Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle‘s Advisory Committee on Landfill Site Selection met Thursday to hammer out details for choosing a new landfill site.

The committee agreed on multiple points of criteria, which will be used to weigh the pros and cons of possible landfill locations.

Some of the criteria points included:

  • Ensuring any landfill site could be maintained for at least 15 years
  • Distance of the site to schools, residential areas, and visitor amenities
  • Its location relative to endangered species
  • Impact on local traffic congestion
  • Wind direction in relation to the site

The committee is tasked with finding a new site to replace or supplement Oahu’s only dump, the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill. The city’s permit to use Waimanlo Gulch expires July 2012, but city officials have said it could take as long as a decade before a new landfill could be up and running. The city is asking the state to extend the deadline.

Once the committee compiles the data from the Thursday meeting with guidance from environmental consultants, it will reconvene in July to weigh each criteria, prioritizing them by level of importance. The 10 members of the committee will each vote on the weighting, using a system where they are allotted a certain number of points to disperse at their discretion.

Brian Takeda, a consultant for the committee, told Civil Beat it was too soon to estimate a timeline for selecting a new landfill site, but the committee is required to make a recommendation to the mayor after its last scheduled meeting in July.

In a Civil Beat interview with Honolulu Managing Director Doug Chin Tuesday, Chin expressed hope that the state Land Use Commission will allow the state to extend a deadline to stop using Waimanalo Gulch in 2012.

“Our position is that July 2012 is coming up very, very quickly and we definitely need more time to be able to continue to operate it,” Chin said. “Just based on what I’ve seen, I can see that we really need that landfill to stay open. At least for a little bit longer.”

At a Land Use Commission meeting in February, state officials expressed strong reservations about keeping the gulch open.