City, State Let Garbage Dump on Waianae

Posted by Stewart at Jul 14, 2009 07:54 PM |

From: Stewart

If Waianae residents want to stop people from treating their community like a garbage dump, they shouldn’t expect much from the City and County of Honolulu or the State of Hawaii.  It took private citizens – namely a handful of KAHEA allies – to police the neighborhood and call attention to an illegal dump that appears to have been operating for years.

The latest reports of apparent illegal dumping in Waianae come less than a month after reports that Honolulu city workers had been dumping huge amounts of broken concrete in a stream in Waianae in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

According to Will Hoover’s report in The Honolulu Advertiser, the more recent discovery was prompted by Lucy Gay, director of Continuing Education & Training at Leeward Community College in Wai’anae.  Auntie Lucy, Hoover reported, learned about the landfill from a colleague who hiked the isolated area over the July Fourth weekend and stumbled across huge debris piles.  Auntie Lucy joined Auntie  Alice Greenwood  and investigated the site on their own and contacted Carroll Cox of EnviroWatch. The three returned on Thursday, along with students from Leeward Community College.

Although the dump found by Auntie Lucy and Auntie Alice appears to be illegal, the City and County of Honolulu seems intent on taking more formal action to make Waianae the official trash heap of Oahu.  Namely, the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting is drafting a new development plan for Waianae that will serve as the basis for zoning decisions in the area, and it seems Mayor Hannemann wants to let a landowner rezone some agriculture land into industrial land to allow for a garbage dump.  The new plan will have to allow for this change.

The first battle will be before the City Council, which will need to approve the Mayor’s development plan.   As with the illegal dump, citizens are going to have to step up.   As recent history has shown, City Hall would just as well let Waianae get trashed.

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