Funding for Improved Kalaupapa Waste Management
KNHP News Release
Joseph Kahee, Pa`oneakai Lee-Namakaeha and Ryan Mahiai, employees of the Solid Waste Facility of Kalaupapa National Historical Park (KNHP), were awarded one of 33 grants across the country in the amount of $12,500. The funding was through the Horace M. Albright-Conrad L. Wirth Grant Program at the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The Albright Wirth Grant Program supports a wide range of innovative projects that give National Park Service employees the opportunity to pursue personal and professional training experiences.
This group grant was used to implement a comprehensive “greening” plan for KNHP. One of the core components of the plan was to lay the groundwork for an integrated solid waste management system in Kalaupapa. The proposed “greening” process would produce numerous benefits to the park, including reductions in traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution, while increasing flexibility in waste handling and disposal.
Grant funds were used to defray most out-of-pocket travel, course-related costs, and material expenses for certifications in several training courses. The employees attended Compost Facility Operators Training in Puyallup, WA; OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Refresher in Kapolei, HI; Tour de Trash 2013 in the City and County of Honolulu; EPA Refrigerant Transition and Recovery Certification in Kapolei, HI; and RCRA Hazardous/Toxic Waste Management Public Workshop in Orlando, FL.
The trainings and certifications acquired through this grant will improve the handling and disposal of hazardous and solid waste generated at Kalaupapa. This includes development and encouragement of appropriate alternatives to landfill use, such as recycling and composting. It also provides employee certifications for proper hazardous waste identification and categorization according to state and federal regulations. The desired future condition for KNHP and the community is an integrated solid waste management system that results in minimal impacts to the land, water and people of Kalaupapa.
Good going, gang! Now the hard part…how is that knowledge applied to an island. I’m sure the training and observations of real situations will be beneficial. Now, learn to apply and adapt that thinking to an island situation. Good happenings in other places does not necessarily fit into our island environment. I trust our young Hawaiians in training will bring forward the wisdom of their kupuna on how to malama this aina.