Curbside recycling is a win-win proposition
Kaua‘i is approaching a solid-waste crossroads. Kekaha landfill will need to be replaced in about five years, and methods to reduce solid waste and extend the life of the new landfill need to be put in place very soon.
There are two contending routes to reduce solid waste and prolong the life of the new landfill.
The first is waste to energy (WTE). This entails burning all of our opala at very-high temperatures. On the surface, it’s a great idea: Out of sight, out of mind.
But look at WTE more closely to see if it is really a good idea. Under WTE, we will burn almost all of our solid waste. Is this what we want for Kaua‘i?
Should we burn Styrofoam peanuts and packing bricks?
Should we burn plastic egg and greens cartons?
Should we burn our plastic lawn furniture?
Should we burn our vinyl shower curtains.
Should we burn old carpets and rugs?
Should we burn plastic cups, lids and straws?
Should web burn old seat cushions?
Should we burn computers, cell phones, TVs and printers?
Should we burn milk crates?
Should we burn our garden hoses?
Should we burn our old couch and recliner?
Should we burn our plastic bottles and jars?
Should we burn plastic storage bins?
Should we burn worn-out tires?
Should we burn broken plastic five-gallon buckets?
Should we burn our old garbage cans?
If you say “yes” to all of these and more, then WTE may be for you. But if not, if the excess CO2 and the toxic and carcinogenic ash and gas that results from all of this burning is a concern, then take a serious look at the second route, curbside recycling.
Curbside has been successful on O‘ahu and in numerous communities on the Mainland.
Curbside will significantly prolong the life of our landfill, saving us literally millions in taxpayer dollars. It is far-less expensive that a WTE incinerator. It encourages recycling, which saves us even more in commodity expense and reduces the cost of climate change.
Curbside saves us money, protects our health and keeps our island safe. It’s a win-win-win.
John Patt, Koloa