STAR-BULLETIN / SEPT. 5, 2007
Mayor Mufi Hannemann stands by examples of the containers for the curbside recycling pilot program.
Collections go color-coded
Starting tomorrow, city employees dressed in bright yellow T-shirts will peek into trash cans with flashlights before the sun rises over Mililani and Hawaii Kai.
For those who throw trash into their new recyclables bin, they'll get an "Opalagies" tag, telling them to correct their mistake, as the city kicks off its curbside recycling pilot project tomorrow.
"We're excited about it," said Suzanne Jones , the city's recycling coordinator. "It's a dirty job. But we have to be very watchful that people don't use their recycling bins as garbage cans. That's where it would indeed jeopardize the recycling program."
If the yellow-shirted employees find recyclable bins with a substantial amount of trash inside, Jones said, they'll push the bins off the curb so they aren't picked up.
This is a part of a $1.5 million yearlong pilot program announced earlier this year for Mililani and Hawaii Kai residents as the city plans to eventually extend the service islandwide.
Residents of these 20,000 households will get a recyclables pickup on the second day of their scheduled weekly trash collections alternating every week between mixed items and green waste.
Mililani residents with their normal trash pickups on Thursdays will be the first in this pilot project to have their mixed recyclables in their blue bins collected tomorrow.
"It really helped that we had the pilot program before so people will know what to expect," said Dean Hazama , chairman of the neighborhood board for Mililani, where residents participated in a 2003 curbside recycling pilot project. "I think this will be successful. Most of the people pretty much recycle already so I don't think it'll involve a radical change in their habits."
To get people to change their ways and encourage more recycling, the city will be cutting the free weekly second trash pickup for Mililani and Hawaii Kai residents beginning in the week of Jan. 7.
Mililani residents can pay an optional $30-a-quarter fee, pending City Council approval expected next month, but Hawaii Kai residents won't have that choice.
"We want to encourage people to get into the groove already," Jones said. "Don't wait for the week of Jan. 7 to stop using that second refuse system."
The city's opala team will also monitor the trucks as they unload the recyclables and will report back to routes that don't sort properly.
RRR Recycling Hawaii, a division of Rolloffs Hawaii, is in charge of sorting the mixed recyclables at a facility in Campbell Industrial Park before shipping the items off to the mainland or to China. The green waste will stay in Hawaii.
Hues for refuse bins
» BLUE BIN for mixed recyclables: newspaper; corrugated cardboard; glass bottles and jars; aluminum cans; plastic bottles and jugs with the No. 1 and 2 codes. Don't include: other paper, magazines or telephone books; cereal or tissue boxes; other glass, such as drinking glasses, ceramics or from windows; other plastic, such as bags, toys or tubs.
» GREEN BIN for green waste: grass, tree and hedge trimmings; Christmas trees with decorations removed.