Archive for the ‘Waste’ Category

Waste wipeout

By
February 17th, 2016



Waste diversion pop-up tent set up by Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. Courtesy SCH.

Waste diversion pop-up tent set up by Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. Courtesy SCH.

The tally is in.

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii released a final analysis of the amount of waste it was able to divert during the 2016 Volcom Pipe Pro at Pipeline from Jan. 28 to Feb. 7. Total: 1,365 pounds.

The grassroots non-profit group set up more than 10 waste diversion systems (pop-up recycling tents) along the coastline and collected the 1,365 pounds over the three-day contest period. Of that total, 1,004 pounds were sent to be recycled or composted, while 361 pounds went to H-POWER. Compostable materials were sent to Waihuena Farm on the North Shore to be transformed into soil.

"Although we primarily focus on plastic pollution issues through coastal cleanups," said Kahi Pacarro, director of SCH, "the partnerships to reduce event impacts on communities means reaching a larger audience to share the issues of over consumption and our throw away culture. We hope our work influences more people to inspect their own waste stream and see where they can reduce the amount of trash they create. Even more, get fired up to join us at an upcoming cleanup!"

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii also set up an Education Station, made from a modified 20-foot shipping container to help educate people about plastic pollution and waste. The station was open to the public every night that the competition ran.

Sustainable Coastline Hawaii's Education Station, made from a modified 20-foot shipping container, serves as a mobile classroom and movie screen to educate others about plastic pollution and marine debris. Courtesy SCH.

Sustainable Coastline Hawaii's Education Station, made from a modified 20-foot shipping container, serves as a mobile classroom and movie screen to educate others about plastic pollution and marine debris. Courtesy SCH.

With thousands of spectators and participants converging on Oahu's North Shore, there's bound to be a lot of throwaway waste, unless the organizers take initiative. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, designated a Deep Blue Surfing Event for the third year, also made an effort to divert waste from the landfill in partnership with SCH.

Here's the larger picture on waste diversion for all of the Vans Triple Crown of Hawaii, which took place on Oahu's North Shore from Nov. 12 to Dec. 20, with three major surf contests.

>> Triple Crown offered Flowater drinking stations to help divert 36,000 plastic water bottles.

>> Food waste went to Waihuena Farm, an organic farm on the North Shore that turned it into compost. Ke Nui Kitchen, which caters the contest, in turn purchased its produce from the farm, closing the loop.

>> Contest event banners were upcycled into bags and totes by Honolulu manufacturer Mafia Bags.

>> Organizers used 70 percent biodiesel  sourced from Hawaii-based Pacific Biodiesel for its transportation needs.

>> Triple Crown donated $41,000 to local schools, youth education and environmental protection of the North Shore, as well as $40,000 for renovations of the public restrooms at Haleiwa Beach Park.

>> Purchased 944 tons of CO2 offsets from the Valdivian Coastal Conservation Reserve in coastal Chile to offset the carbon footprint of travel, hotel accommodations and energy use to power the events.

Mick Fanning of Australia wins at Sunset. Courtesy World Surf League.

Mick Fanning of Australia wins at Sunset. Courtesy World Surf League.

Posted in beach cleanup, compost, Waste | Comments Off on Waste wipeout

Triple Crown Diversion

By
November 18th, 2015



Some keiki have fun while helping to diver waste at the Reef Hawaiian Pro last November at Vans Triple Crown. Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is helping to divert waste from the international surf event for the third year. Courtesy photo.

Some keiki have fun while helping to divert waste at the Reef Hawaiian Pro last November at Vans Triple Crown. Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is helping to divert waste from the international surf event for the third year. Photo courtesy Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

Where there are major events and a gathering of crowds, there is waste.

For the third year in a row, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is playing a major role in reducing the impacts of waste on the land and ocean from Vans Triple Crown of Surfing events, which run from Nov. 12 to Dec. 8.

"We work together to minimize the effects that the competition has on our waste infrastructure by diverting as many resources as possible away from the landfill and encouraging composting and recycling," said Kahi Pacarro, executive director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. "This past year, we were able to divert 60 percent of all debris that would have otherwise ended up getting wasted."

What that means is that staff and volunteers from Sustainable Coastlines will divert waste from the events with the following comprehensive waste diversion strategies:

>> Recycle and compost. Pop-up tents that separate recyclables and compostables from trash. The compostable items (food waste) will be processed at Waiehuna Farm, where it will undergo a bokashi fermenting process using effective microorganisms and then be transferred to the soil. Recyclables will be donated to local families. Trash will be sent to H-Power.

