New Changes For Container Recycling

Larry Lau
Larry Lau

(KHNL) - There are some new changes at recycling centers around the state.

Refunds for bulk returns of containers have gone up.

It's a subject that has been weighing on the minds of many who recycle.

"I think we're getting gypped a lot of times because you're not getting the full deposit your supposed to be getting." says Honolulu resident, Shelley Simmons.

Instead of a 5 cent refund for every container in a big bag,

recyclers weigh the cans, and pay out a per pound average.

But now, those bringing in large quantities of containers will get a little more money back.

About eight cents per pound for cans, five cents for a pound of plastic.

"These changes will help people get their money back more accurately and hopefully encourage recycling." says the Deputy Director for the State's Division of Environmental Health, Larry Lau.

There will also be another change June 1st. Instead of lumping all plastic together, both big and small, there will be a separate rate for plastic containers smaller than 17oz.

"Light plastic containers were an especial heartburn for people because they are so light that people wouldn't get the money they paid at the store for them." adds Lau.

Many who recycle would still like the refund to be 5 cents for "every" container returned.

"It'd be better to give us per item I think would be a better deal." says Simmons.

Up til now, recyclers would only count up to 50 containers before basing the refund on weight. But now they will count up to 200 bottles, cans or containers, giving many a more accurate refund on their deposit.

Which ,some who recycle say, not only makes a lot more sense, but it could make a few more dollars too!

Hawaii's recycling effort is helping keeping many of these containers out of landfills.

There are nearly a billion containers, cans and bottles sold each year but about 70 percent of those are recycled.