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Read the article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald
By Michael Brestovansky
A county program to recycle electronic waste has been discontinued until at least July.
The Solid Waste Division of the county’s Department of Environmental Management announced Monday that its E-Waste Collection Program is suspended effective immediately because of a lack of funds.
The program had received $85,000 in state funding this fiscal year, said Chris Chin-Chance, recycling specialist for the Solid Waste Division. But, three months before the end of the fiscal year, those funds have dried up.
“I guess we are expecting more funding next fiscal year,” Chin-Chance said. “If we get that, the program will probably come back, but it might be in a different form.”
Before the cancellation, e-waste was collected at stations in Hilo and Kealakehe.
In Hilo, e-waste could be deposited at Mr. K’s Recycle and Redemption on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month, while the Kealakehe transfer station accepted e-waste the third Saturday of every month.
Should additional funding be secured, Chin-Chance said a reinstated e-waste program might might operate differently than the previous one.“We are discussing in what shape or form the new program will be,” Chin-Chance said.
Chin-Chance said the bulk of the state funds was used to secure a contract with Mr. K’s to collect, process and transport e-waste. But even with the program suspended, residents can still discard their e-waste at Mr. K’s — although Chin-Chance noted that it likely will cost a small fee to do so.
Chin-Chance also lamented that a bill in the state Legislature this year could have mitigated pressure on county recycling programs.
House Bill 1640, in its original state, would have required that electronics manufacturers recycle a certain percentage of their products sold in Hawaii each year.
Roy with Robin Wiener, ISRI President
A locally owned small business, Mr. K's stays connected with the broader recycling network. In late March, Roy Kadota, owner of Mr. K's, attended the 2022 Convention and Exposition of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI), held this year in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Roy attended sessions on topics such as how recycling fits into a sustainable future, how businesses should incorporate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) requirements into operations, and the current state and future of copper and plastic.
Spotlight on Our Recyclers
Lei Robinson: Helping Keep Downtown Hilo Clean
Every Sunday for over a year, Lei Robinson and a group of volunteers have gathered opala around downtown Hilo. Lei and her beautification project were recently featured in Civil Beat.
We asked Lei why she recycles with Mr. K's:
"The workers are fast and friendly, and you get a fair price when they weigh."
Mahalo, Lei, for keeping our island beautiful!
Contributing a Winter Wonderland and a Uke-Playing Grinch to the Keiki's Christmas Drive-Through
Supporting a Fun & Safe Trunk or Treat Event