Semester Project: Part 1: Introduction
For my semester one final project, I have chosen the issue of our landfills, also known as waste management. I chose this topic because last year for our “Public Policy” assignment in social studies, this was our groups topic as well. I chose this because I was greatly fascinated by how much our group accomplished and how much we learned last year about waste management, and as an individual project I would like to explore more into the issue of waste management. Also, after learning so much about the issue at the time (roughly one year ago) this provides a perfect time to research into seeing how much of a difference one year made with our landfills and disposal options. I know that many things are contributing to the filling up of our landfill and a large percentage of the trash that we throw in there can be avoided. I know that H-Power is doing all that it can in its power to help reduce waste and produce clean renewable energy for the island. I know that H-Power can only burn certain types of trash and that you just cant throw everything into it. I am very much interested into what our people and government have proposed in the last year or so to change our options of the disposal of our trash. Our island has a limited amount of space and we need to utilize our space. Also Our landfill is almost full, we need another solution.

→Waimanalo Gulch (Current Major option to our Waste) (Landfill) waimanalo.jpg

Semester Project: Part 2: Research

Source 1: “Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill”
Summarize the Article:
I chose to use this article because it gives me the specs on one of our major waste management outlets, landfills and h-power. This site gives me more info on fees that have to be paid, who runs the landfill, how large it is, what are future ideas for the landfill, who monitors the site, and the history of the landfill.
From this article I think that is interesting that it takes in 400,000 tons of waste per year including 100,000 tons of ash from H-POWER generators. H-Power works with the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill to help take some of the trash going to landfill out by burning it and converting the heat into energy for the island. I also learned what are the future goals of the Landfill to expand, additional landscaping, and vegetative buffers. I also learned from this article:
• Who owns the Landfill
• Who monitors the Landfill
• Purpose of the landfill
• Exact specs on how large the landfill is
• Fees that are being paid
• History of how the landfill started to where it is today
• Future goals for the Landfill
• Performance of the Landfill
Further Questions I have:
1) Now I wonder how much H-Power is doing to help with our growing problem
2) Now I wonder how long the City and County of Honolulu is going to keep the landfill running
3) Are there any other major option besides sending trash to other areas, burning it, and landfills?
4) Maybe it is because we are so isolated that it is mandatory that we have a waste management problem in the first place.


Source 2: “ Honolulu H-Power ”
This article/site is all about explaining the H-Power plant. It shows how the trash is burned and how the heat is taken and converted to energy for the city. It shows what is doing to help the environment, how it reduces our dependence on oil, community relationships, and the H-Power Process.
From this article I think it is interesting that H-Power is working with the Waimanalo Gulch landfill and by working with the landfill it maximizes its productivity. It does so because it takes the non-hazardous municipal solid waste and burns it to create heat, which is converted to energy, and the electricity is sold to HECO. Also I find it interesting how the ashes are non hazardous and are put in the landfill, so it is not completely burning space I the landfill, but it just creates less. I also learned a lot more about the specs and results of H-Power some of these include:
• How many boilers H-Power has
• Future plans and goals
• How much waste is burned by H-Power and how much ash is given back
• How much energy the plant makes per day
• How much H-Power spends locally to give back to the community
• History of H-Power, how it began, results that led it to its goals today
• Effects on the environment and community.
• The H-Power Process.
Further Questions I have:
1) Now I wonder how much air pollution is contributed by burning waste?
2) Now I wonder is this enough to slow/stop our waste management crisis?
3) Maybe it is because of H-Powers waste-to-energy plan is keeping the landfill operational


Source 3: “Basics of Landfills”
This article talks about another option to our growing waste problem, exporting trash to other areas. It shows that people are concerned about this growing problem. It also shows different opinions to the matter of Waste management.
From this article I think it is interesting that this person (its an editorial) is so moved that they write an editorial in the paper. I find it interesting because they not only take a side on the issue of waste management, but they provide facts to support their opinion. They talk about how much it will cost the state to ship waste to another area, what percentage that number is of the city’s waste budget, and how much waste that could transport.
Further Questions I have:
1) Now I wonder if there is a way that all three major options (landfill, H-Power, and shipping the waste) could work together and create a good waste management option
2) Now I wonder how much we are transporting currently
3) How effective is transporting waste is compared to landfill and H-Power
4) Maybe it is because of our growing problem more options are being researched, wrote about, and acted upon.


