Hawaii County Survey Provides Insight on Public Recycling Habits, Perceptions

Living on the Big Island offers many benefits such as diverse climates, rich cultures, and unmatched views.  However, Hawai‘i County as an island with finite space poses major solid waste management and recycling challenges.With the help from the County of Hawai‘i recycling staff, County intern Taylor Reid uncovered some key trends and patterns that could lead to solving the unique recycling and solid waste management problems facing the Big Island.  Reid conducted a survey at the County’s Refuse Transfer Stations, to which 195 people responded.

  • The survey found that the top items recycled on the island were HI-5 containers, cardboard, plastics, and waste paper, where all were being recycled at a rate of roughly 70%.  It found that the least-recycled category was electronic waste at 21%, which can be recycled at various locations listed on our website: www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/e-waste
  • 98% of respondents “agree” or “strongly agree” that recycling is important for Hawai‘i.
  • 91% of respondents “agree” or “strongly agree” that they try and recycle whenever possible.
  • 78% of respondents “agree” or “strongly agree” that recycling should be mandatory for Hawai‘i.
  • The survey also revealed that only 18% of transfer station users have visited www.hawaiizerowaste.org, a website dedicated in answering questions and providing information to the County regarding recycling.

Recycling and promoting sustainability is highly-regarded among all age groups and genders surveyed.

County of Hawai‘i Recycling Coordinator George Hayducsko said: “The Solid Waste Division wanted to see how the community viewed recycling, and whether current programs met the expectations of the individuals using the programs.  Taylor’s data will be useful to us in improving our program in the future.”

For more information visit www.hawaiizerowaste.org , or contact the Recycling Section of the County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management at 808-961-8942

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