Model Programs

Many companies have already established successful programs to recycle and reduce their operations' waste. Their managers have offered their time as peer consultants to share their experiences with other companies, and their programs provide working models for Hawaii's business community.

The following profiles of successful programs have been selected for their unique and/or comprehensive design. Subsequent updates will highlight programs from other companies.

Peer Consultants from some of these businesses are available to advise you further about how your organization could set up successful recycling programs as well.

Kyotaru Hawaii Corporation

Columbia Inn has closed
Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant profile coming soon

Policy/Commitment: In an effort to be responsible community members, Kyotaru Hawaii Corp. is committed to recycling, source reduction and buying recycled materials as part of an efficient and cost-effective operation.

Scope: Four family restaurants on Oahu: Kyotaru Japanese Restaurant in Waikiki and Pearl City; Columbia Inn on Kapiolani Boulevard and in Kaimuki. Two take-out restaurants in Honolulu: Kyotaru Take Out in Bishop Square and Pioneer Plaza.

Results: 50% reduction in waste hauling frequency and cost.  Recycle cardboard, glass, office paper, office products (printer cartridges and ribbons), edible food to the homeless, inedible food to farmers, and cooking oils.

Benefits: Cost savings! $15,000 annually.

Started: 1989

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Chaney, Brooks & Company

Updated profile coming soon

Policy/Commitment: Chaney, Brooks & Company's commitment to our clients, their assets, and their tenants, and our concern for Hawaii's environment prompted the action. We have designed and implemented several waste reduction programs for the varied properties we manage and own. Our clients look to us for leadership in enacting programs that benefit the community, while making sound business sense.

Scope: Office buildings - recycling paper, cardboard, telephone directories and Christmas trees. Castle & Cooke Community Service Center, Ceridian Building, First Insurance Building, Grosvenor Center, Haseko Center and Heald College Center. Industrial buildings - recycling cardboard. Shopping centers - recycling cardboard and green waste. Condominium associations - recycling newspapers, bottles, cans and green waste.

Results: Waste reduction and decreases in hauling frequency and refuse removal costs.

Benefits: Contribution to Hawaii's environment and lower operating costs.

Challenges: Educating tenants on the recycling process and its benefits, and finding space on small properties to locate collection bins.

Note: In our planning for our managed properties, we have either recommended or implemented energy-efficiency measures, including xeriscaping.

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Sheraton Hotels

Updated profile coming soon

Policy/Commitment: Sheraton recognizes the importance of the responsible stewardship of our island’s natural resources and have therefore implemented a comprehensive resource management program that includes recycling, source reduction, purchasing of recycled products, and involvement in community affairs.

Scope: Four Waikiki hotels (Sheraton Waikiki, Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, and Sheraton Moana Surfrider), representing 4,200 guest rooms, actively recycling office paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum, newspaper, mixed waste paper, used cooking oil, and food waste. The Sheraton Waikiki recently implemented a sorting center to separate all guestroom generated waste materials.

Note: Company’s recycling program is part of its comprehensive resource management strategy that includes the commitment to purchase recycled products, identify source reduction opportunities, and support market development in all three areas.

Results: 20% waste reduction; nearly 33% reduction in hauling frequency; average 50 tons a month in recycled materials. Nearly 55% of guestroom waste is recycled.

Benefits: Improved employee morale, enhanced reputation with customers, and cost savings.

Challenges: Minimizing necessary space for collection and sorting; training employees to properly segregate recyclable materials; minimizing collection frequency.

Extra: 1994 Hawaii Investor Magazine Investing in the Environment Award; 1994 citation from Hawaii State Senate; 1994 KITV Environmental Achievement Award; 1991 Governor’s Energy Award for best recycling/energy efficiency programs in hotel category; 1992 Hawaii Visitors Bureau Five Kahili Award for best recycling program in Hawaii hospitality industry

Savings: $100,000 annually

Started: 1989

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Foodland Super Market, Ltd.

Updated profile coming soon

Policy/Commitment: Foodland, the state’s largest supermarket company, is committed to waste reduction, recycling, purchasing recycled products and supporting environmental community programs.

Scope: Foodland Super Market, Ltd., has 30 stores (23 Foodland, 7 Sack N Save) on four major islands. 2,500 employees. Foodland recycles its corrugated cardboard, organic waste, office and computer paper, aluminum, uniforms, as well as metals from its print shop.

Note: Foodland prints shelf tags on recycled paper; paper bags at checkout are made from recycled paper. Foodland offers a five-cent rebate to customers who bring their own grocery bags for repacking groceries.

