Archive for April, 2011


 Mayor Alan Arakawa is supporting the first Maui County initiative for curbside recycling. Now we need to let every member of the county council know that we support this initiative.

In his February 25 State of the County speech, the mayor spoke about starting a curbside recycling program in Kihei. “We plan to expand this service to all of Maui County as soon as possible,” he said. “This has been a goal we’ve been talking about for years. . . . Let’s do it.”

The mayor’s budget contains $50,000 for processing the curbside recycling project , $35,000 for education about the project and somewhat less than $350,000 for new containers. The final costs may be less than these estimates.

However the County Council must deciding wether or not to fund the program during its current series of budget-setting meetings. Their decision will be influenced by testimony from the public, which means you. If you want curbside recycling, attend any of the county council meetings from today through May 4. The entire budget must be approved by the end of May or first part of June.


  • You will have the convenience to to put almost all your recycling in one container and only have to take it as far as your curb.
  • When fully implemented, Curbside recycling will reduce landfill use by 15%-20%, extending the
    life of our current landfill and saving much taxpayer money.
  • Your yard trimmings will become food for new plants instead of waste in a landfill.
  • Your recyclables will become new products.
  • Increased public participation in recycling and conservation.
  • Increased understanding of environmental issues.


The Maui County Solid Waste Division is proposing a first phase test of curbside recycling to be conduced in Kihei—in Maui Meadows and most of the area between Hoonani and Kapuna streets. The program will be phased in across Maui County over the next few years, depending upon council funding.

There will be three types of curbside pickup, each in its own container:

  1. Regular trash (goes into the landfill)
  2. Recycling:
    put all recyclables in same container – no need to separate by kind (see details below).
  3. Yard trimmings with select kitchen organics:
    will be converted into compost. (see details below)

The Recycling Section is recommending the county consider a version of the “Pay As You Throw” or PAYT programs, (also known as unit pricing or variable-rate pricing). 700 U.S. communities already have some form of PAYT, but none yet in Hawai’i. PAYT programs are shown to motivate residents to reduce the amount of waste they make.

 In the proposed program, residents choose and pay for one of three sizes of refuse container—32 gallons, 64 gallons or 96 gallons. The current refuse containers are all 96 gallons and the rate is $16 to $17 per month. Smaller containers would cost the county less to purchase and have a lower monthly fee for residents.

Recycling and green waste containers would all be one size—96 gallons.

Refuse would be picked up once per week. Recycling and Green Waste would alternately be picked up every other week.

Although the Recycling Section of the Solid Waste Department is recommending the county adopt PAYT, the decision will be made by Department of Environmental Management along with the mayor and council members.

All recycled material will be marketed by the county’s processing contractor to be manufactured into new products.

The Recycling Section is developing the list of items you will be able to recycle. The following list is a draft. Items may be added or excluded as research continues.

  • Plastic: all #1 and #2 plastic, bottles, jugs and coffee tubs, and lids.
  • Aluminum: cans, pop tops, foil, trays
  • Metal (steel or tin): cans, lids and caps
  • Paper:
  • Bags
  • Cardboard
  • Office and computer paper
  • Envelopes
  • Junk mail
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Gabletop milk and juice containers

Curbside recycling will not collect:

  • Glass (you will still need to take this to the redemption center)
  • Plastic bags
  • wrapping paper, soiled paper towels, used napkins, used paper plates,
    paper cartons
  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic silverware
  • Ice cream containers (they have a plastic liner)
  • Electronics
  • Helium or propane tanks
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Small appliances
  • Dirt, rocks

The county will collect:

  • Grass and flower cuttings
  • Tree and hedge trimmings
  • House plants without soil
  • Christmas trees
  • Palm fronds
  • Kitchen organics:
    • The fibrous, hard stuff should be put in the organics container for composting.
      You will continue to put soft kitchen organics down the garbage disposal.
    • Vegetable and fruit peels, skin, rinds, stems and pits.
    • Pineapple tops
    • Artichoke leaves
    • Corn cobs
    • Food soiled:
      • Napkins
      • Paper towels
      • Paper plates
      • Pizza boxes
      • Cartons
        Tip: you can use a milk carton to store kitchen organics in your refrigerator
        or freezer for the next curbside organics pickup.

