Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Why are Empty County Recycling Bins Locked?

October 23, 2016, 12:00 PM HST
* Updated October 23, 5:23 PM
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Waiehu Recycling Center. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Waiehu Recycling Center. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], call 270-7855 or send them by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Dear Mayor:

Q: I would say about 90% of the time when I go to the Upcountry recycling center behind the Kalama School there’s one or two open containers for cardboard recycling and they are full.

There’s one, two or three empty containers for cardboard recycling that are closed and not usable by the  public.


What’s the point of leaving empty containers locked and unusable? This is an ongoing problem here, and people end up leaving their cardboard next to the containers, probably out of frustration, because this program  seems to be run so poorly.


A: Our vendor says that if a bin is full they will close and lock it for pickup the next day. When the full bins are picked up, a new, empty bin is left behind to replace it.

People can help make sure that the bins are used more efficiently by breaking down all of their cardboard boxes so they are flat when they go into the bin. This enables more cardboard to be stored in the bins and will take longer to fill the container, leaving less cardboard stacked outside the bins hopefully.

The recycling bins are county property as part of the Residential Recycling Program and open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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