Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Star-Advertiser suggests city improve its waste disposal practices
by Larry Geller
Medical waste washing up on Honolulu beaches. Brown water, flooding. Not very sexy subjects.
The Star-Advertiser editorial today pushed for Honolulu to get busy and fix its waste management procedures—including considering the use of porous pavements. This needs to be said, and not just in this little blog. I’m glad to see the subject discussed on paper.
For the long term, are there better ways the city can manage its storm runoff, other then to let it all flush into the ocean? The Environmental Protection Agency has given this issue a lot of careful study, with ideas ranging from redirecting rainwater for nonpotable uses to encouraging the use of porous pavement materials so that more of the water seeps back into the earth to replenish the aquifers. The materials are available online for public review (cfpub.epa.gov/ npdes/home.cfm?program_id=298). Elected officials should discuss ways to promote these strategies in future developments.
The rains of recent weeks have been unusually heavy, but not unprecedented. The city needs to take action on multiple fronts -- getting a handle on waste-disposal options and rethinking the way storm runoff is managed -- to reduce the chances that it could ever happen again.
[Star-Advertiser, Get handle on waste disposal, 1/19/2011]
Look, I know that this is not as exciting as WikiLeaks or the latest Republican shenanigans. It’s not Comedy Central material and doesn’t get into the news very much. But the city’s failure to make use of these technologies needs to be noted. Honolulu could use the push the Star-Advertiser gave this morning, if ever so gently.