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HOOSER: Talking trash: two easy and important things you can do

Our one and only Kekaha landfill is approaching maximum capacity. Micro-plastics are being found in the guts of fish and other living things. The trash on the beach, at the side of the road, and floating in huge garbages patches in our oceans — has a direct and negative impact on the health of people and the planet.

Here are two things each of us can do that will have a tangible positive impact in our community. Please take the time and do both!

No. 1 — Tune in to the livestream, attend in person the Oct. 4 Kaua‘i County Council meeting, or watch the recorded version after the fact.

Mike Ewall, Founder and Executive Director of Beyond Burning, and Founder of the Energy Justice Network, has been invited to provide a briefing to the Council regarding the negative effects of burning waste and the benefits of diverting waste from the landfill.

The Kaua‘i County Council is considering a wide range of ways to deal with our municipal garbage including pyrolysis, gasification, and direct combustion. Mike Ewall is a national expert on energy and waste issues, with a focus on waste incineration, its hazards, and alternatives. He supports communities to transition from polluting energy and waste facilities to clean energy and zero waste systems.

It will be very interesting to see how the various council members respond to the information Mr. Ewall provides.

If you miss the council meeting tune in to KKCR on Thursday, Oct. 5, from 4 to 6 p.m. and hear Mr. Ewall talk about “beyond burning” and call in with questions.

Or, if you would like to meet Mr. Ewall in person, hear him speak and answer questions, he’ll be at the Lihue Public Library on Oct. 7 from 3 to 6 p.m. and on Zoom

No. 2 — If you happen to live on the eastside, sign up for residential curbside compost pick-up from Compost Kaua‘i or drop off your compost (island-wide), or contact them about managing the waste at a special event you’re planning.

According to their website: “A 2016 waste characterization study done by the County of Kaua‘i showed that approximately 25 percent of waste entering the landfill was compostable. This includes paper, food waste and other organics. Compostable materials are an extremely valuable resource and should have an opportunity to be returned back to the soil, not lie waste in a landfill tomb.”

How does it work?

• Sign up and pay a modest fee to become a member. Choose between pick-up or drop off service.

• Compost Kaua‘i gives you a bucket for your chosen service. You fill up your bucket with approved compostable materials.

• Every week Compost Kaua‘i picks up your bucket or you drop it off and you receive a clean one.

• Compost Kaua‘i turns your compostable materials into nutrient rich compost which you can request, buy or donate to others.

Full disclosure: Claudette and I have been members of Compost Kaua‘i for almost a year now and love the service. Claudette especially loves the beautiful compost that gets delivered to our door quarterly which she uses in our home garden.

There you have it. Two easy and meaningful ways you can help make a difference. Please. Get involved. Take action. It’s important.


Gary Hooser served eight years in the state Senate, where he was majority leader. He also served for eight years on the Kaua‘i County Counci. He presently writes on Hawaii Policy and Politics at
Source: The Garden Island

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