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Keeping It Green

Winter 2017, Volume VIII, No. 1

Message from the Executive Director

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Significant changes are afoot that will affect Recycle Hawai‘i’s mission and direction in the coming years both locally and nationally following the tumultuous elections this past November.

Congratulations are in order regarding the return of Mayor Harry Kim, whose previous administration brought about the formation of the County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management (DEM).  Welcome and bonne chance (success) to the newly elected District 4 Council Member, Eileen O’Hara, Ph.D., former Executive Director of Recycle Hawai‘i (2002-2003) and the first Recycling Coordinator for the DEM (2003-2006).  Eileen serves as Chair of the Committee on Environmental Management, Vice Chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability, and Vice Chair of the Committee on Planning.  Best wishes to former DEM Director, Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd on her retirement, and a warm welcome to the newly confirmed Director of DEM, Bill Kucharski, who holds a Master’s Degree in Civil and Chemical Engineering.   The RH staff and Board bids a fond farewell to Linda Peters, DEM County Recycling Coordinator, with whom it has been a pleasure to work with this past decade.  Linda recently moved to be with family in the Pacific Northwest.  

Going forward, Recycle Hawai‘i is now poised to respond to an imminent Request for Proposal from DEM to continue to manage the five existing Recycling/Reuse Centers at Kea‘au, Keauhou, Kealakehe, Pāhoa and Waimea County Transfer Stations plus the recently announced facility to be built at the Hilo Transfer Station.  Our current contract, which ends on January 31, 2017, is scheduled to be extended up to 90 days beyond, pending the release of the next competitive bid process.  Although the current contract included our managing of the new site at the Hilo Transfer Station, shifting priorities by DEM over the past three years have delayed necessary site improvements and delayed its opening.

After nearly two decades of developing and managing the Do-It-Yourself Used Motor Oil (DIY-UMO) Program for the island’s hundreds of shade tree mechanics who maintain their own vehicles, Recycle Hawai‘i will no longer be in charge of the program.  It was the consensus of the RH Board that certain stipulations inherent in a newly designed “invitation to bid” by DEM included risks that the organization is unwilling to take at this time.  How the program will be managed going forward remains to be seen.  

Having spent the holidays these past few weeks “down under,” I managed to visit a rural transfer station along the Great Ocean Road in the south of Australia.  It was no surprise to me to find that, as in many mainland and European municipalities I have visited, the local government there provides for the proper disposal of used motor oil among the many recyclables that can be dropped off at no charge to their residents.  

It’s time that Hawai‘i County DEM secure the necessary Department of Health permits to provide the same level of convenience at our transfer stations that Kaua‘i County residents enjoy as well as the many, many communities across the globe that provide for proper disposal of UMO which has the potential to foul our water table and coastal areas.

Best wishes for good health and sustainability to our members, directors and hard-working staff in this New Year of 2017!

Paul Buklarewicz
Executive Director

Port Campbell Transfer Station sign by Paul J Buklarewicz

PHOTO CAPTION: Sign for Port Campbell Transfer Station which is located in Victoria, Australia.  Municipal, commercial and industrial waste accepted for recycling at no charge includes used motor oil and car batteries as well as steel, plastic, paper and garden organics. 
Photo by Paul J. Buklarewicz

Get the Drift and Bag It! (GTDBI) is Hawai‘i’s contribution to the annual International Coastal Cleanup, which is a worldwide campaign by Ocean Conservancy. On Hawai‘i Island, coordination of GTDBI was done for many years by Terry Miura, recently retired County of Hawai‘i Parks and Recreation Aquatics Specialist.  For 2016 GTDBI cleanups, coordination was handed over to Recycle Hawai‘i and Keep Hawai‘i Beautiful, who wishes to thank a total of 411 volunteers who removed 5,250 pounds of rubbish and marine debris from 26 miles of our beautiful coastlines.  Due to Aunty Terry’s outstanding leadership over the years, a number of dedicated volunteer groups were well trained and ready to make a difference.  We congratulate them for their commitment to making our ocean and island home a better place for all.

