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Nonprofit group says residents play a vital role in continuing the success of West Side recycling project

By Staff | Jan 28, 2016

Malama Maui Nui volunteers (from left) Lauren Kennedy, Stacy Panlasigui and Elizabeth Speith helped out at the December recycling event.

LAHAINA – Environmental nonprofit group Malama Maui Nui says continued community support of the Third Saturday Recycling project will be a strong factor in its future success.

Administered by Malama Maui Nui and run by the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset with the support of other community sponsors, the event has collected over 34,000 pounds of scrap metal, hundreds of appliances and more than 12,600 pounds of recyclable materials in its first six months.

These impressive numbers, however, do not guarantee its future. That is in the hands of West Side residents.

“It is everyone’s kuleana to responsibly dispose of unwanted items, and Third Saturday Recycling facilitates easy participation in the recycling process. But continual community support also needs to ring loud and clear in order to keep initiatives like this running long-term,” said Malama Maui Nui Executive Director John de Jesus.

The influence of residents is significant, said de Jesus, who suggests several ways they can make their voices heard.

“If people wish for these types of programs to succeed, then continue to demonstrate their value by educating yourself and others about the importance of material reuse and landfill diversion, volunteering your time to assist with program facilitation, donating to the organizations that implement the programs and encouraging everyone involved, including their local officials,” said de Jesus.

Making recycling a community priority is vital to sustaining the “Go Green” project.

“The more people who value this program and recycling in general, the higher a priority it becomes for the community-at-large and the greater chance it has to get the attention, investment and infrastructure necessary to expand and grow,” said de Jesus.

It is Malama Maui Nui’s hope that other organizations will follow Lahaina Sunset Rotary’s lead in the recycling initiative.

“The Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset responded to the need for an accessible recycling program in their community by pursuing and committing greatly to this partnership, and that is exactly the model we hope to attract,” said de Jesus.

The next “Go Green Third Saturday Recycling” event will be held on Feb. 20 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.

“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.