Curbside yard trimmings and kitchen organics will not collect:

  • Meat (use garbage disposal)
  • Seafood (use garbage disposal)
  • Diary (use garbage disposal)
  • Liquids (use garbage disposal)

The green waste yard trimmings will go to Eko Compost near the South Puunene Avenue landfill, where it will be finely ground up and “Heat Composted” by the high temperature naturally generated by decomposition of large amounts of plant matter. Heat composting kills infectious single-celled organisms by drying up their outer membrane and produces Class A compost for lawns, potted plants, fruit and vegetable gardens and farms. The final step of decomposition comes from Hawai’ian sunlight after the compost is spread on the soil.


  • Call or write the mayor to thank him for making curbside recycling a county priority.
  • Attend a county council budget meeting to testify in favor of curbside
  • Write, email or call council members to encourage them to support the proposal.
  • Write a letter to the editor of the Maui News, Maui Time, etc.
  • Forward this email to your friends.

   Contact Hana Steel, Ph.D., Recycling Coordinator
   Solid Waste Division
   Department of Environmental Management
   County of Maui
   200 South High Street
   Wailuku, Hawaii 96793
   Phone: 808-270-7847
   Fax: 808-270-7843

Find PAYT information on the web:

    Learn about Eko Compost.

    South Maui Sustainability, 2011

    April 25, 2011 at 10:25 pm 7 comments

Vegetable Garden Design and Care Workshop

A Day in the Garden

Dear Teachers, Principals, and Community Members Supporting our School Gardens:
Here is a remarkable opportunity. I met Evan at the last Maui Farmer’s United meeting and he has a vast amount of knowledge in the area of sustainable agriculture. He is willing to hold a few slots for our Maui School Garden Network teachers for FREE!!!!!! Please contact him immediately if you can be there at Haili’imaile on April 23rd

See details at the Maui School Garden Network website.

April 10, 2011 at 12:11 am Leave a comment

GE Solar Panel Factory To Be Largest In U.S.

General Electric says it’s going to build the nation’s largest solar panel factory, part of a $600 million dollar bet on the future of solar power in the United States.

GE says its thin film solar panel has been certified as the most energy efficient of its kind by the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado. The technology for the panel, called CdTe thin film, lends itself to low-cost, large-scale manufacturing.

See full Huffington Post article.

April 9, 2011 at 1:49 am Leave a comment

Hawai’i State Report on Green Businesses

 The State of Hawai’i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has released a new report, Hawai’i’s Green Workforce: A Baseline Assessment

This report provides a comprehensive framework for assessing green jobs in the private sector of the State of Hawaiÿi.  Survey responses, from a stratified random sample of all Hawaiÿi businesses, provided data on 4,008 worksites for the first quarter of 2010.  This represents a 44 percent overall response rate.

Green jobs are defined as those that engage in at least one of five core green areas: (1) Generate clean, renewable, sustainable energy; (2) Reduce pollution and waste, conserve natural resources, recycle; (3) Energy efficiency; (4) Education, training and support of a green workforce; and (5) Natural, environmentally-friendly production.

Key findings include:

  • Green jobs in the private sector of Hawai’i are estimated at 11,145, which accounts for 2.4 percent oftotal private employment. Green jobs are identified in 203 occupations across 19 major industry groups.  Sixty-five percent of Hawaiÿi’s green jobs are found in three major industries – Construction, Professional Services, and Administrative & Support, Waste Management & Remediation Services.  Five occupations — Janitors & Cleaners, Forest & Conservation Technicians, Security Guards, Electricians, and Heating & Air Conditioning Mechanics & Installers — account for 28 percent of the green workforce.
  • Current green job vacancies are estimated at 670, which represent 1.5 percent of Hawaiÿi’s totalunemployment.  Nearly three-quarters of these vacancies occur in three industries – Construction, Agriculture and Professional Services.
  • Businesses anticipate green employment to grow faster than the overall labor market in Hawaiÿi.  Between2010 and 2012, employer worksites project the number of green jobs to increase by 26 percent to14,048, accounting for 2.9 percent of total employment. Occupations expected to experience the most growth in green jobs during this period are solar and insulation technicians.  All counties report an increase in the number of green jobs by 2012, with Oÿahu projecting the largest number (1,885 new green jobs) and Hawaiÿi County the highest rate of growth (42 percent).
  • Community colleges and trade schools fulfill 62 percent of the education and training requirementsfor reported green jobs.  The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is the most commonly cited qualification.
  • Businesses report an average of 3.5 green practices per worksite, with the largest numbers found in Maui and Kauaÿi counties.  Recycling, use of recycled products, and energy-saving light bulbs are the most common practices.  Over 90 percent of worksites report at least one green practice

