Recycle program to keep Waikiki clean, ease landfill pressure

Robert Harris
Robert Harris
Helen Sandrow
Helen Sandrow

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Just a few days it was announced that an agreement was reached to allow Oahu to ship its trash to the Mainland, as Waimanalo Gulch reaches its capacity.

A new program that could help ease the pressure on Oahu's only landfill. Mayor Mufi Hannemann says he's been aggressively implementing recycling programs all across Oahu. Now, he's turning his attention to the heart of the state's tourism district in Waikiki.

It's another gorgeous day in Waikiki. Yet, it may get even more appealing. 25 recycle bin sets have been placed throughout Waikiki at Kalakaua Avenue and at Kuhio Avenue. The mayor hopes to use this as a pilot project with the hopes of using it at more city facilities.

It's a two pronged effort, one, to keep trash away from Oahu's already overfilled Waimanalo Gulch and two, keep the state's top tourist destination clean. Combine this with the curbside recycling program and most see it as small steps in the right direction.

Sierra Club Hawaii director Robert Harris says it's a good move. That's because it costs Oahu double to ship trash to the Mainland compared to dumping it at this landfill. He says recycling just makes the most sense.

"It's an economical, but it's an environmentally friendly thing to do, so it's sort of a no-brainer type of decision to make," Harris said.

The side by side containers allow people to throw away their trash as well as recycle. The city plans to replace one-fourth of its 100 litter containers with recycling sets.

"They probably should've done it sooner, we like it to be as pristine, fresh and clean as possible, especially traveling all these miles from the East Coast to see that, we think it's a wonderful idea," Visitor Helen Sandrow said.

The durable containers are made out of recycled plastic. Their lids are designed with both words and graphics to make it easy for non-english speaking visitors.

"Visitors should respect places like this and make sure they recycle as requested," Sandrow said.

A simple request that could help a difficult problem. The 25 recycle bin sets cost nearly $25,000. Some places that already have them include Hanauma Bay, the Blaisdell Center, and the Honolulu Zoo. In the future, the city hopes to put bins at select city parks and golf courses.