the unsightly
condition of our county-run Kapa’a transfer station.
Jeffrey Kaohi (a young
man employed by Sanafill of Hawai’i) showed us the inner workings of this
facility and he was extremely polite, intelligent and cooperative, answering
all of our questions. By engineered methods, the life of this landfill has been
extended, but its usefulness is quickly running out and we must do more than
talk and form task forces to solve our solid-waste problem.
And no, Mayor
Kusaka, sending Troy Tanigawa (our solid-waste specialist) to school for 18
months to get his MBA and learn his trade is not the solution. I do compliment
you for hiring Jean Camp, though, as she is definitely a breath of fresh air in
this mess, and had she been on board from the start and was able to call the
shots, I believe that we would have been much farther on the way to solving
this huge problem. In fact, had we kept John Harder and Dale Burton as
solid-waste experts back in 1994, there wouldn’t be this problem today.
what is the answer? Hire the right person or people to back up Camp and let
them make the decisions. Keep the unknowledgeable people out of the mix.
We are fighting the clock with our landfill topping out, and we need
expert leadership to find a solution. Will hiring the “right” people cost
money? Sure it will, but not nearly as much as barging our waste to Honolulu or
whatever the next alternative might be.
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