City picks islandwide recycling method
The city will roll out its curbside recycling program to the rest of Oahu by giving each homeowner one refuse and one recycling pickup each week without the option to pay for additional trash service.
Recycle plan rolling out
Here is the city's schedule to bring curbside recycling to the rest of Oahu:
» November: Kuliouou to Manoa, Kapahulu; Kailua, Lanikai; Mokuleia to Sunset
» May 2009: Waipio Gentry to Halawa; Wahiawa, Whitmore, Waipio Estates, Laulani Valley; Kaneohe; Waimanalo
» November 2009: Foster Village to Makiki; Kahuku to Kahaluu
» May 2010: Makakilo to Waikele; Waipahu; Ewa Beach to West Loch; Honokai Hale to Makua
Source: City and County of Honolulu
The city Department of Environmental Services announced Tuesday that it selected the pickup method in Hawaii Kai, where the curbside recycling program is being done on an experimental basis.
"Definitely, we're going forward," said Marcus Owens, spokesman for the Environmental Services Department. He said the program will expand in September when the bins for 39,000 East Oahu homes are rolled out. The entire island will be converted by May 2010.
The voluntary curbside recycling project started with 18,500 homes in Hawaii Kai and Mililani in October, using a different method in the two communities. Some 96 percent in both communities recycled.
"What we present here is clearly that the Hawaii Kai method is the most efficient and feasible for the city," said Owens.
A study found limiting refuse pickups to once a week compelled Hawaii Kai residents to recycle more than Mililani residents, who had an option to pay for a second weekly refuse pickup.
While Mililani residents could pay $30 every three months for a second weekly refuse pickup, they recycled less than Hawaii Kai residents without the option, the report found.
Overall, Mililani recovered less recyclable material and green waste than Hawaii Kai despite having 3,900 more homes. Five percent of Mililani residents paid for an extra refuse pickup. Of those, 62 percent did not recycle.
Oahu voters mandated the city create a curbside recycling program in a City Charter amendment approved in November 2006.
Islandwide, residents generate 300,000 tons of rubbish a year, of which 137,000 tons are green waste and recyclable material.
In the program, residents have three trash bins: gray for refuse, blue for mixed recyclables, and green for green waste. Refuse pickup is once a week, while recycling pickup alternates each week between green waste and mixed recyclables.
The start-up cost for the program is expected to be $23.4 million to purchase 260,000 bins at $90 each. The operating costs for the recycling program will remain the same as the current refuse system, the report said.
Mililani will eventually be phased into the Hawaii Kai method.