Landfill closes early over excessive debris

The Central Maui Landfill will return to regular hours today following two days of early closings due to gusty conditions that hampered cleanup of windblown debris, according to a county spokesman.

The Department of Environmental Management decided to switch its debris cleanup from mornings to afternoons, when there is a greater volume of windblown trash, said county spokesman Rod Antone on Wednesday.

But the volume of trash ended up being “much more . . . than they anticipated,” he said, and that forced the early closure of the dump.

The landfill in Puunene was closed at 1 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. Its regular hours and days are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Saturday and closed on Sundays.

On Tuesday, a county announcement said that, by law, the landfill is required to comply with strict litter control requirements and that the early closures were necessary to take measures to avoid potential state Department of Health citations and/or fines.

The landfill area is generally a pretty windy area. Antone said that the department is looking for ways to prevent future early closures.

“No way that this can continue,” he said. “Environmental management is working on a permanent solution. Something needs to be figured out.”