Recycling plan for public spots in the works
I have been seeing a lot of ads urging Hawaii residents to redeem their HI-5 bottles and cans. However, I also notice that many redeemable containers end up in the regular trash because there are no separate recycling receptacles in public places downtown, and few in private businesses, as well. Does the state have any plans to provide separate receptacles to support recycling in public places, especially areas with lots of takeout restaurants and convenience stores, like downtown and Waikiki?
Answer: The state Department of Health and the City and County of Honolulu are working together to begin a demonstration project to place recycling bins in public places, said Jennifer Tosaki, the state's recycling coordinator.
Exactly where and when the bins will be located have yet to be determined, but it will be at least two years before the project is expected to be launched, she said.
It's a matter of working out logistics -- the state purchasing the bins and the city placing them in public places: "There are procurement issues in the state and servicing issues in the city and county side," Tosaki said.
But for now, there's nothing stopping businesses from setting up recycling bins on their own.
In fact, the Department of Health will pass out recycling stickers for offices, buildings, classrooms, etc., at the city's Discover Recycling Fair at the Blaisdell Arena in September.
"Any trash can can be converted into a recycling bin," Tosaki said. "All you have to do is put the sticker on."
Businesses seeking information can contact Tosaki at 586-4226.
"It makes sense to place recycling bins in high-traffic areas, like restaurants and convenience stores, and we encourage those businesses to do so," Tosaki said.
Q: I'm donating old cell phones with batteries to benefit Special Olympics Hawaii, but they do not want the cell phone chargers. Is there another nonprofit organization that will accept the phone chargers?
A: Check the city's opala.org Web site -- envhonolulu.org/solid_waste/archive/cell_ phone_recycling.htm -- for a list of organizations that recycle cell phones.
Many provide prepaid mailing labels for shipping, said Suzanne Jones, the city's recycling coordinator.
"Cell phone chargers should be returned with the cell phones to the vendors or to the various collection organizations," she said.
Q: Do you know of any organization that recycles hangers of any kind -- plastic, metal, etc.?
A: Check with your neighborhood dry cleaner.
Young Laundry & Dry Cleaning and Caesars Cleaners recycle metal hangers and will accept them from the general public. If readers know of any other source, please call 529-4747.
Meanwhile, metal hangers tossed into the trash will be recycled at the city's HPOWER plant.
"HPOWER extracts virtually 100 percent of the ferrous and nonferrous metals using magnets," Jones said.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers