Westsiders can recycle on their own turf

WAIMEA — Westsiders who have a problem getting plastics to the Kaua‘i Resource Center in Lihu‘e have an alternative as special collection dates are scheduled each quarter for residents and businesses to drop off their plastics at the Waimea Canyon School parking lot.

Maurizia Zinin who coordinates the collection said the next scheduled date is in November, but she is already hopeful that a more convenient collection system can be established for Westside homeowners and residents.

Working with the principals and staff at the Westside schools, Zinin is hopeful that central collection areas could be set up in towns so residents can drop off their plastics to the benefit of either school or community groups who would be coordinating the collection for consolidation and storage.

Zinan explained that most schools already have provisions in place for collection of their school population recyclable materials, and that scope will be expanded to include plastics when the school year starts up later in August.

Some of the schools, Zinin said, have even accommodated the students bringing in recyclables from their home, but she emphasized that it is on a school-by-school basis.

Zinin meets with each school’s principal in August to go over a recycling plan for that school, and with the help of the principal, a recycling committee head which is usually a teacher or school staffer, the recycling program kicks in with the help of the school’s student leaders.

The process of recycling collection programs needs to be done each year, Zinin pointed out, because school principals change, teachers change, but the motivation from the students to keep the recycling program remains unwaivering.

The school and its students are rewarded with incentives for recycling with most schools receiving benches made out of recycled plastics, and classes with top recycling numbers receiving ice cream or pizza parties. November is the next scheduled plastics collection for No.1 and No. 2 plastics at the Waimea Canyon School parking lot.

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