Moving To Hawaii

Recycling on Oahu? – Ask LeAnn & Anna Article 4

Ask LeAnn & Anna is a realtor advice column providing two generations’ distinctive perspective, insight, and expertise. Questions come from clients and friends.

In Article 4 of Ask LeAnn & Anna, Veronica asks:

Q: Aloha LeAnn & Anna, I just moved here and I’m wondering about the recycling program—it seems like there isn’t much of one comparatively speaking. Are you able to explain that to me? From, Veronica B.

A: Aloha Veronica, I’d be happy to give you an overview of recycling here on Oahu. Most of the island’s rubbish is burned at H-Power in Kapolei. This facility reduces the amount of trash that would have been dumped in landfills by 90% and thereby reduces greenhouse gases. During the burning process, virtually 100% of metals are extracted with magnets and are able to be recycled for reuse. Additionally, the energy generated from the burning is stored as electricity and is used to power our homes. Each day that the facility is operating, it generates enough energy to power 60,000 homes! What is recyclable but not burned at H-Power is either shipped, at taxpayer’s expense, out-of-state or out-of-country to be recycled elsewhere. The leftover waste materials end up in landfills.

While it may not always be known in real-time exactly where all of our rubbish is destined, one local resident took a very creative approach to recycling plastic rubbish found on the beach by establishing Upcycle Hawaii. This entirely locally owned start-up business that began in 2018 has diverted 822 lbs and 60,565 square feet of rubbish from the landfill as of May 31, 2022. That’s inspiring!

We hope the information provided is helpful! Reach out to us for more information!

A Hui Hou, LeAnn & Anna

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