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Twin sisters find a way to turn empty water bottles into donations for keiki

Updated: Apr. 16, 2021 at 5:16 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With scores of thirsty workers on the job, Honolulu’s rail project is a rich source for recyclables.

Twin sisters Annie and Jaime Wang found that out.

Their father is an engineer on the project. He told them about how the workers were getting water.

“Because of COVID, they weren’t able to provide people with one water cooler. So they had to use plastic bottles,” Annie said.

They learned there were no recycling efforts so used drink containers were tossed — hundreds of them every day — around the construction sites.

“Me and my sister had the idea to recycle them,” Annie said.

With the contractor’s permission, their dad set up recycle bins. It started with three, now there are 12.

Every couple of weeks, the girls get the collections then sort and recycle them.

“I feel like it increases every time we sort them,” Jaime said.

Nothing is wasted. The bottle caps are sent to New Hope Energy in Texas for recycling.

The sisters started their campaign last July. They have recycled more than 11,000 bottles and cans and raised over $400.

It’s a rewarding but dirty job.

“It’s a little gross because sometimes people don’t finish all their drinks, and it smells pretty bad,” Jaime said. But they are happy to do the work because it’s for a really good cause.

“We have used that money to buy gifts for kids in hospitals and we’ve also donated to homeless shelters, and bought supplies for homeless people too,” Annie said.

The sisters call their project Recycle 4 Keiki.

“It feels good that we are able to help the environment and people in our community at the same time,” Annie said.

They say their effort has taught them to be grateful.

“I should realize that and do my part to help other people who don’t get as many opportunities, or don’t have the resources that I have,” Jaime said.

The twins are juniors at Punahou School. They plan to keep recycling rail’s castoffs as long as they can.

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