Posted by: opala808 | December 8, 2017

2017 Waste Characterization Study

In August, the City’s Department of Environmental Services, Refuse Division, completed the “field work” portion of a project to assess Oahu’s entire municipal solid waste stream – all 1.2+ million tons!  During this project, more than one hundred 200-pound samples of waste were taken at City disposal sites and sorted into more than different material categories.  The goal of the study was to figure out just how much of different types of waste – plastics, paper, glass, green waste, metals and food waste – we throw away.  The results will be compared with the 2006 waste characterization study and will aid the City in the development of its 2018 Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan (ISWMP), which is currently underway.  The ISWMP will help us assess progress toward reaching our waste management and landfill diversion goals, as well as help to chart a course for future programs.  All technical studies and reports are posted online at in the Technical Studies/Reports section.

Posted by: opala808 | December 8, 2017

Recycling at ReStore’s Sustainable Saturday

On November 25, the Recycling Branch attended Sustainability Saturday in celebration of the 5th anniversary of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore reuse center at 922 Austin Lane, #C-1 from 10am-2pm.  Honolulu ReStore is a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, building materials and home accessories for a fraction of the retail price.  By encouraging reuse, especially of building material and appliances, ReStore is reducing the amount of material that needs to be disposed or recycled. ReStore

With the help of Foodland Stores, the Hawaii Farm Bureau farmers’ markets, the Makeke farmers’ markets in Waianae and Kapolei and several other partners, the City’s Recycling Branch is excited to be distributing its brand new “Bring Your Own Bag” reminder stickers throughout Oahu!

With the two year anniversary of Honolulu’s plastic bag ban fast approaching, now is a great time to be extra vigilant about REDUCING the number of bags in the waste stream by REUSING your reusable shopping bags and RECYCLING those paper bags.    BYOB stickers are vinyl, weatherproof and reusable, and are able to be stuck anywhere that will serve as a convenient reminder to bring your own reusable bag on all your shopping excursions.  Grab one from the customer service area at any of our partner locations.  You can also contact the City’s Recycling Branch at and we’ll send you some!

BYOB Foodland crop

A new version of the City’s “Food: Too Good to Waste” cookbook and food waste reduction guide is available at the locations below.  Chefs from our partner stores and restaurants contributed to the book by sharing creative tips and recipes to transform leftovers into dishes that are not only delicious, but will also help you reduce waste and save money!  Hawaii residents throw away approximately one quarter of all food and beverage purchases, which equates to about $700 in wasted food per person per year.  The guide also includes handy tools like a weekly meal planner and “Eat Me First” signs to help you manage the food in your fridge.  Visit for a digital copy and more tips and information.

Partner Restaurants, Stores and Farmers’ Markets
Beet Box – Haleiwa All Foodland and Sack N’ Save locations
Cactus – Kailua Kapiolani Community College-Saturdays & Tuesdays
Gyotaku – Pearl City, King St., Niu Valley Mililani High School – Sundays
Hula Grill – Waikiki Haleiwa Town – Sundays
Whole Foods – Kahala Blaisdell Concert Hall – Wednesdays
Makeke Kapolei – Thursdays Kailua – Thursdays
Makeke Waianae – Sundays


Posted by: opala808 | May 17, 2017

Sign up for Tour de Trash events!

The 2017 Tour de Trash series got off to a great start with the first Recyclers and Waste Processors tour in April.  If you missed the first tour, it’s not too late to sign up for the others (listed below) by calling the City’s Recycling office at 768-3200.  Seats are still available for the Wastewater tour in July and the Recyclers and Waste Processors tour on a Saturday in September.  Visit the Tour de Trash link on the homepage for the full schedule, tour descriptions and more information.

