Another vertical expansion planned for Kekaha Landfill

A vertical expansion plan expected to give three more years of life to Kekaha Landfill is moving through county approval channels.

The landfill now has around two more years of life on its first, earlier-approved vertical expansion.

The idea is to have the second expansion, allowing trash to be piled 15 feet higher in the landfill’s current footprint, done within a year, or at least before the landfill reaches capacity, said Troy Tanigawa, the county’s solid waste coordinator.

A county committee is reviewing professional resumes of companies and individuals submitting paperwork to bid on the planning, design and permitting of the expansion, estimated to cost around $150,000, he said.

“Our evaluation committee will be making a recommendation for award in the next week or so,” said Tanigawa.

The proposed expansion would bring the height of the landfill to around 75 feet above mean sea level. The ground elevation at the landfill is around 10 feet above mean sea level.

The state Department of Health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will review the county and consultant’s plans.

Very little construction will be required to complete the vertical expansion, Tanigawa said.

The second vertical expansion is within limits for what county officials think the landfill can accommodate, Tanigawa said.

The expansion height concern is “just to make sure the landfill won’t collapse, basically, or slide,” he said.

On the matter of siting a new landfill, Tanigawa said the county administration is still pondering its options.

A completed site study has been used by the county to examine various options for the next landfill, with properties from Kekaha to Kealia examined, he added.

“There may be consideration of additional sites” not examined in that commissioned study, Tanigawa said.

Another study, focusing on a site mauka of Kalepa Ridge in Hanama’ulu, concludes that the site “satisfies technical requirements to develop a landfill on the property. So, it is technically feasible based on that initial report,” said Tanigawa.

But community opposition to any Hanama’ulu site is strong, and Mayor Maryanne Kusaka said earlier that siting a new landfill anywhere near residential areas is going to be a difficult sell.

Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:pcurtis@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 224).

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