Plastic recycling coming to Po’ipu?

PO’IPU – Princeville Corp. representative Stephanie Kaluahine Reid plans to meet with the Rotary Club of Po’ipu Wednesday to encourage more South Shore residents to join an award-winning plastic recycling program.

Through the Kaua’i Plastic Recycling Program, sponsored by Princeville Corp., plastic bottles and bags collected in Lihu’e and the North Shore have been diverted away from the Kekaha Landfill, extending its life, said Reid, the project coordinator.

“We want to encourage thoughtful use of purchasing plastic, look at ways to reduce its use and to recycle,” she said. “And we want to encourage more people to recycle.” Po’ipu Rotary Club spokeswoman Barbara Bennett said the North Shore is a leader in recycling due in part to the program. It would be in the best interest of the South Shore to participate in the program as a way to keep the area litter-free and environmentally safe, she suggested.

“We definitely want to see what (Reid) has to say,” Bennett said.

Reid plans to meet with 35 members of the South Shore group to explain the nuts and bolts of the project.

The breakfast meeting is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. at Dondero’s restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The program last year received the Governor’s Kilohana Award for volunteerism and this year landed the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Earth Day Award in the category of community service, Reid said.

Mayor Maryanne Kusaka nominated the Kaua’i program for the federal award.

Under the program, people drop off plastic bags and bottles at two collection outlets at Princeville Community Park and the Wal-Mart store in Lihu’e.

Supporters of the program hope to open two more sites on the island, Reid said.

Garden Island Disposal provides bins for the collection of plastic debris, which is shipped to the company’s Aloha Recycling Industries on Maui, at Aloha’s cost. The material is remanufactured into plastic lumber, fencing and park benches, which are sold to the general public.

The program was started and funded in 1996 by Princeville Corp. with help from North Shore residents.

Since then, the program has been supported by funds from Kaua’i County.

Program proponents have scheduled plastic debris collection at the Wal-Mart Store from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 5.

The outlets, Reid said, accept grade 2 plastic, meaning milk jug containers and yogurt containers, and grade 2 and grade 4 plastic bags, typically used to hold goods bought at retail stores.

Additional information on Reid’s presentation is available from BBKauai@Hawaiian.net Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) or lchang@pulitzer.net.

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