LIHUE — Elizabeth Makizuru found a coffee maker still shrouded in its deteriorating plastic bag, and Charlene Steuri said they had reached their quota of tires Saturday at the runway access road entrance off Ahukini Road.
“I don’t think we can bring any more tires to the refuse transfer station,” said Steuri, a spokesperson for the Kauaibots 2465 team. “And the coffee maker? Oh good, that’s what we need.”
The find was unearthed by members, mentors and teachers of the Kauaibots who conducted a site cleanup under terms of the Ka Ipu ‘Aina grant by Matson Navigation.
“I haven’t done this in three years,” said Quinn Catlin, a Kauaibots member. “I did one three years ago, and now, I have never seen so much rubbish. There’s even a wheelbarrow.”
Steuri said the Ka Ipu ‘Aina grant by Matson is available to any nonprofit. During the application process, the nonprofit selects a designated area with the exception of ocean or beaches. Once accepted, Matson provides the container for the accumulated trash, and following the designated time of at least three hours, the group will accompany the filled container to the landfill and help unload the contents.
“We went quite a ways inland,” Catlin said. “And we found all kinds of things — animal bones, appliances, clothes, lots and lots of tires, and even a dishwasher. But it’s fun because we’re working with good people.”
Steuri said in addition to helping clean the environment, the Kauaibots will use the grant money to help with parts for their robot for this year’s “Steamworks” competition and transportation expenses.
“Kauaibots has done this for three years,” Steuri said. “When I called the airport for clearances on this project, the lady had a big smile on. She said they’ve sent a lot of people to the area in an effort at trying to keep it clear and welcomed the extra help.”
Cynthia Hannah-White, a Kauaibots mentor, was pleased to see the young people working together.
“My child graduated, but I’m still here,” Hannah-White said. “This is so nice to see all these kids from the different schools on Kauai working together on a project.”
The Kauaibots 2465 will be hosting an open house this Saturday, March 4, at their location at Kukui Grove Center from 1 to 3 p.m. to watch the game challenge for this year’s competition, Steamworks. The group leaves for its first regional competition two days later.