New “Zero Waste Park” raises eyebrows

Delani McAulay

As North Kohala’s most heavily populated neighborhood, it’s no wonder why Ainakea is opposed to the idea of a new waste station being built just a quarter of a mile away from the dozens of homes belonging to local residents of Kohala.

Concerns about odors, air quality and noise are rising as a group called “WasteStream” encourages the construction of what they call a “Zero Waste Park.”  The ten-acre area would become home to a new waste facility, which, by definition of “Zero Waste,” would exclude any burning/burying of rubbish.  Many states on the mainland have chosen this method of garbage disposal but communities in Hawaii, who are known for their air quality and beauty, aren’t too keen about the idea. However, most local residents seem opposed to the idea for a couple reasons.           First and foremost was air pollution and odor.  With a waste facility located so closely to Ainakea, people worried about the pollution and smells that would become a nuisance to all families and especially children and elders.

Another large concern of residents was the probable idea of the new “Zero Waste Park” becoming a popular spot among other districts of the Big Island.  This would not only increase traffic noise (large trucks from other districts would drive through Ainakea to get to the new dump) but also increase air pollution even further.

While a “Zero Waste Park” seems like a good idea to implement more environmentally friendly methods in Kohala, it is clear that the planned location would do more harm than good to local residents.