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Third Saturday Recycling events to continue through December

By Staff | Sep 28, 2017

On the third Saturday of every month, residents can bring a wide range of recyclable goods — including appliances, automobile batteries, bicycles, computers, plastics, scrap metal and more — to the Lahaina Cannery Mall parking lot. Malama Maui Nui and the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset coordinate these “Go Green Recycle” events. Here, a truck is packed with appliances on Sept. 16.

LAHAINA – The Third Saturday Recycling event at Lahaina Cannery Mall grows in popularity each month, with users traveling from across the island to take advantage of this unique West Side opportunity provided by partners Rotary Club Lahaina Sunset and Malama Maui Nui nonprofit.

On Sept. 16, there were extra long lines of vehicles at the mall full to overflowing with appliances.

According to one Kula recycler, the county is charging $25 for residential pickup of appliances, so the long trek across the Pali was apparently worth it to him.

In 2014, the only recycling available on the West Side was “inconveniently” located at the Olowalu Recycling & Refuse Convenience Center.

The drop box stations previously located in Napili and Lahaina had been terminated.

Trucks lined up at the September Third Saturday Recycling event to dispose of old appliances.

Through the lobbying efforts of Malama Maui Nui and the Rotary Sunset chapter, the successful Saturday service was adopted and is ongoing – at least for now.

In mid-July, a column written by West Maui County Councilmember Elle Cochran noted: “I was successful in securing funding for a year-long drop box facility operated by Lahaina International LLC at the old mill smokestack on Lahainaluna Road. The facility will be open six days a week, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, and will accept all recyclables except heavy metals, appliances and electronics.”

Cochran added in that same council update, “I made the choice to move the money from the once a month recycling events (Third Saturday) in order to operate this daily drop box facility, because I thought that it would better satisfy the needs of the West Maui community to have access to recycling six days a week.

“I do, however, recognize the high value to our community to have both services available. Due to that fact, I have been in talks with the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to negotiate a way to fund both the drop box facility and to have the monthly recycling events this year.”

A resident missed the August Third Saturday event at the mall. The following week, she went to the smokestack drop box facility to find there were no bins available, and the six-day-a-week program had not been implemented as stated.

With rumors that the valuable Third Saturday program may go unfunded by the county as of October, concerned residents were worried that the good recycling habits learned over the past two years were under threat.

And the Lahaina News went to work.

As of press time on Friday morning, an e-mail to Cochran’s office went unanswered about the status of the promised drop box site at Lahainaluna Road.

The Olowalu transfer station continues to be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for residential use only. Items accepted include flattened cardboard, glass jars and bottles, aluminum and steel cans, newspaper, plastics #1 and #2, yard trimmings and used motor oil. Vehicle tires and batteries are accepted for a fee.

The county Solid Waste Management & Recycling Division informed the West Maui paper that a $25 fee is charged for residential appliance pickup. However, appliances are accepted at no charge to residents at the Hammerhead Metals Central Maui Baseyard in Puunene five times per year.

From Malama Maui Nui, the West Side weekly learned that the Third Saturday program, supported by the Maui County Department of Environmental Management, will continue to the end of the year.

In an e-mail, Megan Moseley advised, “Our West Side recycling event started in 2015. The community has been extremely supportive of our effort to bring convenient recycling to the West Side of the island. Last year we recycled 143 tons of material, including 835 appliances and 50,540 lbs. of e-waste.

“These numbers demonstrate the success and need for this event and show the benefit of offering proactive services.”

For more information, constituents can call Cochran’s office at 270-5504, the Solid Waste Management & Recycling Division at 270-7875 and Hammerhead Metals Recycling at 280-8844.