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County should support Third Saturday Recycling

By Staff | Apr 18, 2019

Third Saturday Recycling at Lahaina Cannery Mall each month has been a tremendous success, with West Siders dropping off more than 1,000,000 pounds of materials – including appliances, electronics, scrap metal and vehicle batteries and tires – since the program began in July 2015.

In a puzzling move, the county administration’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year includes only half of the funds needed for Third Saturday Recycling.

It doesn’t make sense because the County of Maui is a PARTNER in this community service effort with Malama Maui Nui, 5A Rent-A-Space, Lahaina Cannery Mall and Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset.

Only Malama Maui Nui receives funds for the program from the County of Maui. Other sponsors donate labor, marketing, transportation and facilities.

If full funding isn’t restored, Third Saturday Recycling will be held every other month starting in July, after the new county budget takes effect.

Rotarians educated the County Council about the importance of the program at a budget hearing last week in Lahaina.

Heidi Dollinger, president of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset, explained that Third Saturday Recycling meets a need in West Maui by taking only items not accepted at the expanded recycling center on Lahainaluna Road.

“Third Saturday Recycling works. Malama Maui Nui staff reports that West Maui is the cleanest part of our beautiful island,” she testified.

Jim Fahnestock, past president of the Sunset Rotary Club, said, “We understand how some residents disposed of these bulky recyclable items before Third Saturday Recycling. We’ve heard the stories of appliances, electronics and vehicle tires loaded on the back of pickups and dumped in the county’s back roads.

“Why, when we’ve made so much forward progress, would we want to take a step backward? Why would we want to risk seeing an increase in illegal dumping again?”

West Side residents who have dropped off items at Third Saturday Recycling should lobby the County Council to increase funding for the program. Send your comments to the County Council’s Economic Development & Budget Committee at edb.committee@mauicounty.us.