Hurricane Preparedness for Trash and Recycling

Types of Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Depression - Maximum sustained winds less than 39 miles per hour

Tropical Storm - Maximum sustained winds above 39 miles per hour to 74 miles per hour

Hurricane- Maximum sustained winds above 74 miles per hour (Hurricanes have 5 categories depending on sustained wind speed)


Iniki, the last hurricane to hit Kaua'i was a category 4 storm that hit on September 11, 1992. This storm caused 3 billion dollars-worth of damage and is one of the most powerful storms to hit the Hawaiian islands to date.

Impacts of Iniki

Iniki produced five years worth of waste in 24 hours, and recovery took over two years to complete.

The hurricane toppled telephone poles and trees blocked roadways. These two factors greatly hindered all clean-up and waste management efforts.

What to do during Hurricane Season with your refuse and recycling

It's easy to become complacent since our island has not had a direct hurricane impact since Iniki, but you should always be prepared and plan to ensure the safety of your family and property.

Here are some tips to make sure your trash and recyclables are properly taken care of in case of a hurricane:


Presort your trash and recyclables so you can quickly deposit the material when it's safe. Bulky furniture is only allowed at the Līhu‘e Refuse Transfer Station and at the Kekaha Landfill. Only Kekaha landfill can accept construction material over 3 feet in length.

Bag rubbish/recyclables and store them in a safe location until the storm has passed. Wait until the "all clear" is given. This will include notices for when refuse and recycling drop points are open again.


Leave material on the ground near or around facilities. This endangers our environment, our workers, and the public.

Wait until a watch or warning is announced before dropping off your trash and recyclables.


Take shelter, do not try and recycle or deposit any trash.

When it is safe, assess your property. Contact KIUC for any downed power lines and call emergency services if there are concerns for life and limb.

Work with your insurance company to properly document any damage before clearing the area if possible.

Wait for direction from the County on where to go for your refuse. Recycling programs may be suspended following a disaster event. Radio stations will most likely be the point of information for mass communication following a hurricane.