Ryan Finnerty/HPR

HILO — The Solid Waste Advisory Committee in Hawaii has proposed a plan that includes 82 waste management recommendations covering nine programs.

Noe Tanigawa / Hawai'i Public Radio

Communities large and small have been trying to deal with their own garbage since the dawn of civilization.  The first municipal waste dump in the Western world is credited to Athens in the 5th century B.C., and that’s the solution nearly every community takes, at least for starters. We’ve spent the last two weeks looking at solid waste management across this state, and while methods and incentives have differed over the decades, experts in the field are coming to one conclusion.

Sherry Bracken / HPR

Governments in every county across the state are cutting back on plastic. On Hawaii Island, the county is no longer recycling plastic, and that’s where one woman has turned a problem into a business.

Tech. Sgt. Brian Ferguson / U.S. Air Force

When you hear stories about trade these days, they’re often focused on tariffs — and the ongoing dispute between the United States and China. But there’s another trade story in Asia that also has lingering implications.

Trosmisiek / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

It’s been almost two months since Oahu joined the rest of the state in outlawing single-use plastic bags. In the Asia Pacific, the latest country to ban the use of those plastic bags is New Zealand.

Darren.notley / Wikimedia Commons

Two of the largest grocery store chains in Australia are taking new steps to cut down on the amount of waste they produce. It’s the latest development in a series of moves aimed at curbing waste in Australia. HPR’S Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Black Friday is expected to generate billions of dollars in sales this year. According to the National Retail Federation an estimated 164 million of us will be shopping this weekend. But this shopping bonanza also generates greater volumes of waste. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports on Hawai‘i’s conscious consumer and where they’re going to be shopping this holiday season.

The Conversation: Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Apr 22, 2016
Flickr - Kenny Louie

Zero Waste Initiative at HPR; Storyteller Margaret Read McDonald; Global Climate Outlook; Haleakalā National Park Centennial

Zero Waste Initiative Follow Up: Ku’ulei Williams

noe tanigawa



For the past week, HPR has been looking at the issues Hawai‘i faces around solid waste. We’ve looked at the proliferation of plastic, the possibility of pollution from particles smaller than we now measure, and the struggles of each county to reduce mounting “waste” in landfills.  Over the past 20 years, a movement has been building around a mind shift—HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found that waste could translate into resources.

Danumurthi Mahendra / Flickr
Danumurthi Mahendra / Flickr

Facilities that burn waste and produce energy are located across the United States including here on O‘ahu. But for a number of reasons, construction of these plants has slowed in the US. In Asia, it’s a different story. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Trashing Paradise: Does H-POWER Still Make Sense?

Apr 1, 2015
Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

All week, we’ve been taking a closer look at how Hawai‘i deals with its waste. It’s part of our series, “Trashing Paradise.” Today we focus on H-POWER, the waste to energy plant on O‘ahu. HPR’s Molly Solomon visited the facility where almost all of the island’s trash ends up.

You can find our entire "Trashing Paradise" series here.

Pat Gegen


Hawai‘i Public Radio’s continuing look at solid waste this week focuses on the island of Kaua‘i  today.   In 2011, the county council adopted a Zero Waste Resolution, committing the county to diverting 70% of its waste away from landfills by 2023.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found that on Kaua‘i waste disposal is on the verge of changes.  

Flickr / st3v3l33
Flickr / st3v3l33

Among Hawaii’s many charms is the humble plate lunch. And chances are that lunch will likely be served in a Styrofoam container. Lawmakers this session are trying to change that and push local restaurants to go green. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Molokai’s Waste Management Program Wins Award

Sep 2, 2013
Flickr / ©hapulcu (away)
Flickr / ©hapulcu (away)

A small team in Kalaupapa is changing the way people think about trash with their award winning solid waste management program. Catherine Cluett reports from The Molokai Dispatch. 

Food waste in public schools

Jun 27, 2013

  Food waste from restaurants, hotels, and caterers - and even on college campuses is only part of the story...but what happens in public school cafeterias?  Next on Town Square, part two of our look  at Food  Waste: what's done with winds up in the trash and fights over food kids will eat and not throw away in the first place.

Flickr / sheilaz413
Flickr / sheilaz413

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said earlier this spring that he does not believe Oahu needs another landfill. The mayor hopes technological advances, including a new H-POWER plant will eliminate the need to add anything beyond the Waimanalo Gulch landfill. But in Hong Kong, waste is a very different story. And Bill Dorman has it in today’s Asia Minute.

A Fresh Idea for Feeding the Homeless

May 1, 2013
Give It Fresh Today
Give It Fresh Today

According to the EPA, food waste is now the biggest contributor to our country’s landfills. Every year, as much as 40% of our food ends up in the trash. But, as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, a local project is taking steps to ensure that excess produce gets to the people who need it the most.