By Nina Wu
Clearing out the house of clutter for the new year?
A great one-stop shop for recycling several kinds of items are the Aloha ‘Aina Earth Day community cleanups and fundraisers. The first one of the year is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, Waimanalo Beach Park.
These cleanups involve numerous organizations who help collect and recycle everything from cooking oil (for Pacific BioDiesel), scrap metal, bicycles, beverage containers, cell phones, printer cartridges, phonebooks, cardboard, batteries (of all kinds) and one TV per car. Plastic playsets, bicycle helmets and boogie boards are sent by the United Environmental Service to mainland recyclers.
The Bella Project collects used prom dresses to help out young high school students, while Poi Dogs & Popoki will be collecting pet food, towels and toys for needy cats and dogs. A canned food drive for Hawaii Food Bank will also be going on while you bring in your stuff to recycle.
On Jan. 7, curbside pickup can also be arranged for Waimanalo residents who are unable to haul their recyclable materials to the beach park. To make an appointment, go to www.huihawaii.org or call Kristen at 381-7207.
If you read today's column, here's an expanded guide of what and where to recycle:
- The Christmas Tree: You'll have to strip it of all the tinsel and ornaments, but you can conveniently chop up your Christmas tree and put it in the green compost bin for curbside pickup. Keep in mind, though, that city workers will be on a holiday schedule. You can also take whole trees to the nearest City Convenience Center for composting.
- Cardboard boxes: If you got packages in the mail or bought stuff from Amazon, they were most likely in corrugated cardboard boxes (the kind with ridges in between two layers of paper). You can fold these up and put them in your blue bin for curbside pickup (which also takes No. 1 and 2 plastics, glass, newspapers, white and colored bond paper). Remember that the city will be on holiday schedule, so there will be no pickups on Dec. 26 and Jan. 2.
- Beverage containers: Cleaning up after a party? You can get 5-cents for every glass and plastic bottle and aluminum can at Reynold's Recycling. Otherwise you can put them in your blue bin for curbside pickup or donate them to a nonprofit group for fundraising. Reynold's is now offering to buy wine bottles and glass jars even without the HI5 label.
- Magazines and catalogs: Hagadone Printing Co. welcomes glossy magazines, catalogs and brochures for recycling. You can recycle them at Hagadone's dropoff center (207 Puuhale Rd.) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or 8 a.m. to noon second Saturdays. You can also drop them off at various Lex Brodie's locations.
- Electronic waste: Old monitors, TV sets, VCRs, printers, fax machines and cell phones are considered e-waste, and contain a lot of lead, so are best diverted from the landfill. There are a number of nonprofits that take donations of older, but still functional computers to refurbish for schools. You can also contact Pacific Corporate Solutions in Aiea to drop of your e-waste (488-8870, appointments recommended). Best Buy stores on Oahu also accept most consumer electronics for recycling. Visit www.opala.org/solid_waste/eWaste.html for a complete list.
- Old Sneakers: Niketown left a gap behind when they closed their Waikiki store, which used to accept old sneakers for recycling. But the Converse Outlet Store at Waikele Premium Outlets (94-790 Lumiaina St.) has filled that gap. Converse will accept used sneakers of any brand for recycling.
- CFL Bulbs: Both Lowe's and Home Depot take back old CFL bulbs for recycling. CFL bulbs will last you for quite awhile, though. You can also help raise money for your group and club exchanging incandescent bulbs for energy-saving CFLs provided by the Blue Planet Foundation.
- Old Fridges: Got an old fridge? Through Hawaii Energy's Bounty Program, you can actually call for a free pickup of your 20-plus-year-old fridge (which uses 2 to 3 times more energy than current EnergyStar fridges), and get paid $25 on Oahu, $65 on Maui and Hawaii Island. On Oahu, call 537-5577. On Maui and Hawaii Island, call 1-877-231-8222 to take your energy-hogging clunker fridge off the grid. You will need to send in an application for your $25 rebate within 30 days of the pickup.
- Used bikes: If you have a bike you no longer need and want, with good, usable parts, you can donate it to the Kalihi valley Instructional Bike Exchange, which helps at-risk youth fix or upgrade their bikes at no charge. Drop bikes off at 1638 Kamehameha IV Road when the center is open. Call 843-1545 or visit k-vibe.blogspot.com. If you're a student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, you can also check out Cycle Manoa on campus, which is buying used bikes for $20 until Jan. 11. Otherwise, you can donate bikes and parts to the program, too.
- Apple gadgets. Apple takes back old Macs, PCs, iPads and iPhones. If it still has monetary value, Apple will give you a gift card, and if it doesn't, Apple will still recycle it for free. Visit www.apple.com/recycling for more info.
- Freecycle. Got something good that you just don't need or want anymore? Someone else's junk is another person's treasure. Join the Honolulu FreeCycle group at groups.yahoo.com/group/FreecycleHonolulu.