Mount Opala

New cell under construction at Naiwa landfill

By Melissa Kelsey

Slowing Accumulation
There are currently no plans by Maui County to ship Molokai opala off the island, according to Martin. However, Maui County occasionally hires private vendors to ship certain items off-island. A $1 million contract between Maui County and SOS Metals allowed trashed vehicles and appliances to be sent off Molokai last year, according to Martin.

Maui County also hires private vendors to take recycled materials, according to Martin. As a result, Molokai residents can help keep trash from piling up in the landfill by carefully sorting household waste and bringing recyclables to the recycling facility located on the same property as the landfill. Items stamped with “5¢ HI” can be redeemed for five cents each.

Plans to convert trash management on Molokai to the Herhof Stabilat system where trash is converted to electricity are not currently making progress, according to Kamehameha Environmental LLC board member Billy Buchanan. To create energy through this system, solid waste is put through a heat exchange unit after its moisture has been removed.

“It seems to be stuck in bureaucracy and no one is making decisions. Everything is about being green and saving energy and fossil fuels, but when we have a proven technique and technology and very little happens, that is a problem. This project is pretty much at a standstill,” said Buchanan.

In the meantime, Molokai residents should do everything they can to reduce the island’s waste accumulation.

“The community needs to know that Maui County is not only expanding the dump, they are also recycling and working with the community to prevent things from going into the landfill,” said McPherson.


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