Meeting of Kauai Zero Waste movement

21 November 2004 -9:00am

a typical landfill in Hawaii, this in leeward Oahu


We are less than two weeks away from filling our landfill to full capacity.  The message of the worldwide Zero Waste movement - recycle, reuse, compost - is more important than ever on our island.

Tuesday, November 23 at 5:00pm is the next meeting of Zero Waste Kauai at KPAA office. 

Kaua'i Planning & Action Alliance
2959 Umi Street, Suite 201
Lihue, HI  96766
Phone 808.632.2005      Fax 808.632.2018

Below is a list of informational websites.  And please join us on Tuesday!
This is GAIA's website so you can see what our members are doing around the world to stop incineration and promote safe, sustainable and just alternatives.
This is the Grassroots Recycling Network which is a main advocate of Zero Waste in the US and has lots of information on the concept and practice of Zero Waste, including examples of Zero Waste resolutions passed by municipalities and counties all over the US.
T his is the website of a project in a small tourist town in South India which is organizing towards Zero Waste. They are doing some very innovating things to reduce waste in their town. I thought this may interest you as just one example of how a community can declare a Zero Waste goal and work towards it through a variety of education, outreach and projects.

Seems like there’s lots to do as the holiday approaches and I apologize for the delay in getting this out. The agenda and notes of the last meeting are attached.
Also attached are responses to questions about recycling that were posed via email to Allison Fraley, the County’s recycling coordinator.  I really appreciate her careful attention to the questions and the excellent information she provided.  I will also share at the meeting other statistics she sent.

KPAA Recycling Questions
Responses from Allison Fraley, County Recycling Coordinator, November 12, 2004

What is the location of recycling sites and what is collected at each site?
Kauai Recycles Drop bins accept #1 and # 2 Plastic, Glass, Aluminum, Newspaper, Cardboard, and junk mail (including mixed paper, food boxes, magazines, and phone books). Recycling sites are located at the Hanalei Transfer Station, Kojima Store in Kapaa, K-Mart Parking Lot in Lihue, Brenneke's Parking Lot in Poipu, Eleele Shopping Center, Waimea Canyon Park, and the Kekaha Landfill.

The Kauai Resource Center, located near the airport in Lihue, accepts all the residential material listed above, and also accepts computer CPU’s and computer monitors, as well as plastic bags. In addition, the Kauai Resource Center accepts commercially generated material, so that businesses can self-haul large quantities of material to this location free of charge.

In addition, the County Solid Waste Office oversees a variety of recycling efforts.

What percentage of Kauai’s solid waste is recycled?
About 20% at this time. We are currently finalizing a Recycling Rate study that will quantify the amount of material recycled and the amount of material landfilled. Using this information, we will be able to calculate a recycling rate. In Fiscal Year 2002, the recycling rate was 22% and in Fiscal Year 2003, we recycled 20% (see attachments). Although we continue to recycle a lot more consumer recyclables like plastics and paper fibers (see attached chart showing increase in recycling), we are generating more trash overall, which sometimes results in a reduced overall recycling rate.

What products are collected for recycling?

See Recycling Rate sheets for items and quantities. 

For each product recycled, what is its percentage of the total?
Same as above

Where do recycled products go and what is the related cost?
The County contracts out recycling services to professional recyclers, and it is the responsibility of the recycler to market the materials. Most products go to Asian market.

Do any of these products generate revenue for the County?
No. The cost of transporting, handling, processing, and shipping the materials exceeds the value of the products. The County goes out to bid and pays professionals to provide recycling services.

What other products do you think could be recycled cost effectively?
Green waste could be handled through a large-scale municipal composting effort. Construction and Demolition Debris may be able to be recycled cost effectively. There may be an opportunity to recycle some new waste streams such as printer cartridges and old cell phones.

What community education methods are you presently using?  Which have been most successful, in your view?
News ads, radio ads, weekly radio interviews, production and distribution of the Kauai Recycling Guide, phone book listing, recycling hotline, education booths at special events, presentations at trade associations and community events, County website, public and school tours of the Kauai Resource Center, PSA’s, and local television (Russell the Rooster). All these efforts in combination have been extremely effective; radio ads seem to be getting a very good response.

Are there particular problems with how people recycle or with what they put in the bins?
We’ve had various problems with contamination, see attached radio script detailing problems.

What companies or organizations presently collect recyclables?
Island Recycling
Garden Isle Disposal
Recycle Kauai / JC Sandblasting
Kauai Community Recycling Services
Kauai Recycling for the Arts
Habitat for Humanities (reusable building materials)
Kauai Nursery and Landscape (green waste, cardboard, sometimes drywall)
Uniteck (tires)
Abe’s Auto (operator of Puhi Metals Recycling Facility)
Daleco (batteries)

Other than Kauai Recycling for the Arts, are there other companies or organizations that primarily use recycled products (e.g., to create new products)?
JC Sandblasting reuses crushed glass for various purposes like backfilling, mud abatement, for sandblasting, water filtration, landscaping, etc. Garden Isle Disposal also makes used crushed glass available for such purposes, as well as construction projects. Kauai Nursery and Landscape uses greenwaste to produce a compost product.

Do we know the economic impact (income, number of jobs, etc.) of these companies or organizations?
Please contact individual companies for this information.

Are there particular businesses, schools or organizations that you know of that are doing a great job of recycling and/or reducing their solid waste?
There are many businesses and schools that have contacted me over the last four years seeking advice to implement or improve their recycling programs. The agencies that stand out as strong recyclers are listed below, but there are many more businesses that are dedicated to recycling and have programs in place.

Strong Recyclers are:

The County of Kauai
State of Hawaii
Pacific Missile Range Facility
Kauai Community Credit Union
Unlimited Construction
the Hyatt Resort
the Marriott Resort
the Sheraton Resort
the Radisson Resort
Puhio Resorts
Hanalei Bay Colony Resorts
Ace Hardware
Keoki’s Restaurant
Kauai Publishing
Papaya’s Natural Foods
Winward Foods
Hoike Television
KONG Radio
Dr. Lee’s Dental Office
Kauai Sea Tours
Kapaa Laundry
Wilcox Hospital
101 Things to do on Kauai
Aloha Island Properties
Kauai Tropicals
Lihue Court Townhomes
Kalapaki Villas
Wailua Bay View Condos
St. Katherine’s School
Island School
Kapaa Middle School


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