Foodland has a free customer brochure called "50 Earth Friendly Tips".


1) Diverts 900,000 pounds of meat/seafood a year from 19 Oahu stores to be converted into agricultural feed

2) Diverts 670,000 pounds a year of produce scraps from 14 stores to pig farmers

3) Diverts another 300,000 pounds of organic waste a year from five stores to be converted into electricity and organic fertilizer

4) Recycles 500,000 pounds of corrugated cardboard annually

5) Averages 30 percent savings in electric bills since retrofits with high-efficiency ballasts and fluorescent lighting tubes and energy-efficient air-conditioning systems

6) Donates over 45 tons of food a year to the Hawaii Food Bank

Benefits: Cost savings and positive image in the community

Challenges: Buying recycled products that are always competitively priced

Extra: 1990 Governor’s Energy Award for commercial establishments; 1991 Hawaii Investor’s Investment in the Environment Award for solid waste recycling; 1992 Take Pride in America Award for good stewardship of resources; 1992 Better Business Bureau’s Business of the Year; 1993 Retail Merchants of Hawaii Award for Company Contributing the Most to the Environment and Community; 1992 the first company in Hawaii to be certified by the Partnership for the Environment; 1993 Outdoor Circle Sterling Silver Chopsticks Award

Savings: More than $200,000 annually

Started: 1990 in conjunction with the 20th Anniversary of Earth Day

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Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa

Policy/Commitment: Hilton Hawaiian Village is committed to a comprehensive recycling program and, as part of this program, recycles organic wet waste and dry waste (cardboard, glass, paper, phone books, aluminum cans).

Scope: The largest resort in Hawaii, representing more than 2,000 employees and 2,545 rooms.

Note: A recycling team of 18 Hilton Hawaiian Village members coordinates the hotel's recycling efforts. All of the hotel's recycling activities utilize existing employees with no additional labor costs.

Results: Over 1,500 tons of "wet" and "dry" waste recycled in 2009.

Benefits: Cost and space savings. Customers and team members feel good. Less waste.

Savings: Over $200,000 in 2009

Started: Early 1980s

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City & County of Honolulu

Policy/Commitment: The City is committed to reducing Oahu’s waste and minimizing our use of landfills. The City encourages waste reduction in all sectors and intends to provide direction by example.

Scope: Twenty administrative facilities, involving more than 2,000 employees; all City parks; and the Honolulu Zoo.

Results: Recycles on average 110 tons of white and colored office paper, newspaper, and cardboard annually from the City’s major administration buildings, including: City Halls, Fasi Municipal Building, Police and Fire Departments, and the Board of Water Supply. All green waste from City parks is mulched/composted. The Zoo also provides a showcase for locally-made recycled products, including recycled plastic picnic tables, benches and fencing, crushed glass garden sculptures and glasphalt walkways.

Benefits: Significant waste reduction and improved employee morale. Parks’ green waste is turned into mulch for use in parks to enrich the soil. Hawaii families visiting the Zoo can see how their recyclables were transformed into new products.

Extra: The City passed ordinances requiring it to purchase only recycled-content paper - from paper towels to computer paper - and to use glasphalt in the base for road reconstruction.

Started: 1990–office recycling program. 1994–parks green waste program. 1996–recycling at the Zoo.

Want to learn how our paper recycling program works? Click here to find out.

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Intrade Corporation

Policy/Commitment: Prevent recyclable materials from entering the waste stream, recover recyclable materials from the waste stream, make a positive contribution to the local economy and increase national and international commerce. Intrade Corporation is a principled business, striving to meet the highest standards of honesty, integrity, fairness and industry in its day to day operations.

Scope: Honolulu based Intrade Corporation collects:

  • ALL ink and toner cartridges for ALL printers, copiers and fax machines
  • ALL cell phones, cameras, PDA’s and other portable digital devices and accessories
  • ALL laptop/notebook computers and accessories
  • From ALL areas around Oahu (call for outer island collection points) Intrade then screens, sorts and packs for distribution to local, national and international manufacturers and recyclers.

Collection activities include acceptance of donated items, cash payments for selected items and donations to charitable causes in the name of the source. Intrade has instituted cartridge and cell phone collection programs at many (if not most) Oahu schools under the trade name “Kid Ink”.

In addition to the above, Intrade also offers an exchange program that gives buyers a credit for their empty cartridges when they purchase a replacement cartridge. Intrade sells remanufactured and compatible inkjet and laser toner cartridges, and has an active online sales presence for resale of certain other selected items generated from collection activities.

