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Hawaii News

Compost facility pitched for parcel in Wahiawa

Odor and traffic worries appear to top the list of problems facing a private company’s plans for developing a composting facility north of Schofield Barracks.

Hawaiian Earth Recycling LLC wants to develop the facility on about 112 acres of land owned by Cedar Grove Hawaii LLC south of Wili­kina Drive.

The city Department of Environmental Serv­ices has submitted a notice to the state that an environmental impact statement will be prepared for the proposed proj­ect.

Some officers of the Wahiawa Community & Business Association said they were studying the proposal.

Association President William Putre said he’s looking forward to reviewing a traffic impact study planned for the proj­ect.

"I certainly desire that the citizens of Wahiawa be made aware of any impending increase in heavy truck traffic prior to construction of the facility so that they have the opportunity to comment in public forum," Putre said.

State Clean Air Branch Manager Wilfred Naga­mine said in a letter to Hawaiian Earth that it also needs to deal with the potential nuisance from dust and odors.

Greg Apa, one of Hawaiian Earth’s owners, said a berm will contain the facility receiving composting materials and that the materials mixed to become compost would be covered with a membrane that controls up to 95 percent of odors.

He said the composting material will be on concrete pads where liquids draining from the facility will go through pipes into a tank for reuse.

Apa said the company plans to conduct an odor study as part of the environmental impact statement.

The company, which sells Menehune Magic-brand compost, has two locations on Oahu: a composting facility at Campbell Industrial Park and a transfer station at Kapaa Quarry in Kailua.

The proposed $40 million proj­ect near Schofield would replace its Campbell Industrial composting site, which would be turned into a transfer center.

A proposal to compost sewage sludge, green waste and food waste was part of former Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s plan to reduce waste entering Oahu’s landfills.

Under the city’s request for proposals, the composting facility was to proc­ess at least 100,000 tons a year, in return for the city paying $118 per ton, according to the city’s Department of Environmental Serv­ices.

The selection of the site was left up to the private developer.

The site north of Schofield, surrounded by agricultural and military lands, includes a gentle grade at the 940-foot elevation, with steep slopes and gullies near Kau­kona­hua Gulch, Hawaiian Earth said.

The company said its lease of 39 acres at Campbell Industrial Park for its existing composting operation expires in 2015, and the amount of land that can be leased will be reduced to 14 acres.

The company said it now recycles about 85,000 tons of green and food waste per year from both facilities, reducing the waste stream to landfills.

The proposed composting facility will proc­ess up to 150,000 tons a year of green waste, food waste, dewatered sewage sludge and produce compost, soil amendments, potting mixes and erosion control materials.

The company said the sewage waste would come from the city waste treatment facilities at Hono­uli­uli and Kailua and perhaps other areas.

The company said no impacts related to flooding are anticipated and that it plans to develop a retention basin for rainfall runoff and also a separate collection and reuse system for contaminated water.

The environmental impact statement preparation notice is available for review at the state Office of Environmental Quality Control website, under "current issues."

The comment deadline for the preparation notice is April 6. Comments may be sent to the Department of Environmental Serv­ices, City and County of Hono­lulu, 1000 Ulu­ohia Street, Suite 212, Kapolei, HI 96707.

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