(BIVN) – Reality is setting in that the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill will have to be closed within two years.
A draft environmental assessment has been published for the Hilo landfill closure project, a costly (approximately $19 million) and highly regulated undertaking that must confirm to various county, state and federal rules.
According to the description of the EA found within the document:
The County of Hawai’i Department of Environmental Management Solid Waste Division is planning to permanently close the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill (SHSL) located in East Hawai’i. Based on the available airspace and current daily loads, the SHSL is expected to reach its permitted maximum capacity within the next two years. With limited capacity at the existing landfill, significant constraints to expanding the existing landfill or establishing a new landfill in East Hawai’i, and a steady East Hawai’i waste stream, closure of the SHSL is imminent. Therefore, the proposed action is to close the existing landfill in compliance with State and federal rules and regulations while continuing to meet long-term waste management objectives by implementing waste diversion strategies and hauling residual waste from the East Hawai’i waste stream to the West Hawai’i Sanitary Landfill (WHSL) in Pu’uanahulu.
Proposed improvements associated with final closure of the landfill consist of placing a final cover system on the top and side slopes of the landfill, installing a new passive landfill gass venting system, and constructing a new storm water detention and infiltration basin to accommodate the additional storm water runoff generated by the final cover. Prior to installation of the final cover, the slopes will be slightly regraded to the final design grade and a maintenance access road will be provided along with a perimeter ditch to direct the flow of storm water runoff to the proposed detention basin.
The draft document anticipates a finding of no significant impact.
Meanwhile, the Hawaii County Council on October 18 voted to approve two resolutions that will enable the hauling of the solid waste to West Hawaii once the Hilo landfill is closed.
Resolution 310-17 authorizes the mayor “to enter into a five-year lease agreement for five refuse trailers for the Department of Environmental Management, Solid Waste Division, at an approximate cost of $12,000 per month, needed to accommodate the additional hauling capacity required to transport waste to the West Hawai‘i Sanitary Landfill upon the closure of the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill. The County will own the equipment at the end of the lease.”
In addition, Resolution 311-17 authorizes the mayor “to enter into a five-year lease agreement for five semi-tractors for the Department of Environmental Management, Solid Waste Division, at an approximate cost of $16,000 per month, needed to accommodate the additional hauling capacity required to transport waste to the West Hawai‘i Sanitary Landfill upon the closure of the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill. The County will own the equipment at the end of the lease.”
When the two resolutions passed through Council Finance Committee on October 3, councilmembers had lots of questions. For example, chair Valerie Poindexter wanted to know how the Hamakua Coast (her district) will be impacted by the change.