Letters: October 30, 2020

Hot garbage

After reading the “Compost Facility on Hold” article on Oct. 29, I have to say that I am really fed up with Dept. of Environmental Management Director Bill Kucharski. It seems like every problem that comes up with the DEM, he either doesn’t know what to do, or gives up after trying one thing.


He says there is a shortage of green waste, because it is ground up for mulch and residents have “scarfed” it up. Let us forget for a moment that the green waste stations were shut down numerous times in the past year, forcing resident to hold on to their yard trimming or dump it elsewhere. What happens to green waste from commercial businesses (landscapers, tree trimmers, etc.) who must go to the landfill? Is this green waste also part of the mulch available to residents? Could the commercial green waste be diverted to the composting plant?

I understand that food waste from hotels, restaurants and schools are contracted by hog farmers to receive their food waste, and many of these businesses are closed or have reduced waste. But is every single hotel, restaurant and school on Hawaii Island under these contracts? What about private schools, fast food restaurants, grocery stores, and food courts? Could county offices start a food waste collection for their employees?

And finally, what about newspaper? Newspaper is a brown composting material, and yet the County stopped collecting it as of October 2019. Instead of fixating on what the original plan for the composting facility was, start thinking of new solutions.

Elizabeth Poire


Farm the sea with technology

I like the idea of ocean farming. A new concept been approved in Norway and serves as a significant step in our efforts to deliver technical solutions to address the global food gap challenge, especially since more people are consuming fish than ever before.

The new concept submerges the anchored, fixed structure well below the surface and duplicates aqua biological conditions which are more ideal for aquaculture on ‘the fish’s terms.’ The benefits are numerous benefits including steady currents that limit exposure to sea lice infection and avoiding adverse algae blooms such as ‘red tide.’ The facility in Norway is fully automated, with normal operation requiring a crew of just three or four people and can be operated remotely.

According to Norway’s Kongsberg Maritime, “below-the-water sophisticated products from KONGSBERG will provide a clear view of the action. Leading the subsea delivery is a high-tech scientific echo sounder, a range of underwater cameras and an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP), velocimeter and O2 sensors. Other sensors include Tank Sounding and Water Ingress Detection. The subsea delivery is designed to accurately detect where the fish are in the vast water volume of the cage and how they move in order to ensure effective feeding. In addition, advanced 3D display of the fish and relevant environmental parameters will be provided to the operators.”

West Hawaii should lead the western world with this new technology which can help feed the world.


Barry Willis