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Commentary: Retired Councilmen Bob Jacobson on Resolution 123-13… “End of Recycling and Mulch Programs”

Aloha kakou

On Tuesday June 4th, Councilmember Wille is introducing a measure to end our current policy of ruling out garbage incinerators (also called waste to energy) as our method of handling our solid waste.

The County of Hawaii (you) spent $1 million, plus countless hours of County workers on a study considering the merits of using an incinerator during rosy economic times. It clearly demonstatrated that unless we stopped all recycling and greenwaste operations and burned everything, we did not generate enough solid waste to make the system economically sound.  Ironically, this study was done by pro-incinerator professionals who usually promote incineration as the soluton to all waste problems.

Even my successor Councilmember Enriques voted to pass the last policy of keeping organics out of our landfill as did most of that Council.  Resolution 123-13 attempts to reverse all recycling and green waste efforts on this island and give massive amounts of our hard earned cash to snake oil salesmen who have contributed to Mayor Kenoi’s campaigns over the years.

If we had built the incinerator in 2008 we would have paid penalties of millions of dollars for the lowered solid waste amounts we experienced during this economic depression.  In 2009, Current Environmental Management Director Bobby-Jean bemoaned this decreased amount of solid waste we had to handle.  She should have been happy! Keeping solid waste out of the landfills and out of incinerators protects our air, land, water and assets.  Incinerators still have a lot of very toxic residue that must be landfilled.  Snake oil salesman will come with their honeyed tongues and promise the sun, the moon, the stars and jobs.  What they have in their other hand behind their backs is; pollution, massive tax payments to offshore interests, tax increases, corruption of local official, increased pollutions and an end to recycling and greenwaste programs.

By the way, the landfill at Puuanahulu could easily and cheaply be upgraded to handle all of our waste for another 50-100 years.  I suppose we should close it and raise taxes to pay for a polluting waste burner if we believe our Mayor.  Of course the last time Mayor Kim and Billy Kenoi were pushing incineration in 2008, their literature said we could build an incinerator for $45 million or less, not the $120+ million the study said it would cost even if we had enough waste to make it feasible.

Please let the County of Hawaii know you are not going to be fooled by corrupt officials, construction interests, greedy bankers and incineration company paid liars.  Vote against this resolution.

Sincerely,

Retired Councilmember Bob Jacobson