UPDATE – (Wednesday, September 14)
- Michael Rivera has been hired as the Solid Waste Division Chief for the Hawaiʻi County Department of Environmental Management, effective Monday, September 19.
- The Acting Solid Waste Division Chief, Michael Kaha, will resume his duties as Deputy Chief, while the Acting Deputy Chief, Gene Quiamas, will resume his duties as Environmental Compliance Specialist.
From the County of Hawaiʻi:
The County of Hawai‘i is pleased to announce the hiring of Michael Rivera, Solid Waste Division Chief for the Department of Environmental Management, effective Monday, September 19.
As Division Chief, Rivera will oversee the disposal of solid waste in Hawai‘i County; implementing the Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan, vehicle disposal, recycling, and landfill diversion initiatives.
A graduate of the University of Illinois in Chicago with a BS in chemistry and biology, Rivera worked for Clean Harbors in the environmental laboratory analyzing waste samples for 14 years, conducting waste characterization and waste profiling. He was promoted to Laboratory Manager, leading the laboratory to treat waste samples, conduct acceptance testing, and profiling waste streams. In 1991, Rivera managed the laboratory for the Laidlaw/Buttonwillow Hazardous Waste Landfill outside of Bakersfield, California. This facility processed and treated hazardous waste for land disposal. His responsibilities were to accept, treat and analyze hazardous waste for appropriate processing.
Beginning in 2002 and for the next 15 years, he worked for Waste Management as the laboratory/scale house manager at the Kettleman Hills Facility in California. The facility managed hazardous and solid waste for treatment, disposal, and transfer. He managed WM facilities in California, including the McKittrick Waste Treatment Site, Anderson Landfill, and the Guadalupe/Kirby Canyon Landfills, as the District Manager, ensuring the respective sites remained in safety, regulatory, and financial compliance. From 2006 to 2008, he was a leadership coach traveling to different facilities ensuring employees were engaged, productive, and efficient.
Since 2016, Rivera has served in the public sector as Manager or Director for solid waste matters for the cities of Garland, Texas, Watsonville, California, and most recently for Raleigh, North Carolina.
In his private life, Rivera is a husband, father of two, owner of four dogs, and an avid golfer, cyclist, runner, and outdoors enthusiast.
Following Rivera’s hiring, Hawai‘i County’s Acting Division Chief, Michael Kaha, will resume his duties as Deputy Chief. In addition, the Acting Deputy Chief, Gene Quiamas, will resume his duties as Environmental Compliance Specialist.