homepage logo

Volunteers help keep the island clean at Rotary recycling event

By Staff | Oct 29, 2015

From left, Rich Lynch, Angus McKelvey and Scott Matovich help unload a television.

LAHAINA – Helping to load old televisions, used tires and scrap metal into recycling bins may not be the first idea that comes to mind when planning your Saturday morning, but for volunteers who attended the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset’s monthly “Go Green Third Saturday Recycling” on Oct. 17, the experience was a rewarding way to give back to the community.

Rich Lynch of Honokowai said the recycling event inspired him to get involved. “I haven’t volunteered since college, but I’ve been looking for a way to be part of the community. I read about this project in the paper, and here I am this morning.”

Lynch said the event taught him more about the community. “Getting to know the volunteers here, it’s great to see that everyone cares as much as they do.”

Last month, Peter Faust of Puamana dropped off recycling items at the event. This month, he was back as a volunteer.

“I’m here to give back to the community,” he said. “I want to help residents clean up and I want to spread the word, so they know that they don’t have to leave their unwanted items on the side of the road. This is the alternative and it’s making a difference.”

Angus McKelvey, state representative for West Maui, Maalaea and North Kihei, was eager to help out with the event.

“I know the great work this event has done, and when I saw that another one was coming up, I wanted to come help because it’s a huge thing,” he said. “I’m excited that everyone from the community is coming out and taking advantage of it.”

Fellow Lahaina resident Scott Matovich saw volunteering for the project as a chance to take action on an issue that impacts his neighborhood.

“I drive down the streets where the TVs are on the side of the road, and instead of sitting home and complaining about it, I decided to come and do my part,” he said.

The event had other benefits, added Matovich, including a much-appreciated Saturday morning caffeine fix. He said, “I get to meet new people, make new friends, and the coffee is free!”

The next “Go Green Third Saturday Recycling” event will be held on Nov. 21 from 8 a.m. to noon at Lahaina Cannery Mall. All recyclables qualify for drop off except oversized tires and household goods. There is a $5 charge for each tire; all other items are accepted without charge. No fees are paid to residents for recyclables delivered to the event.

“Go Green Third Saturday Recycling” is the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset’s centennial project to mark 100 years of Rotary in Hawaii. By encouraging honor and respect for the land, it celebrates Rotary’s commitment to serve the people of Hawaii.

Malama Maui Nui, 5A Rent-A-Space in Honokowai, Lahaina Cannery Mall and the County of Maui are co-sponsors of the monthly events.

“Go Green Third Saturday Recycling” will continue through June 2016. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Liz May at 5A Rent-A-Space at 669-5200. Able volunteers are needed to assist in handling large drop offs.

In related news, the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset will host a talk on rural education in China on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Teacher training is a vital element to quality education both nationally and internationally. Join the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset to learn more about this important topic from speaker Joanne Laird, who will share her firsthand account of training teachers in China.

Laird will discuss her experience traveling to Lanzhou, Gansu, China as part of a project to improve the country’s rural education system.

Laird, the youth service chair for Rotary District 5000, is part of the Rotary International Vocational Training Team (VTT), a group of professionals who travel abroad to exchange knowledge in their field.

In July, the group participated in a two-week project to instruct Lanzhou educators in various subjects. Laird’s presentation will focus on her role teaching American culture, English, classroom management, pedagogy and curriculum based on children’s literature to 28 rural elementary English teachers.

The Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset’s community speaker series takes place on the first, third and fifth Tuesday of the month at the Royal Lahaina Resort from 5 to 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.