Phone books, some pa­pers and plas­tics no longer re­cy­clable

The Maui News - - NEWS - The Maui News

Phone books and some types of pa­per and plas­tics will no longer be re­cy­cled at the four Maui County re­demp­tion cen­ters due to changes in the ac­cep­tance of re­cy­clables by China, where most of the ma­te­rial from Hawaii and the na­tion goes, the county De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Management an­nounced Fri­day.

There also are changes at the Cen­tral Maui Land­fill for com­mer­cial haulers of green waste and with the dis­posal of old propane tanks.

As of Jan. 1, res­i­dents were no longer able to re­cy­cle of­fice pa­per, junk mail, mag­a­zines and phone books at re­demp­tion cen­ters in Ki­hei, Makawao, Haiku and Kahu­lui as well as at Aloha Re­cy­cling.

There also were lim­its placed on the re­cy­cling of plas­tics. Only No. 1 and No. 2 plas­tics with necks that have been rinsed and cleaned will be re­cy­cled, the de­part­ment said. Other No. 1 and No. 2 plas­tics will be dis­carded, such as snap­closed tubs that hold fruits and veg­eta­bles.

The plas­tics also must be cleaned of food, soap and oily residue to be re­cy­cled.

At the Cen­tral Maui Land­fill, Maui EKO Sys­tems, with the sup­port of the Cen­tral Maui Land­fill, will be mon­i­tor­ing green-waste haulers to en­sure that com­mer­cial green-waste haulers are weighed at the land­fill scale house and as­sessed ap­pli­ca­ble fees, the de­part­ment said.

Maui EKO, which runs the green-waste dis­posal/com­post­ing op­er­a­tion at the land­fill, cur­rently is mon­i­tor­ing in­com­ing ve­hi­cles to de­ter­mine whether they are res­i­den­tial or com­mer­cial haulers. As part of

Changes an­nounced af­ter China re­vised the list of items it is will­ing to ac­cept

its con­tract with the county, Maui EKO may des­ig­nate a ve­hi­cle as “com­mer­cial” based on a ve­hi­cle’s li­cense plates, ad­ver­tis­ing or sig­nage or by fre­quency of use and/or the type of ma­te­ri­als hauled.

Maui EKO will mon­i­tor fa­cil­ity users and sus­pected com­mer­cial users will be in­ves­ti­gated, the de­part­ment said. Users de­ter­mined to be com­mer­cial will be re­quired to set up an ac­count and to weigh all loads at the scale house.

Maui EKO may deny en­try to any cus­tomer who does not fol­low the rules, the de­part­ment said.

The Kahu­lui Air­gas Store will no longer ac­cept used propane tanks for re­cy­cling, and the county cur­rently is re­search­ing lo­cal al­ter­na­tives, the de­part­ment said.

Ham­mer­head Met­als ac­cepts propane tanks with valves re­moved for re­cy­cling; con­tact them for fees and poli­cies at 280-8844.

Propane tanks are ac­cepted for re­cy­cling as part of the County House­hold Haz­ardous Waste Col­lec­tion Events, which oc­cur an­nu­ally. The last event was held in Oc­to­ber, and the date of the next col­lec­tion event has not yet been sched­uled.

On the pa­per and plas­tics re­cy­cling changes, the county ex­plained that China has im­ple­mented new poli­cies for the ac­cep­tance of re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als world­wide. Most of the plas­tics, pa­per and card­board from Hawaii and the U.S. are shipped to mar­kets in China.

Less ma­te­rial cur­rently is be­ing ac­cepted due to China’s “Green Fence” pol­icy to ad­dress con­tam­i­na­tion lev­els and “Na­tional Sword” ini­tia­tive, which sets stan­dards on the types, quan­tity and qual­ity of ma­te­ri­als that are al­lowed to be shipped into the coun­try.

These poli­cies set lim­its on the im­ports of cer­tain types of plas­tics, pa­per and other re­cy­clables and are in­tended to limit con­tam­i­na­tion to im­prove the qual­ity of the ma­te­ri­als re­ceived and to ul­ti­mately pro­tect China’s en­vi­ron­ment, the county said.

Coun­cil Mem­ber Elle Cochran, chair­woman of the coun­cil In­fra­struc­ture and En­vi­ron­men­tal Management Com­mit­tee, said Fri­day that “it’s tragic to learn that the United States re­lies so heav­ily on an­other coun­try to han­dle our re­cy­cle waste management.”

“It’s time to start work­ing to­wards be­ing self-suf­fi­cient and re­spon­si­ble about our own re­cy­cling and waste management and to take re­spon­si­bil­ity as con­sumers for manag­ing our own use of these ma­te­ri­als; to be mind­ful about us­ing less and reusing more now that we know we have no way, for the time-be­ing, to re­cy­cle things like pa­per, most plas­tics.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about re­cy­cling, visit the Maui County Re­cy­cling web­site at www.mauicounty.gov/re­cy­cle or call the Maui County Re­cy­cling Hot­line at 270-7880.

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