Kalaupapa Sustainability Program
The priorities of Kalaupapa National Historical Park are first and foremost protection of the historic artifacts that have been left here over time as the peninsula has changed, and also preservation of the pristine ecology of the park through efforts in native species propagation and control of invasive plants and animals. With these goals in mind Kalaupapa National Historical Park has developed an intensive sustainability program.
In the past waste produced in Kalaupapa in the past has been dumped into an onsite landfill. This practice prevailed until as recently as June 2010 when the landfill closed, but since then all waste must be flown off the peninsula or shipped out by the annual barge removed from the peninsula by ulterior means. The National Park Service, in expectation of this situation, established the Kalaupapa recycling and compost program. The program has been running for the past three years and has improved greatly since its inception to a point where all residents and workers in Kalaupapa are involved.
Recyclables in Kalaupapa are collected and shipped to Oahu. The recyclables are then reclaimed and established as new products. Compost is also collected and biodegraded into a nutrient rich fertilizer. The remaining non recyclable products are collected and shipped to a landfill on Molokai through an air freight service.
Besides the recycling program, the Kalaupapa sustainability program has other projects that have been established in the past and some that are still in development.
One such project is a community organic garden. Kalaupapa is provided with a shipment of produce once a week, this shipment is not nearly enough to provide for the needs of the workers and the patients. By establishing a garden where workers and patients can grow fresh produce, the problems with produce shortages will diminish.
Postal waste Reduction
Another ongoing project is the reduction of waste related parcel service in Kalaupapa. The goals of this project are to: remove residents in Kalaupapa from unwanted mailing lists, to promote the recycling of junk mail, recycle packaging materials and provide the to provide the materials to change address if such a service is needed.
The Kalaupapa environmental newsletter is has been a way of informing the Kalaupapa residents of changes in the recycling system, different conservation projects such as beach clean up days and other ways they can contribute to the protection of the land. The first five environmental newsletters were written by the second sustainability intern that Kalaupapa National Historical Park hosted, Valerie Vogan. Recent newsletters were written by Simon Anderson.
Did You Know?
The Kalaupapa peninsula and nearby valleys are extremely rich in archeological resources. Most of the sites are intact and very well preserved due to the lack of development as seen on other neighboring islands.