Protecting Community Facilities And Planning For The Future

Mayor Hannemann joined community leaders and officials at H-POWER expansion groundbreakingWe are carefully evaluating possible future uses of the property that formerly housed Wailupe Valley School, and have increased security there to protect the facility in the meantime.

The City is required by law to evaluate proposals from City agencies before offering the property for any other use, and we’re strictly following that provision. Potential options now under consideration are the installation of a Board of Water Supply storage tank on the property to improve efficiency and help alleviate any future water shortages due to emergencies; and to relocate some Park and Recreation staff there. Soil testing will be conducted to determine whether the water tank proposal is feasible.

This is an important piece of City property in a residential neighborhood, and we will certainly convene a meeting with the community before any final decision is made.

The City has regularly maintained and inspected the building and grounds since the state Department of Education transferred the facility to City control on Sept. 17, 2009 after closing the school.

In other community news, we recently launched an intensive cleanup effort at Ala Wai Community Park, similar to the Malama o Waikiki program that has proved so successful. We’re repairing and painting the Ala Wai comfort station and pavilion, improving the irrigation system, trimming trees and performing many other tasks to ensure this wonderful open space remains safe and clean for everyone’s enjoyment.

We’re also quickly moving forward with an exciting project that will benefit the entire island: expansion of the H-POWER garbage-to-energy plant. We recently began work to add a third boiler to this important facility, which will greatly increase the amount of garbage it can combust and electricity it can generate.

We are firmly committed to reducing the amount of waste that ends up in our landfill, and this is a major step forward in that continuing effort. This expansion has been badly needed for years, and I am very pleased to see such an important project reaching fruition. By greatly improving our island’s sustainability, this project will be a tremendous help to us all.

The H-POWER facility currently utilizes two refuse-derived fuel boilers capable of processing a combined 2,160 tons-per-day of non-hazardous municipal solid waste, while generating up to 57 megawatts of energy. This translates into 4.5 percent of Oahu’s electricity, enough to power 45,000 homes.

The third boiler will utilize mass-burn technology and be able to combust an additional 900 tons per day, yielding an additional 25-30 megawatts of electricity – enough to supply 25,000 more homes – and supplying a cumulative total of 6 percent of Oahu’s electricity.

The facility, located in Campbell Industrial Park, is the cornerstone of the City’s Solid Waste Management System, and combusts nearly 60 percent of the 1.8 million tons of garbage generated on Oahu annually.

H-POWER, or Honolulu Program of Waste Energy Recovery, began operations in May of 1990 and has combusted more than 12 million tons of waste, offset 12 million barrels of imported oil that would have been burned to generate electricity, and prevented the emission of 12 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The expansion project will cost approximately $302 million and is expected to be completed by early 2012.  The construction will create 300 jobs and produce 34 new fulltime employees upon completion.

We’re rapidly moving forward to meet our goal of diverting 80 percent of the island’s waste from the landfill by 2012. We’re very serious about being good stewards of the land and making Oahu a more sustainable community for future generations.

We’ve completed a 25-year Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan, and management of our island’s opala is now firmly under control. The H-POWER expansion project will keep us moving forward, and we’re firmly committed to efficient and responsible management or our island’s waste management needs.