Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Where to Recycle Plastic Bottles at the Airport?

December 23, 2013, 9:31 AM HST
* Updated December 27, 3:19 PM
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The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.

By Mayor Alan Arakawa

Kahului Airport.  Maui Now file photo by Wendy Osher.

Kahului Airport. Maui Now file photo by Wendy Osher.

Q: I am a Lahaina business owner and also work for one of the global hospitality leaders. A few months ago I took a trip to the Mainland.  My travels included stops at the St. Louis, Denver, Eugene and San Francisco airports. I try to stay hydrated and usually purchase several bottles of water at the airports.  In every airport I visited there were a number of accessible containers for recycling bottles and newspapers.  To my dismay, when I returned home to Maui I couldn’t find one receptacle to recycle my plastic bottles. I found this nearly impossible to believe since we are such a global destination and wanting to become more “green.” Is there anything you can do to provide this important feature in our airport? I appreciate your “Ask the Mayor” column and for providing a channel for public opinion and inquiry. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

 A: Thank you for the feedback. All Hawai‘i airports are under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Transportation (DOT) Airports Division. At Kahului Airport, HI-5 beverage bottle recycling bins are available at the TSA checkpoint, and recycling bins for cardboard and other materials are located in the back-of-house. DOT-Airports maintenance staff separate out cans, bottles, and other things that can be recycled from rubbish bins in the secure areas as well as from the recycle containers near the TSA checkpoints. In the future, DOT-Airports plans to have more specific recycle bins throughout its airport system.

Q:  What happened to the ambulance that was stationed in Lahaina at the Lahaina Comprehensive Health Center area? For the past month, the ambulance has no longer been there. There seems to be an exercise machine parked in its place? Mahalo for providing the “Ask the Mayor” column!

A:  You’re welcome. The ambulance is operated under a State contract with American Medical Response (AMR), and Lahaina Comprehensive Health Center is a State-owned building operated by the State Dept. of Health. According to AMR Maui Operations Manager Curt Morimoto, the ambulance had to be moved approximately a month ago due to a sewage leak at the building that forced AMR staff to relocate. State District Health Officer Dr. Lorrin Pang says that the building is being assessed and that any needed repairs will be made to allow AMR staff to reoccupy the building at some point in the future. Until then, the ambulance and its Paramedic crews will continue to serve the West side from its temporary Lahaina location.

Q: I live on Akala Drive in Maui Meadows which borders Pi‘ilani Highway.  There are a lot of large trucks that drive up and down the highway all day long, and they use their “Jake brakes” to slow down when they see the light at the corner of Mapu and Pi‘ilani turn red. During times of construction in Wailea or Makena this happens every couple of minutes, which makes it impossible to enjoy our yard or take a nap during the day as the noise is very loud. Is there some way we can get a “No Engine Braking” sign posted along the highway? Is there some sort of ordinance regarding engine braking near a residential neighborhood? I know when I drive on the mainland, I see these signs all over the place. Thank you for your help!


 A: Pi‘ilani Highway is a State highway, and according to the State DOT Highways Division-Motor Vehicle Safety Office, that there are currently no restrictions on the use of compression release engine brakes or “Jake brakes.” DOT also says there are no State laws in the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes prohibiting the use of Jake brakes.


Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: [email protected], phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

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