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Who Took Pahoa’s Trash Cans?

I noticed the other day that trash was beginning to pile up in Pahoa around different spots of town.

Pahoa Town

Pahoa Town

Today as I was driving around… I noticed that the public garbage cans that were around town had been removed.

I asked Pahoa Businesswoman and County Council Candidate Madie Greene what happened to them and she said that the contract for the people who were taking care of them had expired.

Greene said that the garbage cans should be back this week with a new contract in place but she wasn’t sure which company is contracted for the services as of yet.

Also if you haven’t heard, Business Services Hawaii has now set up a recycling redemption center right across from the Pahoa Post Office.

Change in Hours for HI-5 Redemption Centers at County Transfer Stations

Effective Monday, July 15, hours of operation at four HI-5 certified beverage container redemption centers at Hawai’i County recycling and transfer stations will change following a reduction in funding for the program by the state Department of Health.

The Pahoa Transfer Station will not be effected by these changes

The Pahoa Transfer Station will not be effected by these changes

The following redemption centers will have new hours:

  • Hilo: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Waimea: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Kealakehe: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Keauhou: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Certified redemption center hours at all other recycling and transfer stations will remain the same. Please note, all certified redemption centers are closed for lunch from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Department of Environmental Management thanks the public for your cooperation and understanding as we work with our contractor to make the HI-5 program as convenient as possible.

For more information or copies of the new schedule, please visit hawaiizerowaste.org or contact Chris Thayer at (808) 323-4412 or cthayer@hawaiicounty.gov.

West Hawai‘i Civic Center Approaches Zero Waste

Hawaii County’s path to Zero Waste just got a little shorter.

A recent recycling audit of the West Hawai`i Civic Center (WHCC), home to offices for 11 County agencies, found it to be almost completely a Zero Waste facility.

The audit, conducted in October, established that 98 percent of the waste generated at the facility by County employees is being recycled or reused instead of being thrown into our landfills. The diversion rate for the entire facility, including public-generated waste, is 90 percent.

Zero Waste is a way of life, demonstrated by the ancient Hawaiians, that promotes the goal of reducing the amount of material we throw away.  Instead, it reincorporates materials of one system for use for another system. In this way, we greatly reduce our impact on Hawai’i Island’s natural environment and how much rubbish we generate, protect Hawai’i Island’s natural environment, preserve our resources for future generations, and save our community tax dollars.

“This is a tremendous achievement for the County and for our island.  Only with the support of all of the staff at the Civic Center , we successfully demonstrated that zero waste is possible,” said Angela Kang, West Hawaii Recycling Specialist for the County who conducted the audit of waste generated at the Civic Center.

When opened in January 2011, the WHCC implemented its Zero Waste Program, diverting nearly all of its solid waste from the landfill with its “Blue Bin” mixed recycling bins to divert paper, plastics and metals. Employees also use on-site composting bins to divert food scraps and green waste. HI-5 and office equipment collections take care of e-waste, batteries, ink/toner cartridges and other recyclable materials.

Kang has worked closely with County workers on new and different ways to reduce, recycle and reuse the rubbish they produce and was pleased with how excited and committed they were to making the program a success.

“The County of Hawai`i , Zero Waste Program gives us the opportunity to take the lead in eliminating much of our daily trash. By separating items to be recycled, we can take the lead by protecting our fragile environment on the Island of Hawaii and the State,” said Len Losalio, Liquor Investigator with the Department of Liquor Control with the West Hawai`i Enforcement Division.

The 80,000-square foot Civic Center is located on seven acres in the Villages of La`i`opua in Kealakehe.  As a part of the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certification currently under review by the US Green Building Council, buildings are designed to control temperature and lighting with systems to reduce heat gain and energy consumption throughout the complex. A highlight of the LEED certification is the 250 kW photovoltaic system atop the center’s parking.  This system is the first phase of the goal to achieve Net Zero Energy and Zero Carbon Emissions.  This photovoltaic system, first of its kind for government facilities in the State of Hawai ‘i provides 100% solar energy by harnessing the power of the sun, saving the County $46,000 dollars a year in electricity cost.  Other features include water-efficient landscaping, use of recycled and certified wood products, a construction waste management plan to divert waste away from landfills, bicycle parking and electric vehicle charging stations for future use.

The Hawai`i County Council adopted the principles of Zero Waste as a long-term goal in December 2008.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi has committed the County to making the WHCC Zero Waste program a model for expansion to County facilities island-wide.For more information on this program or any County recycling programs and services, please visit the County’s Solid Waste Division website at www.hawaiizerowaste.org.

