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                               CITY PHASING OUT OLD DROP-OFF RECYCLING PROGRAM

 

(Fri., April 27, 2012)—The City will be placing signs on community recycling bins around Oahu this weekend to notify the public that the Department of Environmental Services (ENV) is ending its white community bins program and renewing efforts to expand curbside and condo recycling.

 

                     The program will end June 30, 2012, and many of the drop-off bins will be removed starting June 15. The schools hosting these bins were notified of the impending change in February.

 

         Rolloffs Hawaii, which provides trash service to most of the island’s public schools, is launching a pilot school recycling program with plans to expand quickly. In addition, Honolulu Disposal Service, the former City contractor for the community recycling bins, plans to maintain the recycling bins at approximately 50 locations.

 

ENV’s community recycling bin program was the mainstay for residential recycling, growing from 20 sites in 1990 to 100 locations today. Over the years, the program helped strengthen community support for recycling and educating our youth. However, with decreased public use, the once cost-efficient system is no longer viable. By closing the program, the City will save about $1.5 million annually and refocus resources to further develop more convenient recycling options for Oahu residents.

 

The convenience of curbside recycling diverted more than 70 percent of the recyclables from the old drop-off bins. Currently, approximately 160,000 homes have curbside recycling with blue and green carts, capturing 20,000 tons of mixed recyclables and more than 50,000 tons of green waste annually.

 

Recent data indicates that 97 percent of households are participating at some level, with more than two-thirds putting 75-100 percent of their recyclables in the blue cart. This year, the City will begin expanding curbside recycling to the remaining 20,000 homes on refuse-only manual collection service, starting with rural North Shore communities in Haleiwa and Sunset Beach.

 

Condominium and apartment building residents are able to recycle conveniently as well. Collectors and haulers offer no-cost pickup for valuable recyclable materials – glass, plastic, metal, newspaper and cardboard. The City also offers to reimburse condominium associations and apartment owners for startup costs associated with recycling equipment and tenant education.

 

 Schools committed to developing sustainable school campuses – collecting and recycling paper, plastic, glass and metal from campus facilities – are moving forward to establish collection service with independent recycling companies such as Rolloffs Hawaii and Honolulu Disposal Service.

 

As the drop-off program closes in many areas and new recycling initiatives move forward, there may be some disruption for residents who were accustomed to taking their recyclables to these bins. More information about recycling services and programs can be found at www.opala.org or by calling ENV’s Recycling Branch at 768-3200.


 

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Contact:  Markus Owens, ENV Public Communications Officer, 768-3454