April 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm Leave a comment

New University of Hawai’i Maui Campus Garden



SLIM (The Sustainable Living Institute of Maui at UHMC) is partnering with a number of local community organizations to design a educational, culinary and community garden on the Maui campus.

The garden will feature:

  • Movies in the Garden
  • A learning center showcasing innovative gardening techniques
  • Culinary, educational and community plots
  • On-site composting
  • Student-run farm stand
  • Green building structures

You can get involved by contacting SLIM or donating gardening or building materials or monetary donations.

April 2, 2011 at 7:10 pm Leave a comment

Maui Bamboo for Construction

Whispering Winds Bamboo Co-operative has been farming biodynamically since 2003 and is certified organic by Stellar Certification Services. They cultivate a full range of bamboo plants for landscaping and have bamboo timber poles as well as several tropical hardwood species.

The sustainable benefits of constructing  (and landscaping) with bamboo are:

  • Bamboo IS sustainable agriculture Bamboo is a perennial plant offering a sustained annual harvest, which eliminates the need for yearly re-plowing and re-planting. Once established, a bamboo grove will minimize wind and soil erosion and maximize water retention.
  • Bamboo is a high-yield renewable resource Bamboo timber from a newly established plantation can be harvested in 6-8 years versus 10-30 years for most softwood, and it generates a crop every year. Each clump will produce from 3-8 new culms a year. A 4″ diameter pole is equivalent to a 4×4 of wood and is known to have greater load capacity. Bamboo tolerates extremes of precipitation, from 30-250 inches of annual rainfall on well-drained soils. With a 10-30% annual increase in biomass versus 2 to 5% for trees, bamboo creates greater yields of raw material for use. One resource book lists over 5,000 uses from building houses, scaffolding, furniture, musical instruments, paper, plywood, to clothing, medicine and food.
  • Bamboo protects the watershed and can do environmental clean up Bamboo greatly reduces rain run off, while keeping up to twice as much water in the watershed. Bamboo is a pioneering plant and can be grown in soil damaged by overgrazing or poor agricultural techniques. It is very effective at removing metals and toxic substances from soil and water. Bamboo survived the Hiroshima atomic blast closer to ground zero than any other living thing and participated in it’s re-greening.
  • Bamboo is the strongest and fastest growing woody plant on planet earth Bamboo’s tensile strength is 28,000 psi versus 23,000 psi for mild steel.
  • Bamboo is protecting the atmosphere Bamboo releases 35% more oxygen and consumes 4 times more carbon dioxide than equivalent stands of trees. There are over 1500 species of bamboo. The carbon sequestration ability of Bamboo is still being determined but early models show substantial amounts of bound carbon especially if the harvested fiber is locked in a 50-year structure.
  • Bamboo can feed us Bamboo shoots provide nutrition for millions of people worldwide. Taiwan alone consumes 80,000 tons of bamboo shoots annually, constituting a $50 million industry.
  • Bamboo is saving the rainforest Over 1 billion people in the world live in bamboo houses and they are exceedingly earthquake proof. Its lumber yield (weight per acre per year) is up to 25 times that of normal timber. To build 1000 houses of bamboo, material may be taken from a 60-hectare bamboo plantation, which will be replaced in 5-7 years. If an equivalent project used timber, it would require 500 hectares of forest cover and it would take decades to replace.
  • Bamboo grows GREEN on Maui WWB coop has over 18 acres of non-invasive clumping select species that are being managed organically and thriving. Using locally grown select bamboo will save our timber resources, reduce our reliance on importing lumber and stimulate the local economy with jobs.
  • Bamboo is Profitable Global bamboo market in 2004 was estimated around $10 billion and is expected to become $20 billion by 2015, riding mainly on the demand from US, especially for paper production.

HC1 Box 180, Hana, HI 96713

April 2, 2011 at 6:26 pm Leave a comment

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