Participation in HI-5 Recycling Program Remains Strong – No Container Fee Increase

People in Hawai‘i recycled more than 686 million containers from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, or about 76 percent of all beverage containers sold, according to the “HI-5” recycling program administered by the Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH).

Last year, from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010, the recycling rate was also 76 percent. The highest annual rate was 79 percent from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009. Under the “HI-5” program, consumers pay 6 cents on each beverage container purchased: a 5-cent deposit to be returned to the consumer when the container is recycled and a non-refundable 1-cent container fee to cover the cost of recycling the glass, plastic or aluminum.

“The HI-5 program continues to be a great success. The five-cent redemption helps reduce litter at our parks and beaches and has kept billions of bottles and cans out of our garbage,” said Gary Gill, DOH Deputy Director of Environmental Health.

DOH has also determined that there will be no increase in the 1-cent fee charged on each recyclable beverage container for the next 12 months. State law requires that the program determine the annual redemption rate by the first of August each year. State law requires the per-container fee to increase from 1 cent to 1.5 cents if the statewide redemption rate exceeds 70%, unless the director of health, in consultation with the state auditor, determines that a fee increase is not needed. The fund balance in the Deposit Beverage Container Special Fund is projected to remain adequate to support Hawaii’s “HI-5” recycling program for another year.

“We will always seek ways to cut administration costs before choosing to implement container fee increases,” said Deputy Director Gill. “To continue to increase Hawaii’s excellent recycling rate, we must ensure that the program is adequately funded.”

Since the inception of the “HI-5” program in 2005, a total of over 4 billion containers have been recycled. During that time, people in Hawaii have recycled an average of over 3,075 containers per person. The Deposit Beverage Container Special Fund built up a cash reserve during the early years of the program when fewer containers were redeemed for the 5-cent deposit. As redemption rates have risen, the cash reserves have declined.

For more information on the State’s Deposit Beverage Container Program visit www.hi5deposit.com.

Why Can’t the County of Hawaii Have Roadside Pick Up of Garbage?

The Big Island does not have curbside pick up of garbage and we have been having a major problem with illegal dumping going on.

As the Big Island grows, I would think we would start thinking more about having the county provide garbage pick up in at least some parts of the county.  A truck could drive by an area once a week and pick up bags by residences that don’t have the means to take their opala to the transfer stations.

Kauai has it (http://www.kauai.gov/Government/Departments/PublicWorks/SolidWaste/RefuseCollection/AutomatedRefuseCollection/tabid/359/Default.aspx)

Kauai County Website

Maui has it (http://www.co.maui.hi.us/index.aspx?NID=763)

Maui County website

And of course Oahu has it (http://www.opala.org/solid_waste/curbside.htm)

Oahu County website

So my question… why can’t the Big Island have it provided by the County?

New Hours at County HI-5 Redemption Centers

The County of Hawai`i’s HI5 Redemption Centers will be temporarily changing the hours of operation as they transition to a new contractor.  The Arc of Hilo will continue to operate the redemption centers during this transition period. The change in hours will be effective beginning January 1 through March 31, 2011.

HI5 Redemption Sites          Days                 Hours of Operation

Hāwī Transfer Station            Saturday ONLY                  8:30am – 3:30pm

Hilo Transfer Station              Mon/ Tues/ Thur/ Fri/ Sat  8am – 4:30pm

Honoka‘a Transfer Station     Saturday & Sunday           8:30am – 1:30pm

Kea`au Transfer Station        Mon/ Wed/ Fri/ Sat/ Sun   8:30am – 3:30pm

Kealakehe Transfer Station   Mon/ Wed/ Fri/ Sat/ Sun   8am – 4:30pm

Keauhou  Transfer Station     Saturday & Sunday          8:30am – 3:30pm

Pāhoa Transfer Station          Sunday ONLY                   8:30am – 3:30pm

Puakō Transfer Station          Sunday ONLY                   8:30am – 3:30pm

Waimea Transfer Station       Sat/Sun/Wed                   8am – 4:30pm

Wai‘ōhinu Transfer Station    Saturday & Sunday          8:30am – 3:30pm

**Redemption Centers closed daily from 1:00-1:30pm for lunch (except Honoka‘a).**

Other HI5 Redemption Centers on Hawai`i Island are available through:

  • Atlas Recycling, call 935-9328
  • Reynolds Recycling, call 347-0837

We thank you for your patience during the transition.  Please call our Recycling Specialists at 961-8549 for information about the HI5 program or visit: www.hi5deposit.com or www.hawaiizerowaste.org

Happy New Year!  Please remember to drink responsibly and to redeem and recycle all your bottles and cans.