LIHU‘E — County officials announced late Monday afternoon the release of the new siting study report which places Ma‘alo at the top of a list including eight potential sites for the island’s next landfill. The data collected by private consultant AECOM is intended to enable the county to choose the location of Kaua‘i’s new landfill.
“The Ma‘alo site is the longest-term solution for the county’s waste disposal problem,” states the report prepared by AECOM, adding that the site has an estimated life span of 264 years, which could be extended further with the operation of a Resource Recovery Park.
“As the last 12 years of trying to site a landfill show, the value of this near-permanent potential solution cannot be overstressed,” the report states.
The other sites studied in the report are Kalepa, immediately below Ma‘alo and near Hanama‘ulu; Kekaha Mauka, near the existing landfill; Kipu, near Puhi; Umi, in Kalaheo; Kumukumu, between Kapa‘a and Anahola; Pu‘u o Papai, near Hanapepe; and a piece of land in Koloa. AECOM’s report also states the Ma‘alo site is the only site identified that has a “willing” landowner. AECOM anticipates the county would not need to purchase Kekaha Mauka or Ma‘alo because the sites are state- or federally-owned. However, the state, which owns Kekaha Mauka, is unwilling to negotiate, and the county cannot condemn state-owned property, according to AECOM.
Additionally, Ma‘alo is the most economical site over the life of the landfill, it ranks first in the Community Criteria Evaluation system, has a low nuisance factor due to its topography and it is centrally located, according to the report.
Despite having the lowest estimated total cost per year of site life, at $6.49 million, Ma‘alo has the highest estimated initial cost of all sites, at $38.1 million.
The other downside of Ma‘alo, according to AECOM, is that the site has possible wetland features that may require mitigation.
All sites studied have agricultural value, and half of them — Kalepa, Kekaha Mauka, Pu‘u o Papai and Umi — have active agricultural land use. Almost two years ago, on Sept. 10, 2010, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. called a press conference to announce he would no longer pursue Kalaheo as the host community for a new landfill site. Instead, he proposed Ma‘alo, about 2.5 miles north of Lihu‘e, and said his administration would proceed with an environment impact statement led by AECOM.
On Oct. 11, 2010, Carvalho conducted in Hanama‘ulu what would be the first in a series of public meetings related to the siting of Ma‘alo. A large crowd from the Hanama‘ulu community showed up at the meeting at King Kaumuali‘i School in Hanama‘ulu, and the few speakers who testified showed strong opposition to the siting of the landfill near Hanama‘ulu.
More than a year after Carvalho’s announcement of Ma‘alo as the new landfill site, county officials told Kaua‘i County Council members on Oct. 28 that AECOM — under a $1.85 million contract — had been given a the go-ahead to proceed with an EIS, which would include a feasibility study for the landfill siting and an 80-acre Resource Recovery Park.
Visit www.kauaii.gov/newlandfillsite to download the complete report or call the Solid Waste Division at 241-4837 for more information about the landfill siting.