Harris says the tons of trash have been wrapped in plastic bales for transport, but they’ve sitting for more than a year, and many are torn and leaking. The shipments were set to start this week, but the lawsuit will delay them.
"The City of Honolulu has threatened, if the shipping doesn’t start soon, that they may rescind the contract, so this may be the death blow to it, but only time will tell. There’s obviously incredible pressure here to do something about the trash, and I’m sure there will be pressure to continue looking at this idea."
The lawsuit asks that a full environmental impact statement be prepared before shipping Hawaii’s trash is allowed into the Gorge. Harris says waste disposal has reached a crisis point in Hawaii, and the barging was meant to be temporary until an incinerator can be expanded. But he says Hawaiians generate about twice the amount of trash per day as folks on the mainland, and recycling has not been a priority there until recently.
The complaint is online at www.gorgefriends.org.