Big Island Stevedores, Hilo
Dolphin Quest
Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy’s Grades 4th, 5th & 7th
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund
Jack’s Dive Locker
Keep Puako Beautiful
Rotary Club of Hilo with Waiakea High Interact Club
St. Joseph School
Waiakea High Key Club

To view an interactive world map of all the different cleanups and their data please visit

If you’d like to participate in the next Get The Drift And Bag It! for September 2017, email Vicki Haili, new Hawai‘i Island GTDBI Coordinator, at for more information.

ICC poster by Victoria Haili

PHOTO CAPTION: Poster for International Coastal Cleanup. 
Photo by Victoria Haili

Recycle Hawai‘i is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization serving the people of Hawai‘i.  Our mission is to promote resource awareness and recycling enterprises in Hawai‘i.  To achieve this, we educate the community about sound resource management and recycling opportunities for a more environmentally sustainable future.

View the pdf here.

Donate to support our ongoing sustainability programs!

There are many plans from individuals to non-profits. Learn more.


Cyril Pahinui Performs at Pahoa High School

On October 22, 2009 award winning Hawaiian recording artist Cyril Pahinui made a special presentation at Pahoa High School. Pahinui spoke with students in Coco Rodriguez's class and performed for teachers and students at a lunch time concert. This Recycle Hawai`i Artists and the Environment presentation was listed as an event supporting theInternational Day of Climate Action.

Coco Rodriguez's Pahoa High class with recording artist Cyril Pahinui
and Recycle Hawai`i's Howard Shapiro.

Hawai`i recording artist Cyril Pahinui performing with Pahoa High Students.


Pahoa High teacher Coco Rodriguez dancing to Cyril Pahinui and guest students.

Congratulations to the 2011 Art of Recycling School Competition winners! Mahalo to Juror: Amy Jackson


Art of Recycling School Competition Winners 2011

Slide 3

Osiana Pacheco, Grade 3 Ha'aheo Elementary School
Use Solar Power It's Good for the World - 1st Place Winner

Slide 1

Luke Chandler, Grade 2 Waimea Country School
Stinging Jelly Fish - 2nd Place Winner

Slide 2

Loren Bailey, Konawaena High School
White Trash Hat - 3rd Place Winner

Slide 4

Jai Oakland, Grade 2 Waimea Country School
Kamapua'a - The Recycling Pig - 3rd Place Winner


View the slideshow of the 2011 ARSC students' work!

(Flash 6 plugin required)

Congratulations to 2010's winners!!!

Juror - Lisa Louise Adams 

To view a slide show of students' work, please choose a year.



2010 ARSC Waimea-Hilo-Kona

2008 ARSC Winners/Jurors: Stephen Freedman & Jamie Stokes

2007 ARSC Winners/Jurors:Tomas Belsky & Ken Charon 

 2006 ARSC Winners/Jurors: James Rhodes, Jay J. West, and Jackie Wright



Waimea Recycling & Reuse Center (WRRC) 

Enjoy these photos of the newly opened Waimea Recycling & Reuse Center (WRRC) located on Hwy. 19 just below Waimea (on the Kawaihae Road Follow Solid Waste Transfer Station sign) In the next few weeks you will find more information here about what and how to recycle and how your family can benefit from reuse items at this newest of Recycle Hawai`i's island wide recycling & reuse centers. WRRC is open daily from 9:00 AM-4:30 PM.

Welcome to the newly opened Waimea Recycling & Reuse Center (WRRC)!

Construction of the new reuse center facility.

The newly opened reuse center.

Newly built drop off bins.

Recycle Hawai`i's island-wide Recycling & Reuse Centers

Kea`au Recycling & Reuse Center (KRRC)

WRRC Staff

 keith christmas
Keith Christmas
Recycling/Reuse Coordinator

joe rogers
Joey Rogers
Recycling/Reuse Coordinator

darlene woolford
Darleen "Dee" Woolford
Recycling/Reuse Coordinator