Source 4: “Landfill Manager to Pay 1.5 Million”
This article talks about how the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill has agreed to pay $1.5 million dollars to settle a dispute with the state Department of Health over numerous violations at the landfill. Nearly all of the 18 alleged violations cited in January 2006 have been corrected. Of the 1.5 million dollars, $520,000 will go to the Health Department's Environmental Response Revolving Fund (HDERRF) that contributes money to oil spill cleanups. The rest of the money will go toward additional environmental initiatives, including $342,500 for a community drop-off center for solid waste and recyclables and $637,500 for projects in the Leeward area.
From this article I think it is interesting that Waimanalo gulch has problems and violates rules. I think this is interesting because this is supposed to be a good thing in our community but the article states that there are many complaints about the Landfill and how it conducts its business. I also find it interesting how it the Landfill is paying money to “settle a dispute” because it seems odd that they would pay all this money to hush up the situation. Also in the article: "That's the whole problem with Waste Management, they'll never admit that they did anything wrong," said state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa. Hanabusa says that they want to shut down the landfill after the permit expires in May 2008.
Further Questions I have:
1) What exact rules did the Gulch break
2) How many people want to shut the landfill down
3) Should the general public be concerned about this incident
4) Maybe it is because of the old age of the landfill that all these problem are coming up, maybe the facility is out of date

images-1.jpg images-2.jpg

Source 5: “Plasma Gasification”
This video clip is about another alternate waste management solution, plasma gasification. It shows how the process works in a detailed manor, it gives facts about how well it performs, what the plasma gasification system can use and who is using it.
From this video I realize that there are other alternatives to waste management besides landfills, H-Power, Recycling, etc. This is an option that is similar to H-Power, but the outcome is a little different. Not only can this system make energy, it can make bio fuel and helps reduce emissions. I think this is a good video that helps put new ideas into our brains because we need to find an alternate solution. This video is very informational, a bit long though. In the video, it says the process of Gasification has been around for nearly 50 years, and only now it is being utilized. This made me realize that what if there are other methods that have been around for a while but haven’t been utilized yet?

Further Questions I have:
1) How much does this system cost to build
2) How much does this system cost to run
3) What are the disadvantages of this system
4) Is this a system that would be right for Hawaii
5) Maybe it is because of the natural gases that cause companies like AlterNRG to use clean renewable sources like natural gases.

Semester Project: Part 3: Interview Set-Up
Interview With: Randy Overton,
Work: Head of Physical Plant.
Interview Time: Friday, Nov. 7th, F day, 10:40-11:30
Where: Science Center Conference Room, upstairs, Mamiya
Science Center (above M107 classroom)
Questions Asked: 1) What is the single greatest factor that contribute to our waste problem, what can we do to combat it?
2) How much solid waste does Punahou produce daily/monthly/yearly?
3) How much does Punahou spend on taking care of our waste?
4) What specifically is Punahou doing to combat our waste management problem?
5) What are the long/ short-term goals of Punahou that are aimed at tackling our waste management problem?
6) What are the major factor that makes Waste management so important, space, money, and environment?
7) In the first place, how big of an issue is waste management? Bigger than water conservation? Less?
8) What % of waste at Punahou is Recyclable/reusable/decomposable?
9) Is Punahou currently producing anything that is helping lower our Waste? (i.e. growing food, feeding worms with biowaste regularly, etc.)
10) In your opinion, what is the most cost effective/time effective way of dealing with our waste Management issue?

Action PLan: For my action plan, I did a survey of students in my class :

1) Do you recycle?
2) What prevents/drives you to recycle?
3) What do you think your impacts are on the environment?
4) What can you do to improve your actions? WILL you do it and How?
5) For recycling to be effective, it needs to be done by many people, how would you encourage friends, family, to recycle?

When Asked if you recycle, 95% of the people in my class said yes. A Majority of the people also said they recycle because its easy, it helps the environment, and they get money for recycling. A lot of people also said that their impacts on the environment when they dont recycle is that they are polluting the environment and contributing to the overflowing landfill. Personal solutions to improve the actions like recycling etc include picking up after a party or something, picking up trash thats lying around to help reduce pollution. For the last question about how to encourage other people to recycle, most ideas were to nag them about it. Although I have a slight modification to that plan. I plan to educate people once. but that one time make sure they understand.

Final Comments:
Noa- Overall you've done a nice job with your project. It seemed you cared about this topic and gained some new insights. This is an important issue and I hope that more and more people understand its relevance, especially on an island. Your Action Plan had some potential but perhaps didn't go as far as it could. Your description of your Action Plan above is a bit confusing, partly due to grammar issues (looks like you might have been in a hurry). Also, at the end, not sure what you mean by "I plan to educate people once." You mean once in class? You mean specifically, like in an email? Why only once? I know you ended up doing some specific calculations to help each student understand his/her impact but you didn't mention this on your wiki. I really liked that idea and I know it took some research and problem solving to figure out how to go about this since you couldn't find a calculator like this out there. It would have been good to show that work here, to show your goal with this calculation and also to show some sample calculations that you carried out. Also, perhaps you've uncovered a need out there- there needs to be a simple calculator for a person to use to understand how much CO2 they might prevent by recycling or not buying a water bottle (or whatever units you came up with. It seemed like kilowatts or kilowatt hours, which is a bit hard to conceptualize).
I will show your work to our Sustainability Steering Committee as they have recently asked some questions that you can help to answer. If you do read my comments here, it would be great if you could add the calculations you did as that was something else they were interested in. It's good to know your work can continue to inform others on our campus, isn't it?

Data Table Mach-up

Plasma Gasification
Shipping Trash
Annual Trash Depletion

Initial Cost of Plan

Cost Of Maintenance (day)

Space Required

Product (Positive Outcome)

Negative Outcome

Environmental Impact