Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Is There Front Street Recycling?

March 23, 2015, 9:14 AM HST
* Updated March 30, 1:06 PM
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Front Street Lahaina. File photo.

Front Street Lahaina. File photo.

The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.

By Mayor Alan Arakawa

Q: It has come to my attention that along Front Street, there are no public recycling receptacles of any kind to deposit recyclable materials in. I realize that money (or lack thereof) is the purported reason for the receptacles not being in place. Is this still the obstacle? If so, we must work around this issue. As the person stated in an “Ask the Mayor” column published early last year, I am willing to purchase receptacles and also participate in the emptying of them. I’m sure many others in the Lahaina community are willing to do so as well. Please let me know if there is any plan to put recycling receptacles on Front Street. If not, we, the community members, will have to do it ourselves. Thank you for your time.

A: Actually, there is recycling taking place along Front Street that has proven to be effective at diverting approximately 95% of the HI-5 recyclables by utilizing the existing trash barrels. What you may not be aware of is that each of the 35 historically appropriate wooden oak barrel trash receptacles along Front Street have signs stating “Cans Bottles OK” and the international recycling logo. These barrels are part of an effective beautification program funded by a County Parks grant and run by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation (LRF). The receptacles are mined daily by LRF staff and every few hours or so by individuals collecting HI-5 recyclables. Front Street sidewalks are narrow and very crowded with several sets of bike racks and hundreds if not thousands of pedestrians daily; these and other reasons would make it less than ideal to install separate recycling bins. The LRF says the current system has worked remarkably well for numerous years, maintains the visual look of the Historic Districts and requires no additional staff, transportation, funds, equipment or supplies. Once a year, as a service project, volunteers from the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise brush an oil-based finish on the oak barrel trash cans, which has significantly prolonged their life. The LRF also encourages business to “adopt a barrel” and maintain it on a regular basis.

Want to Ask the Mayor?


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

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