Hawaii County Council members will get another chance to question Department of Environmental Management officials about a recent study of hauling rubbish from East Hawaii to the Puuanahulu landfill.
The council’s Environmental Management Committee will hear the results of the pilot project during a 2 p.m. meeting Tuesday at the West Hawaii Civic Center. The results were previously reported at the county’s Environmental Management Commission meeting in late July.
The study concluded hauling the rubbish was slightly less expensive than officials initially believed. The study calculated the cost of hauling rubbish to West Hawaii at $52 to $72 per ton, compared with $92 to $110 at a new Hilo landfill or $80 to $210 per ton at a waste-to-energy plant.
Ka‘u Councilwoman Brittany Smart, who is chairwoman of the Environmental Management Committee, said the department was to bring the study to the council’s attention when it was completed. She said she had some questions for the department about the personnel costs associated with hauling the trash.
The report said labor during the three-month pilot project was about $47,000, including fringe benefits.
Although the report compares the cost of hauling with waste-to-energy, previous council members and county officials ultimately rejected the last waste-to-energy proposal brought forward. The report also looks at the cost of a new Hilo landfill, which is not being planned.
Smart said it is short-sighted to plan on bringing all the garbage to West Hawaii, or to count on an as-yet undetermined technology to get rid of all the garbage.
“Regardless of technology, you’re going to have residuals,” Smart said. “You still need a landfill for residuals.”
The report, and a related presentation, are available at the council’s online records system, filed under Communication 802.001.
Residents of other parts of the island may provide testimony on agenda items via video teleconference from the council’s offices in Hilo, Pahoa and Waimea.
Committee hearings begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, with the council convening at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, also at the West Hawaii Civic Center. Council members will consider a resolution, waived by the Finance Committee, asking the Public Access, Open Space and National Resources Commission to put undeveloped coastal land at Ooma, in North Kona, in the top priority spot on the county’s list of qualified lands for preservation.