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Honolulu Surfs for 75% Recycling Rate

Honolulu is aiming to increase its recycling rate to 75 percent.

The Hawaiian city currently diverts 52 percent of its mixed recyclables through its curbside recycling program, which serves about 160,000 residents. The city and county of Honolulu, which encompasses all of the island of Oahu, last year netted $1.5 million from those recyclables.

The program, which began in 2007, recycled 53,000 tons of green waste and 18,000 tons of mixed recyclables last year, the city said in a news release.  By reaching 75 percent, the city would divert an additional 8,000 tons from the landfill and add more than $500,000 annually in revenue.

“Honolulu is already among the top cities in the country for landfill diversion rates, ranked fourth in the nation,” Mayor Peter Carlisle said. “Improving the curbside recycling program’s effectiveness can help further these efforts, and as an island community, we can and need to do more.”

The city is working with The Cascadia Consulting Group to analyze potential growth. The group found that households still throw away significant amounts of mixed recyclables.

“We’ll see the city and county of Honolulu reach its goal of 75 percent diversion when about 85 percent of residents are putting 90 percent of their recyclables in the blue cart,” said Cascadia Principal Charlie Scott. “It’s an ambitious goal but attainable, given the progress the community has made so far.”

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