Tour de Trash upcoming dates:

Wastewater- Thursday, July 27

Green Business- Thursday, August 31 (FULLY BOOKED)

Recyclers and Waste Processors- Saturday, September 16


Posted by: opala808 | May 17, 2017

10th Annual Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo

Along with a record 4,000 participants, the City’s Recycling Branch had a great time celebrating Earth Day 2017 at the 10th annual Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo at the Waikiki Aquarium. Hosted by the City’s Stormwater Quality Branch, the fun-filled Expo included on-stage entertainment from multicultural performance artists and dancers, a Mullet fish  release and a native plant giveaway.  Government groups, environmental organizations, businesses and non-profits hosted booths with a variety of interactive educational displays.  At the Recycling booth, attendees spun the Wheel of Recycling and answered blue cart trivia questions to earn recycled pens or pencils. They also took home the ‘Where do things go?’ and Opala IQ recycling activity books, educational brochures and stickers.  Download your own copies of our activity books and informational materials at in the Media Library.  We hope to see you at next year’s Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo!

Mauka 1

Posted by: opala808 | March 1, 2017

Tour de Trash 2017

The City’s ever-popular Tour de Trash tour series is back for its 19th year!  This year’s tour line-up features two tour dates for recycling and waste processors, a tour of some of the City’s wastewater treatment facilities and a tour of “green” businesses with a commitment to sustainable waste management practices.

Tour de Trash gives participants an up-close and personal look at some of the City’s dynamic recycling and solid waste management programs.  Register by phone: 768-3200.  Sign up quickly – seats go fast!

Choose from the four scheduled tours below.

Tour 1: Recyclers and Waste Processors

Date: Tuesday, April 18

Time: 8:30 – 1:00

Start-Finish: Kapolei Hale

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Recyclers and Waste Processors tour visits the City’s H-POWER waste-to-energy facility, where Oahu’s trash is burnt to generate electricity.  H-POWER is capable of processing up to one million tons of trash per year and providing Oahu with up to 10% of its electricity needs – 70 megawatts of power, enough electricity to power 60,000 homes.  The tour also stops at the 100+ acre Hawaiian Earth Recycling (HER) facility in Wahiawa, where the City’s green waste is recycled into mulch and compost.  AT HER, hear about the science behind the compost process and see each step in that process, from mulching to open air windrow management to compost screening and production.  At RRR Recycling Services participants get to tour an elevated sort line to see how nearly 25,000 tons of recyclables from the City’s curbside blue cart program are sorted into individual material types and processed for recycling.  And at the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill tour goers will get to see and learn about the environmental protections employed by today’s modern landfill, including its complex liner, leachate catchment and methane recovery systems.

Tour 2: Wastewater Management

Date: Thursday, July 27, 2017

Time: 8:30 – 12:30

Start-Finish: Kapolei Hale


On the Wastewater Management Tour participants will find out what happens to the water that’s washed down the drain and flushed down the toilet.  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 also 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 3: Green Business Recycling

Date: Thursday, August 31

Time: 8:30 – 1:30

Start-Finish: The Hawaii Convention Center

On the Green Business tour participants will get a behind the scenes look at the Hawaii Convention Center’s exemplary mixed material, food waste and green waste recycling programs.  Staff at the Sheraton Waikiki will guide participants on a walk-through of the hotel’s glass, paper and food waste recycling programs, as well as discuss their energy efficiency programs and reuse of materials throughout the hotel­­­.  Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant will showcase its kitchen recycling efforts and how it effectively captures food waste, which is recycled into animal feed, and used cooking oil, which is converted into bio-diesel.  Participants will also get to glimpse Whole Food’s recycling programs and hear about other sustainability initiatives, such as the store’s food donations, use of reusable shipping containers and packaging, and energy and water efficiency measures.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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: Recyclers and Waste Processors

Date: Saturday, September 16

Time: 8:30 – 1:00

Start-Finish: Kapolei Hale

Same tour as Tour 1, except that it’s 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 K-12 school system.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.  Tour, including site-to-site transportation, is 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 and 4 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 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.

Click here for more information about the City’s Tour de Trash program and to take a virtual tour online.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »