At a meeting Monday night, Kekaha residents debated the new expansion of Kauai’s landfill in Kekaha, the additional funds allocated as “compensation” and who gets to decide what to do with the money. Full article in the Garden Island News.
If you’ve read my other blogs, you probably already know my political beliefs are mostly tongue-in-cheek cynical. Of course, the fact that there’s a considerable amount of money invovled brings about conflict between the bureaucrats and the community members. I think I’d side with Mel Rapozo, who was instrumental in getting this measure put through after many, many delays from the Kauai County Council on any solution at all to our soon-to-be overflowing landfill.
I remember when we moved here in 2000, there was virtually NO recycling anywhere. Coming from San Francisco, where curbside recycling had been in place for years – it was shocking to me to see soda cans and beer bottles just tossed in the trash. Slowly, recycling started a few years later. Then a Statewide deposit system was implemented.
After a few yearas we had a large recycling center that was creating artwork, doing workshops at schools, etc. called Kauai Recycling for the Arts located near the “transfer station” (aka, local dump) at the airport. It started some creative artistic efforts, using recycled glass, etc. But due to politics, and who knows what, that was closed. It remained closed for years, and only recently has that opened as a basic recycling center.
When I was in college, I experimented with blowing glass from recycled colored glass bottles melted into liquid glass. It was hot, difficult, challenging and inspiring as to how glass can be melted and reformed into artwork, functional pieces, etc. Maybe the Kauai Recycling for the Arts was just doing too good, and having too much fun. More information on Hawaii Glass Artists.
But at any rate, the expansion of the Kekaha landfill vs. increasing recycling reminds me of the issues we faced living in San Francisco. Bayview Hunters Point was considered a “ghetto” populated by mostly African Americans. And strange as it may seem, most toxic waste, disposal centers, etc. were based there. Even though the area had ocean views and tremendous potential. There have been nationwide studies about the “ghettoization” of waste.
National Geographic article on The Ghettoization of Asthma.
Wonder if Kauai is following suit? Kekaha is not a resort, and with the passing of the Vacation Rental Ordinance the rentals along the beach there will most likely be minimized. It’s about as far as you can physically get from a resort area on Kauai. And our County Council has grossly neglected a solution to our growing waste problem. Now we have at least offered “compensation” for the expansion of the landfill. At what price do you put giving up your community to trash?