KILAUEA — In the latest step toward reducing solid waste and lessening the burden on the island’s landfill, Kaua‘i’s eighth HI-5 bottle redemption center is set to open today in Kilauea, according to county officials.
Operated by Kauai Community Recycling Services, the newest redemption center is located at Malama Kaua‘i, a Kilauea-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to “advocate, educate and drive action towards a sustainable Kaua‘i,” according to its Web site.
“Recycling is a main component of zero waste and it’s one of the favorable components of the county’s solid waste plan,” Malama Kaua‘i Executive Director Keone Kealoha said yesterday. “(The program) is raising awareness of recycling and showing that it’s important. Respect our ‘aina, don’t bury your garbage in it.”
Kealoha said he hoped the facility would serve as a stepping stone to a materials recovery facility and curbside recycling program.
“I think having greater access to recycling is always a step in the right direction. Ultimately, we’d like to see curbside recycling because it’s the most convenient for people and will have the highest rate of diversion from the landfill,” he said. “It’s easy to do the right thing when it’s easy to do the right thing.”
Mayoral candidate Bernard Carvalho said the new facility is an important step.
“I want to extend a mahalo to Malama Kaua‘i for making it easier for Kilauea residents to recycle,” he said yesterday. “Community partnerships are very important and I want to make sure that we get recycling done as soon as possible. We need to continue these efforts as well as work toward curbside recycling.”
A message seeking comment from Carvalho’s opponent, mayoral candidate JoAnn Yukimura, was not returned by press time.
To get to the center, turn mauka off Kuhio Highway, between mile marker 23 and the Shell Station, onto Ku‘awa Road, noted by a Malama Kaua‘i sign. Continue about 1 mile, and at the aloha hedge go straight through the gate to the former Guava Kai Plantation visitor center.
Only clean and empty beverage containers with the HI-5 label will be accepted. Containers should be pre-sorted by material — aluminum, glass and plastic — before they are brought to the center and all caps should be removed.
The new North Shore site will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with no break in services during lunch time, a press release says.
In order to allow time to process loads, customers are urged to arrive at the redemption center at least 30 minutes before closing.
The Kilauea center is the eighth certified HI-5 redemption center to open on Kaua‘i. The others are located in Hanalei, Kapahi, Kekaha, Koloa, Lihu‘e, Lawa‘i and Nawiliwili.
Each year, more than 930 million beverage containers are sold statewide, according to the state Department of Health’s Web site. As an incentive to recycle, the Hawai‘i Deposit Beverage Container Program places on each beverage container a 5-cent redeemable deposit that consumers get back when they return their containers at a redemption center.
The DOH announced in August the annual redemption rate for the state’s beverage container recycling was 72 percent in the fiscal year ending June 30. The rate represents more than 680 million containers recycled and marks a 4 percent increase over the previous year.
Customers may request a hand count if they have 200 beverage containers or less. If loads are more than 200, materials will be weighed, except at sites with reverse vending machines.
Weighed materials will be paid at the following state-regulated rates:
• Aluminum: 31.6 units per pound = $1.58 per pound
• Plastic (mixed sizes): 17.5 units per pound = $.875 per pound
• Plastic (17 ounces or less, sorted): 22.7 units per pound = $1.135 per pound
• Glass: 2.3 units per pound = $.115 per pound
For more information, visit http://www.kauai.gov/recycling">www.kauai.gov/recycling or call the County Recycling Office at 241-5120.
• Michael Levine, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org