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EEO Report

Hilo, Hawaii News, Sports, & Information Sunday, May 29, 2016

Special to KPUA.net by H.I.E.D.B
Hawaii Island Economic Development Board is a private non-profit organization whose mission is, "To provide and promote private-sector support and expertise for balanced economic growth in Hawaii County, in partnership with federal, state, county and private resources."

Recycling Center Making "Trashformation" a reality

Hawaii Island is desperately in need of a transformation or better yet, a "trashformation." Generations of residents are unaware of the importance of recycling. And if the importance is known, the effort to recycle has been far too great because there has not been convenient opportunity to recycle most goods.

But now Hawaii Island is home to the Keaau Recycling & Reuse Center on Highway 130 next to the Humane Society. The center is the first of several that are planned for our island. If you donšt live near Keaau, you can still begin your "trashformation." The first step is reducing, the second step is reusing and the third step is recycling. Each of us can reduce our use of goods that are excessively packaged and complain to manufacturers when we encounter over-packaged products. We can reuse plastic containers and plastic bags from stores, and even purchase a used rather than a new car. And we can all recycle which means we make something new out of something used. Composting green waste is an example of recycling that saves our landfills and makes fertile soil for our lawns and gardens.

Every day, trucks now haul trash from East Hawaii to the landfill at Puuanahulu near Waikoloa. This is an impractical but necessary situation with the closure of the Hilo landfill. You may think that by recycling one grocery bag, you cannot make a difference. But if 50,000 island residents recycled just one plastic bag each week, then the difference that can be made becomes quite obvious. At the very least, efforts by Hawaii Island residents to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible and as much as possible, could decrease the number of trucks entering the landfill.

To further change the attitudes of generations of "non-recyclers" the Keaau Recycling & Reuse center will host fun and informative "Re-use Workshops" on the second Saturday of each month beginning on June 14. Through workshop participation, the public can become even more aware of recycling in innovative ways. These educational workshops and remarkable demonstrations are for adults and children and will cover a wide range of uses for recycled materials. Workshops covering identical topics will be at 10:00 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m. On each workshop Saturday, the Keiki Krafts corner will be open and workshops will be provided for children and youth at 10:00 and 2:00 p.m. Community educators and teachers are invited to participate in these workshops that will include ideas for simple classroom activities.

On Saturday, August 2 the Center will be accepting entries for the Juried Art Show - "Art and Objects from Opala." There is no entry fee. Both functional and non-functional art created by island artists will be exhibited in this open contest. Categories will include children grades 1-8, youth grades 9-12, Adult Enthusiasts and Professionals. Cash prizes will be awarded and many of the pieces will be available for sale. The exhibition will be on display at the Recycling Center through the month of August.

The Center always welcomes useful but unneeded items for recycling. Of particular interest are art supplies, broken lamps and broken wooden furniture to be utilized by the artists in residence for Keiki Krafts, art and outdoor sculptures at the site.

The Center is of the utmost significance to the future of Hawaii Island and landfills that are at and already beyond capacity. Every resident is called to commit to "trashformation" for long term viability of the project. With success in Keaau, future centers can and are being planned elsewhere on the island. With community involvement, the process of transforming diverted waste into functional or decorative items becomes second nature "trashformation," and our island's limited landfills are spared needless, recyclable rubbish.

For workshop sponsorship, contact Jay West at 885-7812 or artglass@gte.net. Artist Loretta Nussbaum and businessman Jon Olson assist Jay in developing, planning and implementing the workshops. For more information about the Recycling Center, call 895-6815 or log on to www.recyclehawaii.org.

The Keaau Recycling & Reuse Center is funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and administered through the County of Hawaii Department of Environmental Management. Hawaii Island Economic Development Board serves as the project manager, Recycle Hawaii is operating the center and Jay West of Peak Creations is managing the monthly workshops.

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