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EPA HELPS FUND RECYCLING PROGRAM IN HAWAI'I

Release Date: 12/6/2001
Contact Information: Mike Ardito, U.S. EPA, (415) 972-3081, Gail Suzuki-Jones, (808) 587-3802

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently added $30,000 to an initial $236,000 grant from the Jobs Through Recycling program awarded to the Hawai'i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

     The grant to DBEDT, as part of the Hawai'i Buy Recycled Project, is helping to fund development of a guide on recycled-content products available in Hawai'i.  DBEDT is conducting a survey to identify businesses that carry products with recycled content -- such as office supplies and construction products.  This guide on recycled content will be used to implement environmentally preferable purchasing by Hawai'i state agencies.

     "EPA is proud to be a partner with Hawai'i as it forges ahead with this innovative program to expand recycling and reduce waste," said Richard Vaille, an associate director of the EPA's waste programs in the Pacific Southwest region.  "This recycling program is great for the environment and the economy," he said.

     DBEDT Director Dr. Seiji Naya said, "This partnership will develop resources, conduct outreach and coordinate the efforts of federal, state, and local partners, as well as industry, to support the development of buy- recycled efforts in the state of Hawai'i.  Support from the U.S. EPA, combined with the commitments and contributions of our partnership, will provide valuable resources at the right time, ensuring the success of this project: promoting buy-recycled efforts in the state and the procurement of resource efficient products from local companies."
 
     On Oahu in 2000, at least 165,000 tons of construction and demolition material, or 11 percent of the total waste stream, was diverted from landfills by reuse and recycling techniques introduced at various trainings and workshops.  The Maui Nonprofit Reuse Network, that was also supported under this project, diverted nearly 20 tons of material from landfills in 2001.

     The Jobs Through Recycling program seeks to create jobs and reduce waste.  As part of the grant project that started in Hawaii in 1997, a network of Environmental Businesses in Hawai'i was developed to  enable materials exchange programs to become self-sufficient.

     The initial $236,000 grant from the EPA coupled with $125,000 from the state, funded programs such as the Clean Hawai'i Center, the Hawai'i Resource Exchange Facilities program,the Kauai County Resource Exchange Center, the Maui County Paint Exchange Program, the Kauai Habitat ReStore, Nanakuli Neighborhood Housing Service's Baseyard Hawai'i, and the Hawai'i County Reuse Feasibility Assessment. These programs and facilities conduct trainings and workshops and have trained over 500 individuals on construction reuse and "green building" techniques.

     "The State of Hawai'i's Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism has received enthusiastic support for this project from state agencies such as the Department of Health, the State Procurement Office of the Department of Accounting and General Services, and federal agencies such as the General Services Administration," said Naya.  
     
     Recycled-content products are made in whole or in part from material recovered from the waste stream.   Federal law requires all federal agencies (including the military), any state and local government agency or government contractor to purchase the recycled-content products when competitively available and when spending federal funds.

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