HILO, Hawaii – A planned East Hawaii Organics Facility is raising concern in the Panaewa community.
The facility will be located next to the South Hilo Sanitary Landfil on vacant land formerly used as quarries. The estimated $10 million facility will divert organic waste from disposal in the County landfill, and will produce enhanced compost and mulch in support of island agriculture. The facility will be designed, constructed, and operated by a private contractor under contract with the County of Hawaii.
Some nearby residents living in Panaewa are opposing the project, however. Howard Pe’a and councilwoman-elect Sue Lee Loy say they want to see an environmental impact statement instead of an assessment.
Lee Loy said that with the landfill, mass transit baseyard, and now the proposed organics facility, a cumulative impact study is warranted.
Pe’a and Lee Loy both spoke at a recent community meting in Keaukaha, in which residents living in the Hawaiian Home Lands neighborhoods voiced their concerns about the potential toxicity of industry, waste treatment, and mass transit that surrounds them.