The County Recycling Office funds and administers residential recycling programs, educates about waste diversion opportunities, and provides technical assistance to commercial agencies.
The Recycling Rate on Kaua'i is 43%, which is above the national average of 35%. Kaua'i is doing extremely well for a rural community. Please use the links on this page for detailed descriptions and information on each of the various programs. Contact our office for further information or see https://www.kauai.gov/WDR. This site also includes the 2017 Waste Composition study of the Kekaha landfill showing all the material that is collected there.
The County Recycling office works under the County of Kaua'i Solid Waste Division. Our goal is to maximize waste diversion on Kaua'i by implementing and supporting convenient and economical programs, and promoting all existing diversion opportunities on the island.
Where does our recycling go? Currently, Kaua‘i’s recyclables are marketed to Asian regions (excluding China) with the exception of HI5 glass which is sent to California for remanufacturing in to new bottles and Non-HI5 glass which stays on Kaua‘i and is used in construction, landscaping, art, and other projects. The exact end destination for each commodity changes depending on market prices and who is accepting material at the time.
Why Recycle? Landfill space is a precious commodity, and is in short supply, especially here on Kaua'i. A community-wide recycling effort will postpone the need for future landfills and could save millions of dollars in siting and operational costs. Recycling saves valuable materials, like paper fibers and metals that can be reprocessed, reducing the need for virgin products. Recycling also reduces the use of water and energy sources such as oil, coal, and gas.
Is Recycling Worth it Anymore? NPR has a good video produced in April, 2021 that talks about recycling in America and what issues all municipalities throughout the US are facing. We highly recommend viewing it to see what our island faces when it comes to diverting waste from our landfill- NPR: IS RECYCLING WORTH IT ANYMORE?
Is the County looking at curbside recycling? Curbside collection of recyclable material and organic waste has been considered in the past and will be under review as part of our new Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan (ISWMP) Update. The construction of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) is required in order to facilitate curbside recycling. This facility is essential for incoming material to be efficiently sorted. If you’re interested in the ISWMP Update process please see https://www.kauai.gov/ISWMP.
Diverting waste is more than recycling. In order to make a true impact in preserving our landfill and our beautiful island, we must all take responsibility for the garbage we produce on a daily basis, and make conscious choices to limit our waste by implementing the 4 R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot (compost). To learn more about waste diversion, please contact the County Recycling Office at (808) 241-4841, and schedule a visit to our Waste Diversion Reference Library.
Help keep our Garden Isle Green - Recycle!