>> Reuse. Contestants and staff members will all be given a reusable water bottle that can be refilled at water stations instead of plastic water bottles.

>> Educate. This year, Sustainable Coastlines is launching an Education Station, a mobile classroom in a 20-foot container just in time for the Pipeline event. The station is a fun way to educate the public, including keiki, about marine debris and waste.

During the competition last year, Sustainable Coastline's efforts collected a total of 1,402 pounds of recyclables, compostables and trash.

It's possible to hold a large event while minimizing waste if the promoter or event producer is on board according to Pacarro.

Vans Triple Crown 2015 is very much on board. It's designated as a Deep Blue Surfing Event, which means it is required to divert waste from the landfill, utilize renewable energy to power the contest and webcast and support local community groups and charities. An HIC Pro Beach Cleanup was held Nov. 7 at Mokuleia's Army Beach.

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing kicked off its 33rd year Nov. 12 with the Reef Hawaiian Pro, followed by the Vans World Cup of Surfing Nov. 24, and the Billabong Pipe Masters on Dec. 8, where the Vans Triple Crown and World Surfing League World Champion will be crowned.

 

Diverting waste from Vans Triple Crown. Courtesy Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

Diverting waste from Vans Triple Crown. Courtesy Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

Surfer Kelly Slater in front of the waste diversion pop-up tent. Photo courtesy Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

Surfer Kelly Slater in front of the waste diversion pop-up tent. Photo courtesy Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

 

Posted in Green events, marine debris, Ocean, recycling, Waste | Comments Off on Triple Crown Diversion

Don't flush those wipes

By
August 10th, 2015



Wipes and what appears to be a piece of a knitted item, cleared from Lualualei wastewater pumping system. Photo courtesy Department of Environmental Services.

Wipes and what appears to be a piece of a knitted item, cleared from Lualualei wastewater pumping system. Photo courtesy Department of Environmental Services.

Don't flush those wipes.

So yes, it does say "flushable wipes" on the package. Cottonelle says it. So does Charmin and Huggies. The thing is that you can flush it down your toilet at home without clogging up your plumbing, but from a larger picture perspective, it's going to cause problems in Honolulu's sewer system. Consumer Reports conducted a study to see if flushable wipes are flushable. After 10 minutes in a blender, the wipes did not break down.

And even though you may think, so what? That doesn't affect me. It does. It all comes back around, in some form or other. Especially on an island. If it costs the city  more to clear up the clogged pumps, it'll eventually cost you more. If it ends up flowing over into the ocean, well, guess what you get to swim with next time you're out there?

So don't flush those wipes.

Warning: The following picture is not pretty.

The crew at Lualualei Wastewater Pump Station recently extracted an amalgam of paper towels, flushable wipes and rags from one of the pumps to make sure it doesn't mess up the machines. It's a weekly chore at the Lualualei pump station. At the West Beach pump station near Ko Olina, the crew goes more than four times a week.

Mix of "flushable" wipes, paper towels and rags that crews collected from the Lualualei wastewater pump station.Photo courtesy Honolulu Department of Environmental Services.

Mix of "flushable" wipes, paper towels and rags that crews collected from the Lualualei wastewater pump station. Photo courtesy Honolulu Department of Environmental Services.

Honolulu is not the only city that deals with it, although the problem is getting worse here, according to environmental services director Lori Kahikina. The department recently launched a radio campaign, telling the public not to flush those wipes.

In March, the New York Times ran a huge story on how the wipes were costing millions of dollars in equipment damage in New York City's sewer system. Hawaii had the honor of being named as a state plagued with the problem, along with with Alaska and California.

"The city is not alone. Wet wipes, which do not disintegrate the way traditional toilet paper does, have plagued Hawaii and AlaskaWisconsin and California. Sewer systems have been stuffed in Portland, Ore., and Portland, Me. Semantic debates have visited Charleston, W.Va., challenging the latitude of “flushability.” “I agree that they’re flushable,” said Tim Haapala, operations manager for the Charleston Sanitary Board. “A golf ball is flushable, but it’s not a good idea.”

New York Times 

So, whatever your personal lifestyle, just  know not to flush those wipes.

By the way, other items that you shouldn't flush down the toilet include: disposable diapers, napkins, paper towels and dental floss. I did not know about the dental floss. Hair is not a good thing to flush down the toilet, either.

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