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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          February 25, 2006

Release No. M-16-06

 

 

NEW ‘GREENCYCLING’ AUTOMATED GREEN WASTE COLLECTION

WILL PUT 50,000 BLUE BINS TO USE BEGINNING ON MARCH 1

 

            Mayor Mufi Hannemann today announced the City will begin “greencycling” –  automated curbside green waste collection – in Central Oahu, North Shore and Windward Oahu next week, using the blue recycling bins that the City distributed two years ago.

            The new, twice-a-month greencycling program begins on Wednesday, March 1, in Kaaawa and portions of Waimanalo, Hauula and Mililani Mauka.

            “Residents of every home with a blue bin should place their lawn trimmings, leaves and branches in the bin and place that bin at the curb on the assigned days,” said Hannemann. “This program will make use of the 50,000 blue bins and, more importantly, will help us reduce the amount of waste going into our landfill.”

            No plastic bags, wire ties or any other non-organic material should be placed in the bin with green waste.

            The green waste will go to a commercial contractor, Hawaiian Earth Products, which will turn it into mulch that will be made available to the public for free and into compost that will be sold at garden shops.

            Greencycling collection will be scheduled twice a month, on days immediately after regular refuse collection days. Informational brochures and maps detailing the service schedule have been mailed to homes in the affected areas. The trucks that perform regular refuse collection – gray bins – will be used for greencycling.

            If your blue bin isn’t large enough for all of your green waste, you can use your gray bin to recycle green waste, too. Just make sure it contains only green waste. Place it on the curb along with the blue bin, keeping them at least three feet apart so the collection truck’s arms have room to maneuver.  If the two bins aren’t enough, you can leave bagged green waste at the curb next to the carts. The collection truck drivers will make note of the excess and a special pickup truck will come by to pick it up within a few days. You can also purchase more bins from the City. For more information, call the City Recycling Office at 692-5410 or visit the City Refuse Division’s website, www.opala.org

            For other areas of Oahu, the City will continue curbside collection of bagged or bundled green waste according to the already-established schedules.

            Oahu generates 200,000 tons of green waste a year, and right now we’re only recycling one-third of that, about 75,000 tons,” said Eric Takamura, director of the Department of Environmental Services. “The remaining 125,000 tons goes to the H-POWER waste-to-energy plant or directly to the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill. We’re hoping the greencycling program will divert 60,000 of those tons in the first two years. When the program matures, we hope to be recycling an additional 90,000 tons of green waste a year.”

            Automated green waste collection will eventually be expanded to other areas of Oahu. Homes there will receive green bins. 

            “For now, we’re starting with the blue bins. We thank all of you who have them for your patience,” said Hannemann. “The previous administration committed the City to spend $2.5 million on those bins before they drew up a feasible plan for using them. Then, after costs of storing the bins became an embarrassment, they simply delivered them to homes from Waimanalo, up the Windward Coast to the North Shore and Wahiawa and Mililani.”          

            “While some people continue to push for curbside collection of so-called ‘mixed recyclables’ like cans, bottles and newspapers, the Beck report, which was commissioned by the Harris administration to assess the Mililani pilot project, recommended that the City concentrate instead on recycling green waste instead, simply because it generated so much more waste,” the mayor said.

            “The success of greencycling depends on individual participation, and we’re asking for everyone’s kokua because it’s the right thing to do to protect our environment,” said Hannemann. “Every load of green waste that goes into a blue bin for recycling is that much less that will wind up in the landfill, either directly or as ash from H-POWER.”

           

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Contact:

           

            Bill Brennan, 527-6928

            Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767

           

           

Monday, February 27, 2006

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