Posted by: opala808 | April 4, 2018

Join the Recycling Branch for Earth Month Events

Celebrate at Hickam Harbor on Saturday, April 14 with music, activities and events for the whole family.  The Recycling Branch will have an informational booth alongside other environmental organizations. Get there early for the Trash Boat Regatta from 8:30-10:30am.  Event from 11:00am-2:00pm.

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Join us for the 11th annual Mauka to Makai event at the Waikiki Aquarium on Saturday, April 21 from 9:00am-2:00pm.  The free expo hosted by the City’s Stormwater Branch features live entertainment, educational exhibits, water pollution prevention tips, ocean-related arts and crafts and free native Hawaiian plants.  This free event includes free parking and shuttle service from Jefferson Elementary School.  More information here:


Posted by: opala808 | April 4, 2018

Follow ENV and Refuse on Facebook and Twitter!

Connect with us on social media for tips, resources, events and other news to keep you up to date on the world of Opala and recycling.  Like and Share the City’s Refuse Division Facebook Page (HNL.Opala) at  Also follow the Department of Environmental Services on Twitter (@HNL_ENV) at

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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.

Posted by: opala808 | December 8, 2017

ENV-Refuse on Social Media!

Catch us on social media!  Like and Share the City’s Refuse Division Facebook Page (@HNL.Opala) at   Also, follow the Department of Environmental Services on Twitter (@HNL_ENV) at  We’ll be sharing service notices, tips, resources and other news to keep the public up to speed on all the happenings in the wide world of waste and recycling!

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Posted by: opala808 | December 8, 2017

Trash Tips for a Green Holiday Season


The holiday season brings ohana together for celebrations and gift giving.  For most households, this usually means a greater (or at least more colorful!) volume of rubbish and recyclables.  Be sure to recycle corrugated boxes from those special gifts, as well as the beverage containers from all those holiday parties.  At the end of the season, remove Christmas tree decorations and cut the tree to fit into your green cart for composting.  Trees can also be disposed at our convenience centers and transfer stations.  Trees with tinsel or flocking should be bagged and disposed in the gray cart.   More tips on how to make your holiday more green can be found on our Holiday Trash Tips page.  For disposal site information, and recycling and refuse information throughout the year, visit

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.

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