Note: Intrade is not a manufacturer - it does not remanufacture or refill any cartridges. Intrade ensures that data stored in cell phones or other devices is cleared prior to resale to end users.

Started: Incorporated December, 1998. Operated "on demand" until moving to its current Kalihi location in November, 1999. Full scale operations commenced July, 2000.

Results: Market acceptance of Intrade operations has been uniformly positive. Intrade provides a much needed alternative to trashing or returning to the mainland what many recognize are high value recyclable items that can benefit the local economy.

Benefits: Intrade is a true steward of the environment - no hidden strings or conditions. End users of cartridges have a home for their empties. Local manufacturers have a convenient source for recyclable cores (empties). Hawaii's economy directly benefits from revenues generated by Intrade from online and export sales.

Challenges: Getting the word out is Intrade's biggest challenge.
Intrade has the capacity to handle virtually all of Hawaii's empty ink and toner cartridges and cell phones, so is constantly seeking new sources of those items. Operationally, Intrade faces the same, common problem encountered by all Hawaii exporters - shipping costs significantly reduce the degree to which we can compete with mainland companies.

Extra: Visit Intrade's web site at
for current buy-back pricing and background on the company.

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Hawaii Convention Center

Updated profile coming soon

Policy/Commitment:  To unite as a team using the power of our 'ohana at the Hawaii Convention Center to do our part in recycling in order to preserve our beautiful State of Hawaii, for our guests and community to enjoy.  In doing so, we intend to be a good corporate citizen and lead our clients as well as our competition by example, respecting our environment.                              

Scope:  Products recycled- Aluminum, Glass, Plastic, Paper, Cardboard, Wood Pallets, Green Waste, Food Production Waste, Food Surplus.


 - Aluminum is collected from the Food & Beverage Division at the areas where it is originally used (i.e. kitchen, bars, prep areas) and transported to the recycle storage containers at the loading dock to be held for future cartage. It is also brought from administrative and exhibition areas and stored in the same manner.

 - Glass is collected and stored in the same manner as above.

 - Plastic is collected and stored in the same manner as above.

 - Paper is collected from specially labeled collection baskets throughout the facility located in strategic areas such as by copy and fax machines, administrative areas, client offices and exhibition booths. It is transported to a collection area located at the loading dock. 

 - Cardboard is collected by our janitorial staff at a holding area located by the HCC dumpster and on the exhibition hall floor from exhibitors unpacking their displays and brochures for an event. It is broken down to a flat status and put into the HCC bailer where it is baled into pallet loads that will be picked up by the recycler and carted off for sale.

 - Wood Pallets that come in with HCC freight and exhibitor freight are collected and held for pick-up by a pallet company that will resell them as used pallets.

 - Green Waste is collected and held by the HCC landscape company until they have a full pick-up truck load to transport to their compost area off site.

 - Food Production waste are collected from the HCC kitchen and held refrigerated until it can be picked up by a recycler who collects it for farm animal feed.

 - Food Surplus is donated to various social service agencies for distribution to shelters and various charity organizations. 

Products:  When possible the HCC always opt's to use recycled products for it's production and presentation to it's clients. Some examples are lunch boxes, napkins, ink pens, writing pads, janitorial paper products.

Client:  Whenever possible HCC likes to work with it's clients to encourage their participation in it's recycling program and to support any similar program a client may have.

Started:  October 1997

Benefits:  The Hawaii Convention Center is very proud to be a part of a very limited amount of Convention Centers that recycles voluntarily and in doing so, has experienced great public relations with clients and the community.

Challenges:  The Hawaii Convention Center stands a big challenge in terms of size.  Due to the amount of space the Center occupies, it can be difficult to be sure everything that can be recycled, is being sorted properly as such.

We are also challenged by encouraging our clients to recycle their waste.  We can encourage and suggest but it truly is at their discretion to exercise their recycling abilities.

Young Laundry & Dry Cleaning

Policy/Commitment: Young Laundry and Dry Cleaning is committed to the principles of good corporate citizenship. As part of this, we believe that the reduction of waste through reuse and the promotion of recycling help to preserve resources for future generations and are also an integral part of good business practices.

Scope: Eighteen stores throughout Oahu and the main production facility.

Results: Annually reuses 400,000 hangers, recycles 3 tons of unusable hangers, and has significantly reduced the use of plastic wrap and cardboard. Additionally, boilers are powered with non-petroleum, recycled waste oil fuels.

Benefits: Cost savings, enhanced reputation with customers

Savings: $90,000 a year

Started: April 1992

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© 2005 City & County of Honolulu's Department of Environmental Services.