Recycling places and
donation alternatives - Hawaii

Last updated July 17, 2014
Newly added/changed:
- Recycle jeans and denim through Blue Jeans Go Green
- Removed all mentions of donating to city recycling bins located at schools, as Oahu schools no longer participate in the program due to insufficient returns because of declining community participation.
This is a list of various places in Hawaii (focusing mainly on Oahu because I live there) that you can go to get rid of your junk around the house, or websites or places you can check for more information, aside from the usual charities (Community Clearinghouse, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc.). This information is taken from various sources. I've started adding national organizations as well.

Please note that this is a PRIVATE site, created strictly for informational purposes. I am not affiliated with any of the organizations or groups mentioned here (well, OK, I am a freecycling group member) and I do not represent or endorse their views, opinions, etc. Also, because this page is updated infrequently, names and phone numbers and other contact information may be out of date.

Feel free to e-mail me at schala ~~at~~ schala(dot)info with suggestions, or if any links or events are outdated or no longer exist. PLEASE put the words "Hawaii recycling" somewhere in the subject line so I don't delete your message as spam. Thank you!

General recycling/disposal information

Aluminum drink cans, glass beverage bottles, plastic beverage containers

Hawaii instituted a so-called "bottle bill" in January 2005 that charges a 5-cent refundable deposit and a 1-cent nonrefundable program fee for each beverage container sold. Containers that can be returned in this manner will have "HI 5¢" printed on the label or etched into the top or bottom -- it looks something like this or like this. The "HI" may be semi-hidden in the label's list of state names that have similar redemption programs, so look closely.

Appliances, nonworking

This program may no longer be active. Please email if you can confirm this. Call Honolulu Community College's CENT program to see if it will accept your old appliances. The program may take them for students to put to work repair and electrical skills. The items are then distributed to nonprofit groups. (Taken from a Star-Bulletin story.)

Audio equipment, nonworking

This program may no longer be active. Please email if you can confirm this. Call Honolulu Community College's CENT program to see if it will accept your old appliances. The program may take them for students to put to work repair and electrical skills. The items are then distributed to nonprofit groups. (Taken from a Star-Bulletin story.)

Batteries, rechargable

A national program recycles these; drop off at special boxes at Home Depot or Radio Shack. Check the city's website for more information on what can be recycled.

Batteries, car

Many places that sell car batteries will also accept old ones, which will be recycled. Call your car-parts store to see if they accept batteries.

The city also has convenience centers where you can drop off old batteries. Check the city's website for locations, hours, rules, and other information. (Taken from the Star-Bulletin's Kokua Line)

Bicycles

Books, magazines

Bras (brassieres)

Yes, we're talking the undergarments that women wear. The Bra Recyclers take new and gently used garments and give them to needy women and girls. Read more about what they accept at this page.

There are no Hawaii dropoff sites, so you will need to send them to the recyclers at your own expense. Secondhand bras must be washed and you need to fill out a form, found on their website, to include with your donation.

Cameras, camcorders, other video equipment

Most of the information below was taken from this blog and others were taken from this article. I know there are lots of recycling venues that support Hawaii charities, so if you know of any, please e-mail me!

Cardboard, boxes

Only corrugated cardboard is recyclable. "Corrugated" cardboard has two thin layers with a wavy layer in the center. Most shipping boxes are corrugated; other everyday packaging such as cereal boxes are NOT.

Oahu residents. Corrugated cardboard can be put in the blue bin for curbside pickup. Just make sure to break down boxes first.

Cell phones

Christmas and/or greeting cards

Clothing

Computers and computer-related items, nonworking

Computers and computer-related items, working

Corks, wine

Electronics

Eyeglasses

Flowers, fresh

Rebloom Hawaii takes donations of leftover and gently used fresh flowers from events such as weddings, birthdays and the like and creates new arrangements for patients in hospitals and nursing homes. Check their website for more information. (discovered through Lei Chic)

Foam, styrofoam (polystyrene foam)

Polystyrene foam is usually those big pieces of foam used to pad big boxes for appliances, TVs, computers, computer monitors, and other large items. A Kapolei business -- Pacific Allied Products -- is named by the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers as a foam recycler. Be sure to call first to see if they still accept it and what exactly they take back.

If not, the alliance does offer a mailback program. Check the above link for details.

Glass jars, containers (non-beverage)

Oahu residents. These can be put in the blue bin for curbside pickup. Glass beverage containers (soda bottles, beer bottles, etc.) with the "HI-5" designation can also be put in the blue bin, or you can redeem them at a recycling center to get back your 5-cent deposit.

Gold, jewelry

Aside from selling to a pawn shop or other business that will melt the gold for reuse, you can send it in to websites that will reuse the gold to make new jewelry for you. These sites are listed ONLY for your convenience. I have NOT utilized any of these sites and I cannot give any guarantee as to their quality. In alphabetical order:

Ink cartridges (for printers), laser toner cartridges

Linens, towels

Contact the Humane Society of the United States to see if they can use old towels and linens to help comfort orphaned and injured animals. You might also want to try calling the Hawaiian Humane Society to see if they could use such items as well.

LIVESTRONG brand wristbands

Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program takes these. ONLY the LIVESTRONG brand is accepted.

Musical instruments

Contact Hungry For Music, which refurbishes instruments and distributes them to needy children. Particularly valuable instruments are resold and the money used to purchase new instruments to give to kids. It has no local chapter, so you will have to ship your items to them. (Taken from a Family Circle article)

Packing peanuts

Paper, newspaper

Oahu residents. Paper can be put in the blue bin for curbside pickup. Generally, glossy magazines and ad inserts CANNOT be recycled; such paper has a coating on it that makes it glossy but unfortunately also makes it ineligible for general recycling.

Phone books, phone directories

Rather than simply bringing these to a city recycling bin, you can also help local schools by waiting for Verizon Hawaii's yearly phone-directories recycling drive. All phone directories are accepted, not just Verizon's. This drive is in the form of a school contest -- the schools who turn in the most books win cash awards. This contest usually occurs around September; check your newspapers for announcements.

Plastic grocery bags

Plastics

Scanners, computer

The manufacturer may have a recycling program.

Shoes, athletic

Please be sure to CLEAN any shoes before donating!

Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program accepts shoes. Take note they accept ONLY athletic shoes and not sandals, dress shoes, etc. Also, shoes with metal in their soles, such as cleats or spikes, are NOT acceptable. (Thanks to Megan for that information!)

Vehicles (cars, trucks, vans, etc.)

Miscellaneous

The usual charities




Feel free to e-mail me at schala ~~at~~ schala(dot)info with additions, corrections, or other suggestions for this page. PLEASE put the words "Hawaii recycling" somewhere in the subject line so I don't delete your message as spam. Thank you!

Go to my homepage