Hawaii beverage container deposit to remain unchanged; redemption rate drops to 76%

August 4, 2010, 12:11 PM HST · Updated August 4, 12:11 PM
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Hawaii’s recycling redemption rate dropped to 76 percent this year, following a 79 percent high in 2009.  The current rate represents more than 685 million containers recycled during the 2010 fiscal year. 

The program began five years ago to reduce litter and conserve resources.  Under the program, consumers are charged a total of 6 cents extra at the point of sale including a 1-cent deposit and a 5-cent container fee.  They are then able to redeem their bottles and cans for 5-cents after use. 

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When the redemption rate exceeds 70 percent, the deposit fee can increase to 1.5 cents, unless the director of health, in consultation with the legislative auditor, determines that a fee increase is not needed.  If it falls below that benchmark, the fee reverts to 1 cent per container plus the five cent deposit.  After consideration, a determination has been made to keep the deposit at 1 cent to cover administrative costs. 

The drop in the redemption rate is attributed to the increase in sales accompanied with a decrease in redemption activity in fiscal year 2010.  “The redemption rate is down slightly from last year but participation in the HI-5 Recycling Program remains strong,” said Jennifer Tosaki, of the Department of Health’s Office of Solid Waste Management. 

For more information on the State’s Deposit Beverage Container Program visit www.hi5deposit.com.

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