County Makes Changes to its Recycling Program

The County of Hawai’i will says it will no longer accept #5 plastics, plastic grocery bags, nor any clam shell-type plastic (salad, bentos, fruit, etc.) in the mixed recyclable bins at the Recycling & Transfer Stations.

County officials say the items won’t be accepted due to a change in global recycling markets.

The changes go into effect beginning on December 1, 2018.

Examples of the #5 (polypropylene) plastics which will no longer be accepted include: yogurt and hummus containers, syrup bottles, margarine tubs, prescription bottles and bottle caps.  

The plastics that will continue to be accept in the mixed recyclable bins at the Recycling & Transfer Stations are clean #1 (PETE) and #2 (HDPE) plastic bottles, plastic jars, and jugs such as milk, jam, mayonnaise, juice, detergent containers, and household cleaner containers, etc. The following clean materials are also accepted in the mixed recycling bins:

  • Aluminum Cans and Steel Cans (Non-HI5)
  • Newspaper and Magazines
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Boxboard/Paperboard (examples are cereal and cake mix boxes)
  • Mail and office type paper (No shredded paper)

Click here for a full list of recyclables which are accepted at the County of Hawai’i Recycling & Transfer Stations.

“The intent of the County of Hawai’i Recycling program is to collect materials that can be diverted from the landfill by reusing the products or transporting the materials to market to be remanufactured into new products,” a release from the County of Hawai’i Solid Waste Division read on Friday. “Currently, markets for certain types of plastics are being saturated and the markets are demanding higher quality recyclables.”

When incorrect or contaminated materials are thrown into the recycling bins, it can cause the entire bin to become contaminated and turns what could have been recycled into trash.  The public is asked to only recycle what is now being accepted to avoid contamination.