Schnitzer Steel Hawai'i Corp., the Kokua Hawai‘i Foundation, and several local recycling companies have formed a partnership to continue one of Oahu's most popular recycling events, the Aloha 'Aina Recycling Drives.
Schnitzer Steel and the Kokua Hawai'i Foundation believe that by joining together, they can introduce a reinvigorated Aloha 'Aina Recycling Drive effort that will embody the strengths and environmental philosophies of both organizations.
The recycling drives allow island residents to turn in a variety of unwanted items including used appliances, clothing, computers and more to be recycled into usable materials.
"We are excited that the Aloha 'Aina Recycling Drives will continue this year in our new partnership with the Kokua Hawai'i Foundation," said Larry Snodgrass, Schnitzer Steel general manager. "Kokua Hawai'i Foundation is a highly respected non-profit organization that has supported environmental education in Hawaii schools and the community for a decade."
The mission of Kokua Hawai'i Foundation, founded by musician Jack Johnson and his wife Kim in 2003, is to provide students with experiences that enhance their appreciation for the environment so they will be lifelong stewards of the Earth.
"Since 2003, Kokua Hawai'i Foundation's 3R's School Recycling Program has been supporting in-class recycling and engaging student leaders in educating their school communities on the 3R's: reducing, reusing and recycling,” said Kim Johnson, Kokua Hawai'i Foundation executive director. "We are honored to bring back the Aloha 'Aina Recycling Drives as an opportunity for O'ahu students, educators, and residents to practice their 3R's while directing funds back to their local schools."
The Aloha 'Aina Recycling Drives have been an important part of Oahu's environmental efforts since they were established by Schnitzer Steel in 2004. Since their inception, the drives have raised more than $200,000 for local schools and charities.
Over the years, the Aloha 'Aina Recycling Drives have given Oahu residents a place to bring in used, broken, and discarded items that would otherwise end up in the landfill.
"Oahu schools are really excited! Students, staff, faculty, and community supporters have all stepped up to prepare for the Aloha 'Aina Recycling Drives,” said Carol Feinga, Kokua Hawai'i Foundation director of administration. "In light of the current situation with recycling collection and hauling resources being removed from campuses throughout the Island earlier this school year, the Aloha 'Aina Recycling Drives offer a solution for school communities to recycle. We are grateful to all the business partners that have come forward to support these recycling drives and look forward to this educational collaboration. This is a great step forward while we continue to work with the DOE on a statewide recycling solution for public schools."
This year, the Aloha 'Aina Recycling Drives will be held each month at different schools throughout Oahu, with the host schools receiving proceeds from the sale of the recycled materials gathered.
The first Aloha 'Aina Recycling Drive will be on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Niu Valley Middle School from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. A variety of recyclers will be on hand collecting specific items. They include the following:
- Schnitzer Steel – all types of scrap metal, including bicycles
- T & N Computer Recycling – computers, game systems, CPU's
- ACCESS Management – confidential document shredding
- Interstate Batteries – all types of batteries including car batteries
- RRR – paper, glass bottles, plastic bottles & containers, aluminum cans, newspaper and corrugated cardboard
- Pacific Biodiesel – used cooking oil
- Goodwill – clothes, household items, etc.
- InTrade – printer cartridges, toner cartridges
- Refrigerant Recycling – used appliances
"We think these partner organizations and two great organizations heading up the renewed Aloha 'Aina Recycling Drives will have a wonderful impact on Oahu schools and residents," Snodgrass said.