Posted by: opala808 | March 5, 2018

Tour de Trash 20th Anniversary

TdT 20th AnniversaryTour de Trash is back for its 20th year!  Help us celebrate this major milestone by coming out to one (or more) of this year’s tours.

This year’s lineup features two dates for recyclers and waste processors, a tour of Green Business awardees that have demonstrated a commitment to environmentally sustainable practices, a tour of construction and demolition material recyclers, and a tour of the City’s wastewater treatment facilities.

This is a FREE tour series that allows participants to get up-close and personal with our island’s opala and learn about dynamic recycling and solid waste management systems on Oahu.  Sign up quickly! – Seats go fast and reservations are limited.

Register by phone: 768-3200.  Choose from the scheduled tours below.

Tour 1: Recyclers & Waste Processors

Date: Tuesday, April 10

Time: 8:30am-1:00pm

Start/Finish: Kapolei Hale

The recyclers and waste processors tour follows the path of our opala from the blue, green, and gray carts to their respective sorting, composting, and waste-to-energy facilities.  This tour is a great introduction to the City’s main solid waste programs and starts off with a visit to the City’s H-POWER waste-to-energy facility, where all of Oahu’s trash is incinerated to generate electricity.  H-POWER is capable of processing up to one million tons of trash per year; providing Oahu with up to 10% of its electricity needs – 70 megawatts of power, or enough electricity to power 60,000 homes.

The tour also stops at RRR Recycling Services where all of the City’s curbside blue cart material is received and processed.  Tour goers will follow the recycling stream through the elevated sort line and see how paper, plastic, metal, and glass are separated and prepared for shipping to overseas end users.

At Hawaiian Earth Recycling (HER) participants will see how yard waste from the curbside green bins is recycled into mulch and compost.  HER staff will explain the science behind the composting process; from mulching and open air windrow management to screening and mixing their final product.  At Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill tour goers will learn about the environmental protections employed by today’s modern landfill including its complex liner, leachate catchment, and methane recovery systems.


Tour 2: Construction & Demolition Recycling

Date: Thursday, May 17

Time: 8:30am-12:30pm

Start/Finish: Kapolei Hale

On the Construction and Demolition (C&D) Recycling tour, see how companies give C&D material a second life by transforming it into new usable forms.  Learn how Island Demo deconstructs buildings, recycles the metals, and cleans and grinds concrete to be used as aggregate.  West Oahu Aggregate recycles concrete, rock, and asphalt for resale and screens and converts dirt into topsoil.  At PVT Landfill, the majority of the incoming C&D waste is separated, processed for reuse or recycling.  Much of the waste at PVT Landfill is planned to be used as feedstock for a gasification process that will produce electricity.


Tour 3: Green Business

Date: Wednesday, June 13

Time: 8:30am-1:30pm

Start/Finish: Hawaii Convention Center- 1801 Kalakaua Ave.

On the Green Business tour, participants will get a behind the scenes look at the Hawaii Convention Center’s exemplary sustainability programs including food recovery and donation system, mixed material recycling collection system for offices and events, as well as the energy and water efficiency equipment and measures they’ve implemented throughout their facility.  The Sheraton Waikiki will guide participants on a walk-through of the hotel’s food waste, glass, and paper recycling programs.  Staff will also discuss the energy efficient technology in their swimming pools, guest rooms, and ballrooms.  Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant will showcase how it captures food waste, which is recycled into animal feed, and used cooking oil, which is converted into bio-diesel.  Whole Foods Kahala will show off their recycling programs and sustainability initiatives, such as food donation, reusable shipping containers, and energy and water efficiency measures.

Businesses participating in this tour have received the Green Business Award from the Hawaii State Energy Office, Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism.  Learn more about these recognized businesses by visiting the Hawaii Green Business Awardees Page.


Tour 4: Wastewater Management

Date: Thursday, July 26

Time: 8:30am-12:00pm

Start/Finish: Kapolei Hale

Follow the flush on the Wastewater Management tour to find out what happens to the water that’s washed down your sinks and toilets.  The tour visits the Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant, where 25 million gallons of sewage per day are treated through screens, filters, and clarifiers which clean and separate liquids from solids.  The tour then travels to the Honouliuli Water Reclamation Facility, where the Board of Water Supply further processes the wastewater into cleaner water which can be used for irrigation.  Collection System Maintenance will provide a live on-site demonstration of how sewer pipes are serviced and maintained using a robotic Closed-Circuit TV camera and a Vactor truck.


Tour 5: Recyclers & Waste Processors  (Discover Recycling Saturday event)

Date: Saturday, September 15

Time: 8:30am-1:00pm

Start/Finish: Kapolei Hale

Same as Tour 1, but conveniently offered on a Saturday to make it easy for teachers and students to attend.  Others are welcome to join, however preference will be given to those in the education system.

At the conclusion of the tour, buses will return to Kapolei Hale where City recycling staff will be available for questions about the tour and discussion on the City’s solid waste management and associated educational programs.  Staff will have several of the City’s recycling educational resources available for distribution, including student activity books and recycling reminder stickers.


Additional Tour Information:  Must be 12 years old to attend.  Under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult. 

All tours, including site-to-site transportation, are free.  Space is limited and reservations are made on a first-come basis.  Please consider your reservation a binding agreement to attend.  A no-show is a seat we could have given to another participant.  Tour does not include lunch or refreshments.  Please bring water and/or snacks.

Keep in mind that the Tour de Trash is designed to give participants a behind-the-scenes look at some of Oahu’s largest and most dynamic recycling and waste processing facilities.  The sites may be dusty and dirty.  Some of the tours have participants climbing several flights of stairs, walking through narrow corridors and standing outside for extended periods of time. Please inquire with City Recycling Branch staff about the amount of physical activity involved in each tour.  

For tours 1, 2, 4 and 5 please arrive at Kapolei Hale 15-20 minutes prior to departure.   Parking is free in the public lot or on the street.   For tour 3, please arrive at the Hawaii Convention Center 30 minutes before departure time. Parking at the Convention Center will be validated.  All tour buses depart promptly in the morning on schedule; tour end times are approximate. Tour sites are subject to change.  Call 768-3200 to register.

The City is able to coordinate custom tours for school groups, solid waste advisory committees, technical associations, visiting professionals, and other such groups.  Custom tours must provide their own transportation.  Please call 768-3200 or email for more information.


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