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MAYOR HANNEMANN ANNOUNCES EARTH MONTH INITIATIVES, MAJOR EXPANSION OF CURBSIDE RECYCLING

 

Mayor Mufi Hannemann today announced that the City’s highly successful curbside residential recycling program will expand in November to 40,000 more homes on the North Shore and in Windward and Honolulu neighborhoods. Full details will be presented to residents at a series of community meetings this month.

 

The City will further expand the important recycling service island-wide by May of 2010, Mayor Hannemann announced at a news conference in which he unveiled a wide range of environmental initiatives and the City’s plans to commemorate Earth Month.

 

He also announced that the City will soon purchase the H-Power garbage-to-energy facility for $43.8 million, subject to City Council approval. The important agreement will give the City full control of its solid waste stream and facilitate further diversion of waste from the island’s landfill.

 

In making the announcements, Mayor Hannemann unveiled an updated City Sustainability Plan, prepared by the Mayor’s Energy and Sustainability Task Force. The plan is the second edition of a comprehensive sustainability blueprint for city operations first issued last year.

 

“Since early 2005, when I signed the Mayors’ Climate Protection Plan, we have been on a steady path toward making city operations more energy efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Mayor Hannemann. “This Sustainability Plan is not just sitting on a shelf collecting dust. We are very serious about sustainability, and very serious about protecting our environment.”

 

The plan, at http://www.co.honolulu.hi.us/mayor/ahupuaa/mayorenergysustain_v11.pdf features several exciting new projects, including a Makiki Sustainability Center, where environmentally friendly building strategies such as green roofing and photovoltaic energy generation will be showcased at the recently renovated Makiki District Park Library building.

 

Another project involves the 21st Century Ahupuaa Youth Ambassador group comprised of area high school students who serve as an informal advisory group to the Mayor on environmental issues.

 

The Mayor also reaffirmed the city’s continuing sponsorship of the recent Earth Hour event, observed in cities across the planet on March 29. Thousands of Oahu residents turned off their lights, electronic devices and nonessential equipment between 8 and 9 p.m. as a gesture to raise awareness about energy conservation, the need to end dependency on fossil fuels, and the threat of global climate change.

 

“Turning your lights off for an hour caught on worldwide,” said Mayor Hannemann. “That tells me that there are a lot of people out there who care and want to make a statement about their concern for the environment, including many here in Honolulu.” 

 

Hawaiian Electric Co. representatives noted a short 11 megawatt dip in the island’s electrical demand at the onset of this year’s Earth Hour.

 

The City’s expansion of curbside pick-up of mixed recyclables follows the successful operations of curbside recycling pilot projects in Mililani and Hawaii Kai, launched in October.

Mayor Hannemann said the program will expand this November to the North Shore, from Mokuleia to Sunset Beach; in the Windward communities of Kailua and Lanikai; and in East Oahu from Kuliouou to Kapahulu and Manoa.

 

In May of 2009, the program will expand from Waipio Gentry to Halawa; in Wahiawa, Whitmore, Waipio Estates and Launani Valley; in Kaneohe; and in Waimanalo.

 

In November of 2009, further expansion will include the areas from Foster Village to Makiki; and from Kahuku to Kahaluu.

 

Finally, in May 2010, curbside recycling will expand to Makakilo, Waikele and Waipahu; Ewa Beach to West Loch; and Honokai Hale to Makua on the Leeward Coast.

 

The City is also greatly expanding its Community Recycling Bin program which places receptacles on school campuses. The program will soon include 145 brand new bins at 120 sites throughout the island. Community recycling bins are used by schools for recyclable containers and paper generated on their campuses and in their classrooms, by single-family households and apartments and condominiums in the surrounding residential communities, and by small businesses.

 

Mayor Hannemann also announced the addition of new public recycling receptacles at City parks and facilities. A set of 125 public recycling receptacles, designed specifically for the collection of HI-5 deposit beverage containers, have been ordered and are due to arrive at the end of this month. Initially, these receptacles will be placed in the largest City parks, including Ala Moana, Kapiolani, Central Oahu Regional Park, Waipio Soccer Park and all district parks. Eventually, the City will expand the distribution of these receptacles to other parks, including all community parks, Mayor Hannemann said.

 

Mayor Hannemann also announced the City will soon purchase the H-Power garbage-to-energy facility in Campbell Industrial Park, which disposes of more than 600,000 tons of trash every year while producing enough electricity to power 45,000 homes.

 

The City’s agreement to purchase the H-Power facility from the Bank of America and Ford Credit for $43.8 million is a considerably savings from higher earlier cost estimates. The purchase will take place on October 30, pending City Council approval.

 

H-Power has disposed of more than 11 million tons of waste over the past 18 years, offset 480 million gallons of fuel oil that would have been burned to generate electricity, and helped prevent 11 million tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere.

 

Purchasing the facility will allow the City to fully control the flow of its solid waste. This will enable the City to proceed with plans to ship an estimated 100,000 tons of waste to a mainland facility each year, without jeopardizing the revenue stream produced by H-Power.

 

The City intends to soon expand H-Power’s capabilities by adding a third boiler, which will allow the facility to dispose of thousands of additional tons of trash. This modification, along with expanded household recycling, will greatly reduce the amount of opala that’s sent to the island’s landfill.

 

City ownership of the facility allows tax-exempt financing of the third boiler and air pollution control improvements.

 

This month, the city will conduct a series of community meetings focused on the expansion of curbside recycling and the City’s rail transit project. The meetings will be held on:

 

·       Wednesday, April 9, 6:30 p.m., at the Pali Golf Course clubhouse,

       45-050 Kamehameha Highway;

 

·       Monday, April 14, 6:30 p.m., at the Kalani High School cafeteria,

      4680 Kalanianaole Highway;

 

·       Monday, April 28, 6:30 p.m., at Haleiwa Elementary School,

      66-505 Haleiwa Road.

 

Mayor Hannemann noted that mass transit is tremendously important for environmental protection by decreasing carbon emissions and reliance on automobiles and fossil fuels, as well as providing alternatives to traffic gridlock. The planned rail system is to run from Kapolei to Ala Moana, with spurs to Manoa and Waikiki. Construction is expected to begin next year.

 

Mayor Hannemann also announced plans for the City’s fourth annual Discover Recycling fair, to be held on September 25 through the 27th at the Blaisdell Arena.

 

The fair is Hawaii’s largest recycling education event, and is designed for youth, teachers and families, including school field trips and youth organizations. The popular event will include more than 35 educational booths, recycled art activities, stage performances, music, games, goody bags, and the “Trash to Fashion Show.” For more information about Discover Recycling fair and other ways to participate in recycling, visit www.opala.org.

 

Contact: Bill Brennan, 527-6928.

Monday, April 07, 2008

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