HILO, Hawaii: Today, the Hawaii County Council meets in committee and then convenes the full council on the same day… getting things out of the way so they can started on special Finance meetings to discuss the county budget later this week.
One of the measures going up for a vote will be a resolution urging the mayor to develop and implement a fully funded diversion grants pilot program for the county.
Dominic Yagong discussed the background of this contentious resolution – which has been opposed by the administration – at last week’s Kona Town Meeting.
Resolution 232-2 states:
A RESOLUTION URGING THE MAYOR TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A FULLY FUNDED DIVERSION GRANTS PILOT PROGRAM FOR THE COUNTY OF HAWAII
WHEREAS, the County of Hawai`i currently utilizes a roll off bin recycling system whereby residents can choose to place their recyclable materials in the bins at the transfer station when they are disposing of their rubbish; and
WHEREAS, while this system provides convenience to the public in allowing for recycling at the existing County of Hawai` i transfer stations, it does not provide any incentive for the general public to participate; and
WHEREAS, a fully funded diversion grant program could provide a monetary incentive in order to increase the diversion rates by motivating the general public to participate for a financial reward; and
WHEREAS, other recycling programs have followed this model and have demonstrated that the rates of diversion see a marked increase when a monetary reward is associated with the project; and
WHEREAS, the State of Hawai`i has established the Hi 5 redemption program using this philosophy and has successfully collected a vast amount of the eligible containers; and
WHEREAS, the Hi 5 redemption program currently diverts over 70% of the eligible recyclable containers and prevents them from ending up in the landfill and instead allows them to be recycled and repurposed for additional uses; and
WHEREAS, by implementing a pilot diversion grants program with a monetary incentive for the public to participate, overall rates of diversion for eligible recyclable material could see dramatic increases; and
WHEREAS, as we have seen in the Hi 5 program, non profit organizations could use the collection and cashing in of these materials as fund raisers for their various programs, helping the County raise awareness and increase diversion while helping non profits obtain much needed funds during a challenging economic time; now, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the County of Hawai`i that the Mayor is urged to develop and implement a three- year pilot diversion grant program for recyclable materials by July 1, 2012.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that to provide for the accurate collection of data to determine the use of the diversion grant program the current two bin system for the collection of materials at the County transfer stations should be continued during the three- year pilot program.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Clerk of the County of Hawai`i shall transmit copies of this resolution to the Mayor of the County of Hawai`i and the Director of the Department of Environmental Management.