Project may extend landfill

  • Courtesy County of Kauai

    This graphic shows the county’s plan to add life to the existing Kekaha Landfill by expanding it upwards.

LIHUE — The Kekaha Landfill, which is Kauai’s only landfill and was built in 1953, is projected to reach its capacity by 2026.

By that time, the hope is there will be a new landfill north of Lihue on Ma‘alo Road.

“We need to get really serious about creating less garbage,” Councilmember Felicia Cowden said after committee meetings Wednesday.

The subject of a landfill expansion at Kekaha was discussed at the Public Works and Veterans Services Committee in Lihue.

Lyle Tabata, deputy county engineer, gave the council a briefing on the overall expansion efforts and operations.

He said lateral expansion, estimated to cost $12 million, could increase the Kekaha refuse disposal an estimated 7.7 years.

The project is set to begin in March and would take about a year.

Tabata estimated the expansion will consist of the landfill lateral expansion design contract for $260,099 and the construction management consultant contract is estimated at $745,222.

“I’ve gone to the landfill several different times, paying close attention and the folks there are doing a good job,” Cowden said of the briefing on the expansion. “I would say that we really as a community need to get serious about buying less garbage for point-source reduction.”

Cowden said the council is open to hearing new proposals from the county engineers. She also stated the shift to move the landfill in Kekaha to Lihue is going to be monumental.

With the April floods, extra space was taken up at the landfill when tons of debris and waste went there. That’s something that reduces the lifespan and capacity of the current Kekaha landfill, and speeds up the necessity of expansion.

The proposed landfill project includes the construction and operation of a new municipal solid waste landfill on about 270 acres at a site on Ma‘alo Road, and a new, 2.8-mile off-site access road and utility infrastructure to support the development.


Ryan Collins, county reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or

  1. Jake February 28, 2019 5:07 am Reply

    For the love of God, Kauai is an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Enough with the 20th century ideas.

    It’s the 21st century. Burn some brain cells! Why are we not, of all places, creating a waste-to-energy facility??

    Use the existing land on the West Side. No need to create the infrastructure and spend the money ruining a another location.

  2. R Campbell February 28, 2019 8:01 am Reply

    So let me see if I understand this correctly, we can extend the life of our landfill by essentially piling more stuff on top of the stuff that’s already there? Maybe I just haven’t had enough coffee yet this morning, but it seems that we might have paid too much for the consulting work that went into that plan.

  3. Rev Dr. Malama February 28, 2019 8:20 am Reply

    The Kekaha Landfill is beyond CRISIS MODE!
    CEASE and desist notice has been delivered….. by the protected persons of HAWAIIANKINGDOM.ORG

    1. Jake March 2, 2019 6:32 am Reply

      And what would the Hawaiian Kingdom do with all the trash?

      ……oh wait, I know, just put it all the car ports on the island. They look to be overflowing as well!

  4. Justmyopinion February 28, 2019 9:57 am Reply

    Why can’t the county engineers do their own Construction Management?

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