I love to do my part and recycle things, and find it easy to do. I can never understand why some people just throw all that "good stuff" away.
Where is AWAY? Here on an island, AWAY is not that far away, and space is limited. In the 27 years since we've been living here, we have seen major changes in the landfill situation. There used to be at least 3 county landfills back then, and now there is only 1 for the whole island! It's incredible how much garbage goes in there each day. In fact it's scary. What will we do when there's no more place to keep putting all this unwanted stuff? We are such a consumer driven society that we need a whole change of lifestyle in order to stop this runaway train.
Recycling is still pretty new here in Hawaii, compared to the rest of the world, like Europe. We don't have curbside recycling yet on Maui, as our population base is still pretty small, and it's an evolving concept. But there are rules are in place to encourage businesses to recycle, such as the mandatory glass recycling for bars and restaurants. We can turn in used motor oil, which is a big blessing, up to 2 gallons at a time, at various outlets. I'm looking forward to a future where recycling is the norm and children are taught to do their part, and everyone benefits.
How are they handling these issues in your neighborhood?
The state of Hawaii has recently implemented a beverage deposit and redemption program to encourage consumers to take their empty cans and bottles back for a nickel each. Every year, approximately 800 million beverage containers are sold in the state. The majority of these containers end up discarded in the waste stream, or as litter in our community. The deposit is a great way to reduce the amount of containers going to the landfill every day. The consumer pays 6 cents at the register, and they will receive back 5 cents when they redeem their empties. It's a good deal for the state, as there is still a pretty high percentage of containers that are never redeemed. According to their website, the program is a success, with a return rate somewhere in the 70% range. The bad news is there are only so many places to take your recyclables, but we're still learning over here.
In Haiku Maui, there is a recycling and redemption center right on the Hana Highway, next to the Haiku Community Center and Haiku Elementary School. The convenient location makes it easy for so many people to do their good deed on their way to and from work, school, or whatever. Every day you can take back your cardboard, plastic bags, newspaper, and non redeemable glass jars and bottles. To redeem items, you need to come by Wednesday through Sunday, and the helpful people there will count your items, or weigh them and pay you cash. Today the place was very busy, but I didn't have to wait long to be helped. Besides the $13.00 I made, I can feel good about helping the environment, and saving a lot of space at the Maui County Landfill. For a list of other REDEMPTION SITES, you can check out the MAUI COUNTY RECYCLING website.
Recycle Maui County Hotline: 808-270-7880
Molokai: 1-800-272-0117 Lanai: 1-800-272-0125