New access to Lihu‘e recycling bins

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Lois Andersson empties her bag of mixed paper Friday after using the newly-opened Kalepa Street access to the Kaua‘i Recycles drop bins at Kukui Grove Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Maile Kennedy does her part, emptying a load of mixed paper Friday to observe America Recycles Day that falls on Sunday.

LIHU‘E — Lois Andersson arrived with her load of recycling Friday, using the Kalepa Street access to the Kaua‘i Recycles site.

She was not even aware of that as she parked her car conveniently next to the mixed paper dumpster while she segregated her mixed paper and corrugated material.

The new Kalepa Street access is one of two traffic modifications that are in effect due to construction of the new Target store taking place behind the fenced-off area surrounding the former Big Kmart store.

There are currently two access points to the Kaua‘i Recycles drop bins. One entrance is near Kalepa Street entering the parking lot of the former Sports Authority store, and the other is on Pikake Street, closest to the drop bins. The entrance at the northern parking lot near the Kumu’s Cupboard educators’ resource facility, will not be able to access the drop bins.

Along with the traffic modifications, the county Department of Public Works Solid Waste Division announced that Sunday is America Recycles Day, a time when the federal Environmental Protection Agency recognizes the importance and impact of recycling.

Information from the EPA website shows the recycling rate has increased from less than 7% in 1960 to the current rate of more than 35%. This growth, according to EPA studies, means that for every 10,000 tons of material recycled, the effort supports nearly 16 jobs and $760,000 in wages.

On Kaua‘i, the greatest impact is keeping material from ending in the Kekaha Landfill that has been extended several times over because there is no alternative landfill site.

The county’s recycling website says all recycling opportunities available at HI5 redemption centers, Kaua‘i Recycles drop bins, the Puhi Metals Recycling Center and the refuse transfer stations have remained open with the same operating hours during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While recycling, or disposing items, the county requires that a face mask be worn, and social distancing be observed.

The DPW Solid Waste Division said there are many things that can be recycled on the island, including vehicles for free, and everyone, including businesses, can recycle their electronic waste at no cost.

At the residential drop bins, only No. 1 and No. 2 plastic containers are accepted.

Batteries are accepted at the Kaua‘i Resource Center, but lead acid batteries (commonly used in automobiles) are accepted at most automotive stores, not at the Kaua‘i Resource Center.

More information can be found at, or by calling 241-4841.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or

  1. Jason B November 15, 2020 8:03 am Reply

    Don’t bother recycling anything cardboard, it goes to the landfill, cardboard used to be compressed into bundles and shipped to China for recycling but that was stopped by China about 2 years ago and there’s no cardboard recycling facilities that I can think of in the lower 48 states.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.