Hawaii County will soon begin the process for establishing a waste-reduction facility for East Hawaii.
Mayor Billy Kenoi told the County Council, meeting as the Committee on Environmental Management, on Tuesday morning that a request for qualifications will be issued March 3, and that he plans to have a contract ready to be signed in April 2015.
Kenoi said the county is open to any technology that can reduce the trash burden on the Hilo landfill.
Potential technologies include gasification, bio-refining, anaerobic digestion, and incineration. There’s also the possibility of turning the waste into energy or fuel.
Kenoi said the facility would be fed up to 300 tons of garbage per day. Recyclable materials and green waste would be excluded, he said.
Six transfer stations directing trash to the West Hawaii landfill would be rededicated to East Hawaii to meet any tonnage requirements, Kenoi said.
Cost estimates weren’t provided, but Kenoi said private financing will be considered.
Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd, director of the county Environmental Management Department, told the Tribune-Herald it’s possible the county won’t break even on the facility. At 300 tons per day, she said it is expected to cover operational costs, while at least subsidizing capital expenses.
During his presentation, Kenoi emphasized that expanding the landfill is not cost effective, and he believes a waste-reduction facility is the best option.
The facility would likely be located at the Hilo landfill, he said.
The committee didn’t take any action, though several council members praised the plan.