Wider range of plastic will be recycled in '07
I have recently returned to Oahu but do not understand the present nondeposit plastic container recycling policy. The recycling bin at a nearby school and the city's opala.org Web site specifically say only plastic milk, juice and soda containers can be deposited. At other places that I have lived, both in Virginia and Japan, recycling is dependent on the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) number on the container. All places accept PET 1 containers (the most useful in recycling), and some places accept PET 2. The milk plastic containers I have looked at are PET 2, while juice containers are PET 1 and most large soda containers are unmarked. There are a large number of other products that are packaged in PET 1 containers, including my dishwashing liquid, pancake syrup, household cleaners, liquid hand soaps, ketchup, soy sauce and cooking oil, just to name a few. But I am throwing them away because the policy appears to be very specific about what is acceptable in the recycling bins. Wouldn't accepting all PET 1 and 2 containers prevent a lot of plastic from going to the landfills and provide more money to the schools sponsoring the recycling bins?
And, next year, the city's community recycling bins will accept all No. 1 and No. 2 plastic bottles, as soon as new service contracts are in place, said Suzanne Jones, the city's recycling coordinator.
The current contracts were signed more than five years ago, when local recycling companies were not open to processing the broader range of plastic bottles, she said.
New service contracts "are in the works," and "we expect all new bins with updated signage to be in place in 2007," Jones said.
Q: On Wednesday, Sept. 20, I ran into a traffic jam around 9:30 p.m. on the H-1 freeway, Koko-Head bound from downtown to just past Punahou Street. Two lanes of the freeway were closed for apparent construction, but I didn't see any construction workers at the time. The next day, I checked the state Department of Transportation's Web site and found no information on the closure. About a month before that, there was a similar closure, between downtown and Kaimuki, again with nothing posted on the Web site. Are these emergency closures? If not, DOT needs to do a better job about getting the word out.
A: On Sept. 20, emergency work was done to fix damaged freeway median barriers as well as to do "other emergency maintenance from a recent accident," DOT spokesman Scott Ishikawa said.
"Our maintenance crews felt it was something that needed to be fixed sooner rather than put off to later, so it would not lead to another accident."
He said he could not say what type of work was done in your earlier reference, without more details.
"Nevertheless, we'll remind our crews to send over (information regarding) any lane closures, even if it is routine maintenance work," he said.
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