Honolulu: Give Us More Time at Waimanalo Gulch

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

The latest twist in the saga of where to put Oahu’s trash is that the city of Honolulu has asked the state to extend a July 2012 deadline to close the island's major landfill.

The application to keep the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill open was filed by the Department of Environmental Services on June 28, according to Markus Owens, the city’s environmental spokesperson. The request has to be reviewed by the City’s Department of Planning and Permitting before it goes to the state Land Use Commission for a final ruling.

The application, which comes as a committee appointed to pick a new site is doing its work, could spark another round of contentious debate. Residents near the leeward landfill complain about its environmental impacts and Ko Olina hotels and resorts rail against its potential impact on their businesses.

“Ko Olina and the community association is extremely disappointed, as you can imagine,” said Sweetie Nelson, a spokeswoman for Ko Olina Beach Resort. “Ko Olina has lived up to its commitment of developing an economic engine for the state and we fully expect and are relying on the city to fulfill its promises to close down that landfill.”

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