Trash & Recycling
Our garbage is a resource. We can not look at old cars, furniture, and other waste as something to just be thrown out for someone else to deal with. Just look at Kamilo Beach on the big island. That is a world of someone elses garbage washing up on our door step. We need to build state of the art recycling facilities on each island, in proportion to their waste production, to turn our trash into a resource.
It's Time We Stepped Up Our Garbage Game.
No one really likes to deal with their own garbage. Even in your own home, chances are, that when it comes time to take out the garbage, you can't wait to get it out and away so you can forget about it and go on with your day. Beyond that, most people don't give the garbage they produce another thought.
Here in Hawai'i we can no longer afford to treat our garbage as something that is for someone else to worry about. Why? Because we are that someone else and the worlds garbage is swirling around the oceans in giant garbage gyres and a lot of it is ending up on our shores here in Hawai'i. If we do not proactively do something about this, we will literally be living and swimming in our own garbage.
That will affect our quality of life.
That will affect peoples desire to want to visit Hawai'i.
That will harm our plant and animal life in and out of the water.
That will affect all oceanic traffic.
We bury our garbage. We burn it for energy. We also ship it out of state for someone else to deal with. It is the year 2017, we are living in the future, do those three things seem like something we should still be doing?
In the renewable energy section I cover what we should do energy wise but some of it bears repeating here. By switching to renewable energy as fast as humanly possible we can end the trend of burning our garbage for fuel or burying it underground.
That just leaves us with more garbage! What to do with it? Well, being as we have all sorts of garbage here both locally produced and imported by the oceans, the only logical thing to do is to build our own state of the art recycling facilities. By doing so we will be equipped to handle our own refuse in a way that can turn it into a resource of materials that we can then use locally for our own means and ends.
What would that do? One big thing it would is it would reduce our need to import as many raw materials we do. It would also provide concentrated, well designed and purposeful areas for garbage to be delivered both by our amazing service workers but also by you, the people.
There are many places here in Hawai'i were garbage is just dumped by local residents. Everything from abandoned cars to entire household appliances. If we had a place where those items could be delivered, broken down, and then recycled, with an added monetary incentive for what the raw materials are worth, it would go a long way for people to clean up our aina.
This includes creating a legitimate state wide composting program with various sites and easy access.
We need Hawai'i to be as self reliant and self dependent as possible. By creating our own ecosystem within our islands that enables us to reuse and re-purpose old items or to recycle them for the raw materials, we won't have to worry that someone else in some other part of the world will be swimming in our garbage or that some animal will die because they ate it.
We need to:
Create state of the art recycling facilities on each island.
Once the facilities are built we would start a state wide clean up effort to get all garbage to those facilities.
Create state sponsored repair shops and re-purposing sites to encourage people to repair their broken things or use them for other things.
Ban the use of materials and chemicals not yet proven safe to the environment or stop using things that we already know are harmful.
Eliminate the need to burn trash/rubbish by converting everything to solar/wind/wave energy.
Harness the materials gathered from recycling for local sale and manufacturing.
The end goal is for us to have a garbage shortage and to no longer have to bury any of it, ship it elsewhere, or burn it for energy. Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a state that was so clean and full of durable and reusable materials that other places started paying us to take their garbage?