County Council adopts zero waste policy

LIHU‘E —  The Kaua‘i County Council has unanimously approved a resolution adopting the principles of zero waste as the official waste management policy for the county — at least for the next year.

“Zero waste is a philosophy which tries to minimize the amount of resources being lost for further use by being buried or burned,” said Pat Gegen, chair of Zero Waste Kaua‘i, a grassroots organization concerned with diverting waste from the landfill into recycling facilities.

“It is taking the well-known three Rs to their maximum level: reducing the amount of waste resources that are generated, reusing resources as much as possible before their useful life comes to an end, and recycling those resources that we can to the maximum amount possible,” he said.

In 2009 the county adopted its Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan projecting 35 percent diversion by 2013. The resolution passed Wednesday sets up a goal to achieve 70 percent diversion by 2023.

Despite unilateral support, some council members had a few concerns.

Councilman Mel Rapozo said zero waste is a “beautiful” philosophy, but he wanted to emphasize it is just a philosophy.

The resolution was introduced by Councilman Tim Bynum, by request from the administration. It went through a couple amendments introduced by council members before final approval.

Chair Jay Furfaro said the amendments turned it into a council resolution rather than a resolution from the administration. And a council resolution is only valid while the body that passed it is still in office.

In November 2012 Kaua‘i voters will elect a new council that will serve until 2014. All members of the present formation are eligible for reelection.

• Léo Azambuja, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or


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