Waste Diversion Rate and Waste Characterization

How is the Rate Calculated?

The County of Kauai bases it's Recycling Rate on the amount of material that is diverted from the landfill over the total amount of material that is put into the landfill. This includes both residential and commercial diversion and disposal.

Diversion/Total Waste Generation = Waste Diversion Rate

Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things.~ Henri Poincaré

Table of The Waste Diversion Rate

Fiscal Year Recycling Rate
2020 43%
2016 43%
2015 44%
2014 43%
2013 40%
2012 40%
2011 36%
2010 36%
2009 30%
2008 29%

Updated 8/16/21

Graph of Waste Diversion Rate 2008-2020

Graph of County of Kauai Waste Diversion Rate from 2008-2020

Updated 1/31/17

2020 Top 10 Diverted Materials Estimated in Tons

Material Tons

  1. Greenwaste 32,923
  2. Pig Farmers 11,091
  3. Cardboard 5,639
  4. Scrap Metal 4,488
  5. Concrete/Asphalt (no on-site recycling) 4,267
  6. Home Composting 1,708
  7. Pallets- Backhauled to the mainland 1,689
  8. HI5 Glass 1,280
  9. Mixed paper 987
  10. Non-HI5 Glass 777

HI5 is the State's Bottle Deposit Beverage program.

Full breakdown of materials with a comparison between 2020 and 2016 can be downloaded here- 2020/2016 Comparison(PDF, 90KB) .

A breakdown between the County and Commercial waste diversion programs can be found here- 2020 Program Breakdown(PDF, 108KB).

References to scrap metal include processed appliances and automobiles.

Updated 9/14/2022

How does the County calculate tonnage?

The County oversees many recycling contracts, under which contractors perform services and provide monthly reports on the type and quantity of material recycled. We also conduct surveys of companies that divert waste outside of County contracts. Finally the County obtains data from the State Department of Health on annual permit reports of recycling facilities located on Kauai.

Click the PDF to see how the County converts volume reported data to tonnage. Tonnage Conversion Table

County of Kauai Refuse Tonnage and Sources

Waste Characterization

A Waste Characterization details the composition of waste deposited at a landfill. In 2016 the County contracted Cascadia Consulting Group to conduct a waste characterization study at Kekaha Landfill. A summary of the results are shown in the pie chart here. Please see the full report for detailed information.

Kekaha Landfill 2016 Waste Characterization

pie graph showing waste diversion rates for each type of waste in Kekaha Landfill in 2016

Waste Characterization Report

Click here(PDF, 2MB) for a pdf version of the report.