New program to double UH Hilo recycling efforts

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Date: Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo will implement a “Mixed Recycling Program” on campus, effective July 1, 2009, that will mirror the County of Hawaiʻi`s new guidelines and expected to more than double the University’s weekly recycling total.

The UH Hilo Sustainability Committee estimates the change will minimally divert 94 cubic yards of waste away from the county landfill each week, compared to the existing “Sorted Recycling Program” that diverts approximately 45 cubic yards over the same period. Conversion to the “Mixed Recycling Program” is expected to encourage more recycling on the part of faculty, staff and students by creating a more seamless and user friendly operation, since most trash receptacles in offices on campus will be designated “Mixed Recycling Bins.”

“This was a very important initiative for the committee as well as our student government and it’s not hard to see why given the substantial amount of waste it will divert from the landfill,” said Dr. Debra Fitzsimons, vice chancellor for administrative affairs. “We’re talking about 132,000 cubic yards over the course of a year, which would be enough to fill the entire Student Services Building to the brim.”

Fitzsimons said the “Mixed Recycling Program” is just the latest example of UH Hilo’s “green commitment” to promote sustainable practices on campus. The Sustainability Committee, formed last fall, has made substantial progress in reducing the University’s carbon footprint over the past year, and continues to actively seek volunteers and/or suggestions.

For more information about volunteering on sustainability efforts, contact Fitzsimons at (808) 974-7750 or email For more specific information regarding the recycling program, contact Kolin Kettleson at (808) 974-7369 or email

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