A newly formed citizen committee in charge of selecting the site of Oahu’s next landfill will begin meeting on Oct. 4 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., the Honolulu Department of Environmental Services announced on Monday.

The Landfill Advisory Committee is made up of nine members with backgrounds in government, engineering and contracting, among other fields, who will rank potential landfill locations. The options will then be submitted to the Department of Environmental Services and Mayor Rick Blangiardi, who will select a site by Dec. 31, 2022, the department said.

The landfill at Waimanalo Gulch must shutter operations by March 2, 2028.

Waimanalo Gulch Waste Management Landfill located mauka of Disney Aulani and Koolina Ihilani. Waianae.
The Waimanalo Gulch landfill is located mauka of Disney Aulani. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Landfill Advisory Committee members are scheduled to meet seven times over the next eight months, according to Environmental Services. All meetings will be virtual and accessible to the public. They will be recorded and archived at https://honolulu.gov/opala/newlandfill.html.

Meetings will be facilitated by The Limtiaco Consulting Group, a local civil and environmental engineering company, Environmental Services said. HDR, Inc., an Omaha-based engineering firm, will assist with technical studies, according to the department.

The location of Oahu’s new landfill is restricted to the uncolored locations on this map, according to the city’s Department of Environmental Services. City & County of Honolulu

The members of the Landfill Advisory Committee are:

  • Brennon Morioka, the dean of the University of Hawaii College of Engineering. Morioka previously worked for the Hawaiian Electric Company; the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation; the rail contractor CH2MHill; and Shioi Construction. He is also the former director of the Hawaii State Department of Transportation.
  • Cynthia Rezentes, a community advocate and Nanakuli Neighborhood Board member with a master’s degree in electrical engineering, according to her resume. Rezentes is a former member of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council and previously worked as a legislative aide for the late Congressman Mark Takai and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, her resume states.
  • Emmett Kinney, the vice president of Healy Tibbitts Builders, Inc., a local marine construction company. Kinney is also the president of the General Contractors Association of Hawaii. 
  • James Nakatani, executive director of the Agribusiness Development Corp. The state agency was established 25 years ago to make Hawaii’s agricultural lands more economically viable and has been under fire from the state auditor this year for failing to meet its mission.
  • Ken Kawahara, president of Akinaka & Associates, a Hawaii civil engineering firm. Kawahara has nearly three decades of civil engineering experience and is a former deputy director of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Commission on Water Resource Management. 
  • Natalie McKinney, senior program director for the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, a nonprofit that supports environmental education.
  • Steven Chang, who has a background in environmental regulation.
  • Suzanne Jones, who worked for the City and County of Honolulu for nearly three decades. She headed the city’s recycling efforts and later oversaw waste management, according to her LinkedIn.
  • Trisha Kehaulani Watson, a Kaimuki resident and Civil Beat columnist who runs Honua Consulting, a company focused on environmental and cultural assessments, among other specialities.

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