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EPA gives $223,500 to county for West Hawai'i reuse and recycling projects

Release Date: 4/29/2004
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

HONOLULU - During a ceremony today at the Kea'au Recycling Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri awarded a $223,500 EPA grant to the County of Hawai'i and the Hawai'i Island Economic Development Board to develop a Kona community recycling center.

The project is the second phase of the pilot project at Kea'au in East Hawai'i. The current effort will expand the recycling efforts to West Hawai'i.

"The management of solid waste is especially critical to an island state such as Hawai'i," said Nastri, "With limited land area for new landfills, reuse, recycling and composting all play an essential role in reducing the amount of solid waste that goes to the already overburdened landfills on the Big Island."

The goals of the project are to:
-transform a solid waste transfer station in Kona into one that maximizes recovery of resources;
-stimulate on-island reuse, composting, and recycling;
-create jobs and income for island residents;
-comply with the state's waste management goals;
-reduce the county's overall solid waste management costs; and
-create partnerships with the Kona area hotels to increase the amount of recovered materials.

The center will recycle aluminum, office paper, magazines, plastics, cardboard, mixed paper, inkjet and toner cartridges, newspaper, crayons and glass. A reuse center will accept office equipment, consumer electronics, household appliances, furniture and non-vehicular garden tools.

The West Hawai'i project will be modeled after the successful Kea'au Recycling and Reuse Center that opened in March 2003 at the Kea'au transfer station. The Kea'au center has recycled over 1,000 tons of materials such as paper, plastic and aluminum. The center has also managed to reuse many of the useable items dropped off by the community.