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Council members discuss the benefits of Rotary recycling events

By Staff | Nov 19, 2015

County Council Members Elle Cochran and Mike White volunteer at a recycling event.

LAHAINA – Maui County Council Members Elle Cochran and Mike White say the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset’s “Go Green Third Saturday Recycling” project is an example of how a public/private partnership benefits the community.

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.

The Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset holds the monthly event with sponsorship from Malama Maui Nui, 5A Rent-A-Space, Lahaina Cannery Mall and Maui County.

Both council members agree that the Sunset Rotary Club’s efforts, along with the support of its partners, are a key factor in the event’s success.

“Partnerships are critical to making things a reality in our community, and I truly appreciate these organizations stepping up,” said White.

Cochran, who requested $15,000 in the 2016 County of Maui budget to conduct the events, added, “Mike White and I started the ball rolling with monthly recycling events last year. We were there personally, along with Malama Maui Nui, gathering, collecting, separating and sorting recyclables.

“Then community organizations, including the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset, picked up that ball and kept running. It is where it is today because of their efforts, and that’s great and appreciated.”

In separate interviews, Cochran and White also talked about the importance of making recycling convenient, the challenges involved in finding a permanent solution to the lack of solid waste recycling options on the West Side, and what the public can do to help.

“The challenge has always been that not much of our land is zoned for this type of use,” said Cochran. “A more permanent place would be needed, and that’s the hardest part.”

Both council members said community dialogue with elected representatives is important to keep the project going.

“Please testify both at the mayor’s community budget hearings and also when the council holds its community hearings on the annual budget in April,” said White.

“It’s good to have testimonies to say this is something the public wants, and if there is enough public demand, hopefully we can get people to agree to implement services,” Cochran said.

“There are a lot of people supportive of recycling,” added Cochran. “The Third Saturday Recycling event is key. Hopefully others can see that and it will lead by example.”

“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.