Waste plan revisited

The consultant hired by the county to review waste management practices on Kaua‘i sought input from County Council yesterday on a plan the company has been developing since 2005.

Seattle-based firm R.W. Beck revisited key points of the Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan with the council in a morning workshop.

“The purpose is to get feedback on the plan from the council,” Bob Craggs, vice president and national director of solid waste practice for R.W. Beck, said.

Craggs added that the presentation, which was shown to council members and the community last year, will include comments on the plan from the state Department of Health.

In a letter to the consultants, the DOH said the plan contained all components required by the statute and encouraged the county to maximize waste reduction and recycling to the extent possible. The DOH added that they would like to see the waste-to-energy costs beyond the five-year planning period.

“Overall, the plan submitted to date has met all statutory requirements,” Craggs said.

The most interesting thing to Councilmember Jay Furfaro in the plan is the possibility of the materials recovery facility, he said.

“I see all the parts here,” Furfaro said. “The thing that interests me most is the MRF — it’s really important to get this thing going.”

A materials recovery facility is a plant that receives, separates and prepares recyclable materials.

Councilmember Tim Bynum felt that recycling has to be a matter of convenience in order for people to participate.

“We need to make a cultural shift on this island,” Bynum said. “Education is important.”

The consultants presented highlights in the five-year plan that offers the county comprehensive ideas to dispose of garbage, as the Kekaha Landfill is slated to close in 2012.

The key focus of the plan includes the development of a landfill that will be financially feasible to residents and businesses and maximizes recycling.

Another highlight in the plan includes a small waste-to-energy project, which can potentially generate $2.5 million to $2.8 million by 2013 to offset development costs.

The plan indicates that if the five-year project is implemented, large amounts of solid waste can be diverted, possibly adding years of life to the landfill.

One of the highlights of the plan is the implementation of curbside collection of green waste.

Karen Luken, a senior director with R.W. Beck, said a system would be developed over the next five years that would consist of curbside recycling, existing recycling and composting programs and a pay-as-you-throw system. Households that generate more garbage would pay more through the pay-as-you-throw system.

“This plan is going to take those initiatives to the next level,” Luken said.

According to Craggs, the final steps for the plan include a public hearing, the finalization of the plan by R.W. Beck, the County Council review and approval and a final submittal to the state DOH for approval.

Troy Tanigawa, county solid waste specialist, said the public hearing will take place in a month.

The Hawai‘i Revised Statutes state that every county in the state is required to develop an integrated solid waste management plan and make revisions every five years.

The last revision to Kaua‘i’s ISWMP was made in 1994. In 2005, the county hired R.W. Beck to assist with the current update.

A draft ISWMP was submitted by the county to the state DOH in Oct. 2007, for a 90-day review period.

• Rachel Gehrlein, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) or rgehrlein@kauaipubco.com

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