Hawaii gives green light for energy-from-waste plant

The Hawaii County Planning Department has given the green light for an energy-from-waste (EfW) plant to be built in Waikoloa.

The Planning Department found no significant environmental impact from the proposed facility that will be built with private equity, according to the Hawaii Tribune Herald

“The County of Hawaii Planning Department has reviewed the comments received during the 30-day comment period on the draft environmental assessment,” said planning director Michael Yee in a letter to the state. “We have determined that the project will not have significant environmental effects.”

BioEnergy Hawaii plans to lease just under 15 acres at the West Hawaii Concrete Quarry to build a waste separation and anaerobic digestion facility that will produce methane and other gases, with by-products to include soil amendments and fertiliser. A smaller, closed thermal gasification unit will generate electricity, under the plan.

The methane will power garbage trucks currently run by Pacific Waste, a sister company. Pacific Waste currently hauls about 80% of the commercial waste on the west side of the Big Island.

“We’re going to build a state of the art facility, and we know what we’re doing,” said Guy Kaniho, BioEnergy Hawaii general manager. “We know when we pick up the trash, we’ll be able to process it.”

The plant is expected to be open in the summer of 2019.

The 200-tonne-per-day facility could divert as much as 70% of its municipal solid waste from the West Hawaii landfill at Puuanahulu, sending 30% to the landfill as residual waste. It could be expanded to 400 tonnes per day, under the plan.


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