Thursday, May 19, 2022 |
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LIHU‘E — The county’s first Road to Recycling bus tours on Jan. 19 gave participants a broad overview of the county’s Division of Solid Waste Management and a first-hand look at two of the island’s recycling facilities — Kaua‘i Resource Center and Garden Isle Disposal — along with the Kekaha Landfill, states a county news release on Friday.
“We wanted to educate residents about waste management in a stimulating way,” county recycling specialist Jeannie Yoshida said in the release. Yoshida designed the Kaua‘i tour after Honolulu’s Tour de Trash.
Based on evaluations completed by those who took part in the tour, the program’s goal was achieved — to encourage participants to reduce, reuse and recycle, the release states.
The tour of the Solid Waste Division showed how waste is managed and diverted on Kaua‘i.
The presentation topics included the landfill siting process, characterization of Kaua‘i’s waste, residential diversion programs, electronics recycling, the plastic bag reduction law and a re-cap of the curbside recycling pilot.
The next stop on the tour was Garden Island Disposal in Nawiliwili, where all of the island’s recyclables from the HI-5 and Kaua‘i Recycles programs are collected and processed, followed by a tour of Kekaha Landfill.
On the way to the landfill, Pat Gegen, chair of Zero Waste Kaua‘i, provided information regarding Zero Waste principles. He said that the Zero Waste resolution passed by the County Council last October has set a 70 percent diversion rate by 2023 for Kaua‘i.
“We’re already about halfway there at 30 percent,” Gegen said. “Ideally, it would be good to keep as much organic material out of the landfill as possible because it turns to methane gas over time, which is more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide.”
An average of 200 to 250 tons of waste is brought to Kekaha Landfill every day.
A technical advisor, whose job is to ensure that the landfill operation is in compliance with all EPA regulations, told the tour group that the Kekaha Landfill is one of the cleanest landfills of the 100 in Hawai‘i and the western region that his companies oversees, the release states.
“We are also required to email photos of the landfill twice a day, noon and at 5 p.m., to the state Department of Health and the county to assure them that we are following regulations,” said John Ruiz with Waste Management of Hawai‘i, the county’s contractor for landfill operations.
Two more tours for adult residents are scheduled.
The Introduction to Recycling tour will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on May 17. It will include a presentation on the county’s solid waste management activities and stops at Kaua‘i Resource Center, Garden Isle Disposal and Kekaha Landfill.
The Recycling in Action tour will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 22. It will include stops at Island School, Gaylord’s, Kaua‘i Community Federal Credit Union and the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa.
To learn more about the Road to Recycling bus tours, go to www.kauai.gov/roadtorecycling.
To sign up for the free tours, call 241-5120 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Pre-registration is required and will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited.
Guests may bring their own lunch or pay $15 for lunch at the tour stops.
To arrange for special assistance or an auxiliary aid in order to participate in a tour, contact Yoshida at least one week prior to the tour.
Funding for the Road to Recycling tour bus series is provided by a state grant from the Deposit Beverage Container (HI5) program.
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