Hawaii County hopes to secure part of a $275 million federal recycling grant to lift the island out of the solid waste doldrums.
A recent investigation revealed what county officials suspected. Inadequate recycling facilities and collection systems, inadequate end markets and inadequate staff. Policies need to be redefined and strengthened, and the impact of the system will be felt most in rural and low-income communities.
A working group of zero-waste Hawaii islands, the county’s Department of Environmental Management, and community members with expertise in recycling, reuse, and resource reduction announced in June that a small business nonprofit, Native Hawaiian Distributed surveys to organizations, education, tourism and counties. Councils, county agencies, housing community associations and individuals.
The next step, advocates say, is to hire a grant maker and stakeholder meeting facilitator to guide the application process.
The current solid waste situation is about money, Environmental Management Director Ramzi Mansoor told the Environmental Management Board on Wednesday.
We are not good enough to provide all services. We need to pursue grants,” he said. “We need to do everything we can to keep these programs going. They are very important to the island.”
The county’s solid waste and recycling budget is approximately $45.6 million, or just 4% of the county’s general budget budget. Less than 20% of the county’s waste is diverted from landfills through various programs.
The landfill at Pu’uanahulu in West Hawaii is the only usable landfill on the island, estimated to last 15 to 20 years, but a recycling program is far more expensive than just landfilling, Mansur said. takes. The most expensive recycling program, household hazardous waste, costs $5,000 per ton to dispose of.
Some members of the public are advocating a resource recovery park at Keaau or Hilo Transfer Station as a pilot project. The facility will include cardboard and paper and food sorting stations for composting, construction materials, textiles, sorted plastics and more.
The land will be dedicated to crushing, composting, and compost distribution. To encourage reuse, you can set up a “repair” station that includes a tool library and repair education opportunities. Warehousing and processing space can be allocated to reuse/recycling entrepreneurs.
Another idea is what Mansour called the “Euro Model”. This requires creating a spot for recycling containers for each subdivision. This is similar to how apartment complexes and condominium associations currently handle trash and recycling. Under the Euro model, 4 cubic yards of bins are available for recycling and waste and can be taken back by commercial recyclers for a fee.
About 6 feet long, 4.5 feet wide and 4 feet high, the container holds about two dozen 33 gallon trash bags.
“Do people want it in their subdivisions?” Mansoor asked. “There will probably be objections. It will probably be an eyesore.”
Another concern, according to Commissioner Melissa Cardwell, will be the educational element to ensure that each bin contains properly sorted and clean materials.
“The education part is very important when it comes to this,” she said.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Type above and press Enter to search. Press Esc to cancel.