Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tour de Trash of Honolulu: March 19

Photo Credit: Editor B

Ever wondered what happens to your garbages after you dump them at a collection site? Well, find out by going on the Tour de Trash hosted by the Honolulu Department of Environment Services

This bus tour consists of a series of 6 FREE educational trips to various trash sites in Oahu.

The next trip scheduled on this coming Thursday, March 19, from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. will take you to Honolulu's Wastewater Treatment. It might be too late to sign up for this week's tour, because according to the official site - "Buses are usually fully booked within a couple weeks with long wait lists for each tour." But hopefully there are still seats available for the remaining 4 trips scheduled this year.

I have never been on this tour, but have been to trash sites several times as a part of school trip... As much as I was impressed by the new technology used to handle ever-increasing amounts of garbages, they were truly eye-opening experiences for me - I became more careful with what, where, & how I throw things away.

Frankly, I am not so impressed with how Honolulu handles garbage, especially when Scotland as a nation, Sydney city and this small town in Japan strive for "Zero Waste." Or how San Francisco City is trying to reduce waste by mandating 75 percent of its garbage to be recycled or composted by 2010 - I will not go into the debate over whether composting is not so eco-friendly for emitting greenhouse gas...

I realize that suddenly requiring us, Honolulu residents, to compost all our food waste and sort other rubbish into 34 different categories is not so feasible (not to mention political suicide for Mufi & city council members).

The city, however, could make a green step forward by immediately mandating comprehensive curbside recycling citywide (not just some pilot areas) with additional bins for hazardous wastes (such as used batteries, electronics, etc.)

Currently I go to nearby schools or shopping center (like Dillingham Plaza when I shop at Savers) to recycle my paper stuff. I, however, have no idea what to do with hazardous wastes - I try to use rechargeable batteries, but I still need regular batteries for emergency electronics (since we have so many prolonged blackouts lately...). I have accumulated a considerable amount of batteries with which I have no idea what to do....

Off course, I cannot entirely blame the city for mismanaging our garbage, I know that I have to take a full responsibility over my own trash. Since Steph (I tried to link to her profile, but could not... I have no idea how to use this commentluv thing I again impulsively installed. I am sorry, Steph.) left me comments about composting, I have been doing some research on this matter, & found WORMLADY in Hawaii!!

I am not so thrilled about having worms inside my house (Our landlord strictly forbids us to leave anything outside our unit), I cannot deny my fascination with this WORMLADY....

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I digressed... If you want to know more about this Tour de Trash, please visit the official site or call 768-3200.

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Ginger said...

I've been composting for a couple of years now in a 32 gallon plastic garbage can. Hubs took his drill to it and put in several 1" holes top and bottom. It is enough for just the two of us. We toss it ever now and again with a "claw" garden tool. I'm hoping the worms found us. :)

Some of my recycling efforts:

Curb side is available here but not for glass!

Use paper shredder for everything we can feed through it safely and use it in my garden, around plants etc as mulch and to rebuild the soil. MUST WORK INTO SOIL! Then wet down so it doesn't blow away. I've also added it to a bucket of Miracle Grow and made a slurry to pour around plants in the garden. It gets hard when it dries and helps to hold the moisture in the soil.

Use the huge coffee canisters for well, canisters for storage. Just label with a Sharpie. ANYTHING that I can fit in them is great because they are almost square and stack.

Clothes: Recycle buttons for crafts of all sorts, fabric for quilts/pillows or totes.

Plastic bags: Can be cut into strips and looped together to form "yarn". Crochet into rugs for door mats, floor mats for the car. Also you can sandwich the bags between heavy brown paper and iron long enough for it to form a single sheet. Cut and sew into larger/thicker/better made totes. Finish outside edges with bias tape. You can make fun/interesting bags depending on the plastic bags you use and the pattern you lay them out in before pressing.

I also use the plastic sacks for packaging material when I ship gifts. Wrap anything in it and stuff all around to pad. Weight is almost nothing.

There are blogs and message boards full of all sorts of ideas. Some of this I learned from them.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Coco said...

Thank you for great tips, Ginger. Oh my, you really know EVERYTHING!! Love the idea of crocheting plastic bags into mats.

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