County expands recycling programs

LIHUE — In an effort to take the guesswork out of what container a recyclable should be placed in, the county’s Recycling Office has developed image-based signage with a local flair for the public’s use.

“I commend our recycling team for coming up with concepts that residents can easily recognize,” Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said. “Using local favorites such as Spam, Aloha Maid juice and Halm’s kimchee in the signage will assist the public with proper recycling and divert more waste from the Kekaha Landfill.”

Laura Kelly, county recycling specialist, said the team aims to simplify the recycling process for everyone.

“Our goal in developing and creating the image-based signage is to guide individuals at that crucial moment, when they are standing next to a trash can or recycle bin, and are looking for direction,” she said.

Each of the signs focus on a particular category of recyclables, including aluminum, steel and tin, cardboard, glass, bottles and jars, HI-5, newspapers, mixed papers and plastics.

While the images fill almost the entire sign, instructions are also included to further clarify the recycling process. The signs are available in two formats, letter size, 8-1/2 inches by 11 inches, and 18 inches by 24 inches, and can be reproduced on any printer for indoor use or sent to a sign company to be made into aluminum, metal or PVC signs for outdoor use.

In 2011, the County of Kauai passed a Zero Waste resolution with a goal of residents and visitors diverting 70 percent of their waste by 2023.

Two organizations have already incorporated some of the county’s image-based recycling signage into their respective programs.

Kauai Community College Chancellor Helen Cox said that the signs were recently posted at the new recycling stations throughout the college, an initiative led by Hoouluwehi, The Sustainable Living Institute of Kauai.

“We really appreciate the partnership with the county in our efforts toward becoming a zero waste campus,” Cox said.

Management at the Lihue Court Townhomes opted for metal signage fabricated in high resolution and will be installing the signs in their outdoor recycling area.

“They provide the visual impact needed to ensure proper placement of recyclables for people of all ages and ethnicities,” said Tonya Ortiz of the Lihue Court Townhomes.

Currently, the diversion rate for Kauai is approximately 40 percent.

Info: www.kauai.gov/recycling

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