Trashing The Islands

Credit Ku'uwehi Hiraishi/HPR

Nearly five years ago, Hawaii Public Radio reported a series of stories about the state of garbage around the islands. This week and next, we’re going back for another look in a series we’re calling “Trashing the Islands.”

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Recycling is a good goal. It reuses materials that would otherwise end up in the landfill. But the world market is changing and, for Kauaʻi, this means rethinking whether exporting recyclables to other countries is sustainable.

Ryan Finnerty

Opening day at the Hawaii State Legislature; Striking findings from Pew Research Center's 2019 studies; Recycling challenges on Maui; Bringing wasted down to zero

Ryan Finnerty / Hawaii Public Radio

Several months after Hawaii County stopped accepting plastic products at its recycling program, residents are looking for an alternative, and one not governed by international markets.

Casey Harlow / HPR

Organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation and Sierra Club are active in addressing broad environmental issues at the local level, including on Maui. But one island company and a homegrown community group are developing ways to recycle and reduce waste that could be adopted beyond the county.

Ashley Mizuo/HPR

The owner of RRR Recycling that handles Honolulu’s blue recycling bins says he’s had to close over half of his locations since around 2017. The president of Reynolds Recycling said his company has had to do the same in recent years.

County of Kaua'i

Kauaʻi's rural landscape and small-town charm are characteristics residents here enjoy and strive to protect. But small-island living also means limited space and fewer options. As garbage continues to pile up at the island’s only landfill, Kauaʻi is looking to turn its small size into its biggest advantage. 

Ryan Finnerty

Hawaii Island is in the enviable position of having a landfill with anywhere from 20 to 100 years of capacity left to take in trash. But the island still wrestles with significant issues like plastic products that are no longer being recycled.  

Casey Harlow / HPR

Far from the view of the nearly three million visitors who travel to Maui County each year are two landfills that are filling up fast and approaching the end of their lifespans. 

Ashley Mizuo/HPR

About 30 trucks roll down Farrington Highway on the west side of Oahu every day to dump waste at the City and County of Honolulu's only municipal landfill, Waimanalo Gulch. Now after 30 years, the State Land Use Commission has ordered the landfill to close its doors for good by 2028.

flickr

Trash Series; Sterile Trees; Cyber Espionage Could Benefit Hawaii's Economy; Water Conservation; 'Iolani Grad Named To Forbes 30 Under 30

Ryan Finnerty/HPR

Nearly five years ago, Hawaii Public Radio reported a series of stories about the state of garbage around the islands. This week and next, we’re going back for another look in a series we’re calling “Trashing the Islands.”