Some residents support wider curbside recycling
Blue bins handed out two years ago will be for green waste only
Kailua residents say they're pleased that the blue bins they've had in their garages for two years can be used for green waste recycling starting Wednesday.
But they still think the city should do curbside pickup of newspapers, glass and plastics that aren't redeemable for the state's HI-5 recycling program, several said yesterday afternoon.
"I thought curbside recycling was a good idea," Jimmy Tateishi said yesterday while washing his car in his driveway, a few feet from the blue bin he received when Mayor Jeremy Harris was attempting to start that service before he left office.
Tateishi said he'd be happy to see city fund curbside service -- something that Mayor Mufi Hannemann said he won't do unless Oahu residents insist on it because of the expense.
Hannemann estimates it would cost the city $4.5 million or about $300 per home to provide curbside recycling pickup for the 150,000 single-family homes that receive city trash pickup. That for a service that people think should be "free," Hannemann told reporters at a Kailua news conference to plug the city's new "greencycling" program.
But Tateishi said that price would be worth it.
So does Thomas Clarke of Enchanted Lake, though he doesn't want to be individually billed for the service. "Take it out of the increased taxes I'm paying," he said yesterday near the Kailua Post Office.
But for now, to use the blue bins to pick up yard clippings is "what makes economic sense and environmental sense," Hannemann said. Since he took office in January 2005, the state's HI-5 redemption program for beverage containers has been "very successful," the mayor said.
City estimates show that curbside pickup of papers, glass and plastics would keep only 20,000 tons per year of trash from going to the landfill, Hannemann said.
In contrast, his greencycling program could move as much as 125,000 tons a year of green waste that currently goes to the landfill into a "closed loop" of recycling that creates mulch and compost.
The same type of trucks that pick up refuse in 96-gallon bins will be used for the green waste recycling, City Environmental Services Director Eric Takamura said. Five trucks will be used exclusively for the green waste, he said.
Hannemann also announced yesterday that regular, once-a-month bulky item pickup, which he calls "Opala Nui," would be extended from Halawa to Makakilo and Kapolei in March and to the remainder of Oahu by July.
Before Hannemann took office, that service was offered only to residences from Ft. Weaver to Hawaii Kai. Other areas, including Hannemann's Aiea neighborhood, had to request bulky-item pickup -- and often wait weeks to get unsightly appliances or furniture hauled away, he said.
"We hope this will help illegal dumping and bring about fairness and equity," Hannemann said.
HOW TO GREENCYCLE
Oahu residents who have blue bins can expect twice-a-month pickup of green waste in the blue bins they were given two years ago to start in March.
Flyers explaining the program were mailed to affected households last week and information about the pickup schedule is available at www.opala.org.
More greencycling information can be obtained by calling 692-5410.
Questions about the city's bulky-item pickup schedule, which is expanding to new areas in March, can be directed to 692-5656.
» Fill the blue bin with loose yard waste, without bags, ties or other trash in it.
» If you need more room, put loose yard waste into your regular trash bin. That's why the green-waste pickups are being moved to the next working day after trash pickup.
» If you still have more green waste, it can be bundled or bagged and set beside the bins. Twine is preferred over wire for bundling.