Schnitzer Steel Hawai‘i Corp., the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation, and several local recycling companies have formed a partnership to continue one of O‘ahu’s most popular recycling events, the Aloha ‘Āina Recycling Drives.
Schnitzer Steel and the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation believe that by joining together, they can introduce a reinvigorated Aloha ‘Āina Recycling Drive effort that will embody the strengths and environmental philosophies of both organizations. The recycling drives allow island residents to turn in a variety of unwanted items including used appliances, clothing, computers and more to be recycled into usable materials.
“We are excited that the Aloha ‘Āina Recycling Drives will continue this year in our new partnership with the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation,” said Larry Snodgrass, Schnitzer Steel general manager. “Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation is a highly respected non-profit organization that has supported environmental education in Hawai‘i schools and the community for a decade.”
The mission of Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation, founded by musician Jack Johnson and his wife Kim in 2003, is to provide students with experiences that enhance their appreciation for the environment so they will be lifelong stewards of the Earth.
”Since 2003, Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation’s 3R’s School Recycling Program has been supporting in-class recycling and engaging student leaders in educating their school communities on the 3R’s: reducing, reusing and recycling,” said Kim Johnson, Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation executive director. “We are honored to bring back the Aloha ‘Āina Recycling Drives as an opportunity for O‘ahu students, educators, and residents to practice their 3R’s while directing funds back to their local schools.”
The Aloha ‘Āina Recycling Drives have been an important part of O‘ahu’s environmental efforts since they were established by Schnitzer Steel in 2004. Since their inception, the drives have raised more than $200,000 for local schools and charities.
Over the years, the Aloha ‘Āina Recycling Drives have given O‘ahu residents a place to bring in used, broken, and discarded items that would otherwise end up in the landfill.
“O‘ahu schools are really excited! Students, staff, faculty, and community supporters have all stepped up to prepare for the Aloha ‘Āina Recycling Drives,” said Carol Feinga, Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation director of administration. “In light of the current situation with recycling collection and hauling resources being removed from campuses throughout the Island earlier this school year, the Aloha ‘Āina Recycling Drives offer a solution for school communities to recycle. We are grateful to all the business partners that have come forward to support these recycling drives and look forward to this educational collaboration. This is a great step forward while we continue to work with the DOE on a statewide recycling solution for public schools.”
This year, the Aloha ‘Āina Recycling Drives will be held each month at different schools throughout O‘ahu, with the host schools receiving proceeds from the sale of the recycled materials gathered.
The first Aloha ‘Āina Recycling Drive will be on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Niu Valley Middle School from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. A variety of recyclers will be on hand collecting specific items. They include:
- Schnitzer Steel – all types of scrap metal, including bicycles
- T & N Computer Recycling – computers, game systems, CPU’s
- ACCESS Management – confidential document shredding
- Interstate Batteries – all types of batteries including car batteries
- RRR – paper, glass bottles, plastic bottles & containers, aluminum cans, newspaper and corrugated cardboard
- Pacific Biodiesel – used cooking oil
- Goodwill – clothes, household items, etc.
- InTrade – printer cartridges, toner cartridges
- Refrigerant Recycling – used appliances
“We think these partner organizations and two great organizations heading up the renewed Aloha ‘Āina Recycling Drives will have a wonderful impact on O‘ahu schools and residents,” Snodgrass said.
The Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded in 2003 by Jack and Kim Johnson that supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawai‘i. The Foundation’s mission is to provide students with experiences that will enhance their appreciation for and understanding of their environment so they will be lifelong stewards of the earth.
Schnitzer Steel Hawai‘i Corp. has long been a part of the Island community, using its state-of-the-art scrap metal shredder to recycle tons of metal from junked cars and other sources; working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Coast Guard to recycle marine debris such as discarded fishing nets, and volunteering to pick up hundreds of tires illegally dumped on Island beaches. It has received a number of awards and recognitions, including the Surfrider Association Environmental Award and the state Department of Land & Natural Resources Coral Reef Preservation Corporate Award.