Council sets timetable for full curbside recycling
The mayor gets two years to include most types of recyclables
>> State of the City: Council hopes mayor addresses solid waste
The City Council demanded curbside recycling of more types of items than green waste in a year but gave Mayor Mufi Hannemann two years to come up with a full-blown program.
"We seem to be putting it off and putting it off," Jeff Mikulina, director of the Sierra Club's Hawaii Chapter, told the Council yesterday before it passed a bill expanding the curbside recycling program, which kicks off Wednesday.
Here are the deadlines for the city's curbside recycling program:
» By July 1, 2007, the administration must carry out curbside recycling that includes two of the following: glass containers, newspapers, plastic containers, green waste or food waste. The city will automate green-waste curbside pickup starting Wednesday.
» By July 1, 2008, the administration must have a program to pick up four of the five types of waste.
Hannemann's administration had opposed the bill, but city Environmental Services Director Eric Takamura said yesterday that the changes giving more time to fully implement curbside recycling made the bill "more workable."
Council Public Works Chairman Rod Tam also called the measure "a structural and realistic bill."
Bill 72 would work like this:
» By July 1, 2007, the administration must carry out curbside recycling that includes the collection of at least two recyclable materials: glass containers, newspapers, plastic containers, green waste or food waste.
The city will automate green waste curbside pickup starting Wednesday. The mayor will announce details of the program tomorrow.
» The administration then has until July 1, 2008, to pick up four of the five types of waste. This section was added yesterday in an amendment to the bill.
But while everyone agreed that recycling was the way to go, not everyone was happy with the final version of the bill.
"Please, put some teeth into this measure," said Betty Gearen, a Sierra Club member. "We can't afford to wait."
Councilman Charles Djou, who authored the bill, continued to support it even though he originally wanted the program to begin next January.
"We've given the mayor a lot of latitude to do the right thing, and I certainly hope he does," Djou said. "(The bill) has given the administration a much longer leash than I would've given them."
Last fall, Hannemann announced that he was scrapping Mayor Jeremy Harris' plans for a curbside recycling program because legal challenges to recycling processing contracts put the program up in the air.
That decision brought criticism from the environmental community, which supports curbside recycling.
Hannemann later announced that his administration would instead pursue automating the green-waste curbside pickup.
The Hannemann administration said the automated curbside pickup of green waste would allow households to use the 50,000 blue recycling bins that former Mayor Jeremy Harris' administration dropped off at homes in 2004.
Takamura said the administration would start with green waste, but had not yet decided on the next item for pickup.
He said that picking up green waste is more cost-effective than handling other recyclable materials. He also said the administration is already recycling by burning things like newspapers and plastics in the HPOWER garbage-to-energy plant and then selling the electricity.
The mayor has said previously that expanding curbside recycling to include items other than green waste could end up costing more.