Grand Hyatt, County heralded for ‘green’ efforts

WAIPOULI — More than 150 tons of waste have been diverted from the landfill through recycling in the past six months, said Chris Valentino of the Engineering Department at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa, Wednesday.

Those efforts were part of the Po‘ipu resort’s work in reducing, reusing, recycling integration efforts and earned it one of two Kaua‘i Green Innovation awards presented by the Rotary Club of Kapa‘a during its meeting.

The County of Kaua‘i, centering around Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s “Holo Holo 2020” campaign encompassing about 38 initiatives involving a wide range of involvement leading to “growing Kaua‘i responsibly,” earned it the second winner of the Fifth Annual 2011 Kaua‘i Green Innovation Awards.

“Each of these winning initiatives contributes significantly to helping our island be a cleaner, greener and more sustainable place to live and work,” said Ron Margolis, the co-chairman of the Rotary Club of Kapa‘a’s Community Service Committee, in a Rotary release. “We judged each entry from the perspective of four parameters: innovation, environmental impact, effectiveness, and whether or not it scales up so others can follow suit and do the same thing.”

Diann Hartmann, the public relations manager of the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i, said the resort is currently replacing more than 8,200 fluorescent light bulbs with Light Emitting Diode lights and expects to see a return on its $500,000 investment within a year.

Although LED lights cost more, the resort expects to see a 70 percent increase in lighting efficiency with other benefits including cooler, mercury free operation and increased durability and life cycle.

Currently, the resort has 12,000 fluorescent lamps and will replace the remainder in 2012, the release states.

Chris Valentino, of the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Engineering Department, said during the room renovations, new low flow toilets, faucets and shower assemblies were installed in the guest rooms along with low flow vandal-resistant aerators in the kitchen faucets.

In the area of recycling where more than 150 tons of waste were diverted from the landfill, the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i team diverted 84,000 pounds of cardboard, 24,000 pounds of mixed paper, 84,000 pounds of glass, 24,000 pounds of aluminum, 24,000 pounds of metal, 163,000 pounds of greenwaste, 10,000 pounds of construction material and 3,000 pounds of kitchen oil.

Valentino said their efforts resulted in savings of $64,000 in six months with its Energy Star rating rising from 38 to 58 within 12 months. The resort also reduced its overall energy usage by 16.7 percent and reduced its greenhouse emission by two percent last year.

Beth Tokioka, representing the County of Kaua‘i, said the mayor’s “Holo Holo 2020” started out as a conversation topic following the election, and following strong reaction after Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. delivered the topic in his inauguration speech, the County of Kaua‘i set out to put the vision to work.

Tokioka said the complete text of the mayor’s speech as well as the Holo Holo 2020 is available by visiting www.kauai.gov, the county’s website.

Some of the initiatives which are taking place include the expansion of bus services which recently started nighttime runs to key destinations, the installation of photo voltaic systems on the Lihu‘e Civic Center, Pi‘ikoi Building, and the start of photo voltaic installation at the Kaiakea Fire Station.

Tokioka, who said she never expected the campaign to earn an award, added the county is working on enhancing the Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School program at Koloa Elementary School through work on the crosswalks leading to the school.

The county also received a state grant which will enable the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles in select parking lots.

These projects are not County-specific, the Rotary release states. The Mayor has included federal, state and private partnerships along with the community at large among the collective group which will be needed to make Holo Holo 2020 a reality. The list of 38 initiatives is expected to grow as the county gathers more support from the community and federal and state agencies.

“I’m impressed at the efforts of these two organizations and their commitment to bring sustainability awareness and green practices into their corporate cultures,” said Katerina Norman, the vocational chair and President-elect for the Rotary Club of Kapa‘a. “We are proud to sponsor such a worthwhile endeavor each year and we are particularly excited to honor this year’s award recipients.”

Margolis presented each of the representatives with a pen created out of wood from trees which were on property he purchased, but has since perished.

Visit www.kapaarotary.org for more information.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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