Saturday
Aug222009

Rallying community around recycling

Saint Louis School has big hopes for a new effort to renew enthusiasm for recycling in East Oahu communities.

The student athletes and coaches will be at the forefront of an issue that has been in the state’s public eye for a long time.

On Saturday, August 22, they will be working with alumni and other volunteers on a community service project that provides cash incentives for East Oahu residents to recycle.

More than two dozen businesses are participating in the program that is part of a broader effort to refocus attention on the importance of recycling in Hawai‘i and to make the practice routine in East Oahu communities.

These forces are converging to create a positive climate for recycling in the Saint Louis School parking lot from 8AM to 2PM., when the school will hold its first ever Aloha ‘Aina Earth Day Recycling Community Cleanup Program.

This will also be the 60th event hosted by the Aloha ‘Aina Earth Day Project since the public-private partnership was created in April 2004. The proceeds from the Saint Louis event will benefit the school’s athletics program.

It also comes at a time when the state’s recycling rate fell to 32.2 percent in 2008 from 33 percent in 2007, according to the Office of Solid Waste Management in the state Department of Health.

To help reverse that trend, Saint Louis School is attempting to rally the community around an innovative program that rewards residents for recycling.

As part of this cash-for-trash initiative, residents place materials into a curbside cart or call for pick-up service.

Dutiful recyclers will be accepting everything from auto parts and bicycles to lawn mowers and pipes. Other recyclables that will be accepted include newspaper, cardboard, telephone books and magazines. In addition, volunteers will be accepting cell phones, batteries, plastic bags, beverage containers and old tires.

What they will not accept are: paints, hazardous fluids, microwave ovens, televisions and gas tanks.

Not only is this community-service project about supporting the school’s athletic program, it also undoubtedly benefits East Oahu by embracing an important environmental initiative.