Honolulu Trash Band

Recycling rocked with Henry Kapono and the Honolulu Trash Band back in 2000 when you could catch their performances at special events and conferences. The band has since disbanded but we maintain this in our archives to say thank you to the band members for putting the "cool" in recycling.

Who are these guys? Well, we know Henry Kapono, but the others were new to the local music scene. What brought them together were their day jobs, which at first doesn’t make sense because they span numerous industries and government agencies, including hotel management, commercial property management, construction and demolition and both City and State government. The common element is their leadership in recycling and waste reduction and a commitment to preserving our island paradise. 

So, let’s start with Henry Kapono, who’s not only one of Hawaii’s most admired, respected and popular entertainers, he’s the "recycle guy" on TV and radio in many of the City’s recycling public awareness campaigns. He continues to give of his time and talents to promote recycling in Hawaii, and was the creative force behind the Trash Band.

Steve Kelsey (band leader and guitar) is a recycling specialist with the City’s Recycling Office and manages the island’s community recycling center program.

Mike Leary (keyboard, congas and harmonica) is the president and CEO of Island Demo, Inc. and an industry leader in recycling construction and demolition materials. At least 30% of the materials that flow through his downtown transfer station are sorted out for recycling. Mike doesn’t just believe in recycling, he lives and breathes it. One look at his Honolulu office reveals the depth of his commitment - everything from the file cabinets to the ceiling fans have been reused, revamped or recycled. No matter where it’s been before, Mike will find a new use for it.

Lance Gilliland (ukulele) is a manager of the Westin Maui Hotel. Formerly at the Grand Wailea on Maui, he was instrumental in setting up an award-winning recycling program that involved using recycled crushed glass in their water filtration system, onsite mulching and composting of all of their yard waste and reprocessing cooking oil into biodiesel fuel. He’s currently hard at work bringing the Westin Maui Hotel up to speed waste-wise.

Roger Yu (guitar) of Goodson+Yu Designs designed the City’s recycling education calendars produced annually for four years. The Art of Recycling Calendar won a national calendar award its first year out in 1996. You can view the calendars in the media library.

Michael Lafferty (drums) is president of ML Services, building maintenance engineering consultant to commercial properties, including Chaney, Brooks & Company. Mike makes sure that all of the buildings he has worked with have sound recycling programs in place, including six Chaney properties and the Financial Plaza.

Michael Kueffer (bass guitar) is the former general manager for the Ihilani Resort & Spa. While managing that five-diamond hotel, he spearheaded their commitment to Hawaii’s environment. Each member of his management staff was also a member of their "green team," each taking the lead in different facets of their recycling program – one in charge of glass recycling, another spearheading their office recycling effort, etc. A major focus at the Ihilani is on employee education. Mike’s theory was that their 700+ employees would take home with them the recycling ethic they learned at work and practice it at home to the benefit of everyone in the community.

Herb Lee (ukulele) of Lee Communications was a consultant to Unisyn Biowaste Technology which recycled approximately 35 tons per day of food waste until their closure last year. Herb’s looking for a new recycling client or he’s out of the Band (Just kidding, Herb). Herb currently works as a consultant to Waste Management on public issues related to the landfill.

Bob Rogers (guitar) is a project manager for Dave Foster Builders. The Band admits he’s a ringer. They needed real guitar talent when Henry Kapono was away on tour. But Bob’s company does okay with the 3 R’s. They deliver all of their construction waste to Island Demo, so Mike Leary sorts the recyclable portion of the mixed waste for them. Old blueprints go to schools for reuse as art paper, and Bob drops off their office paper at the City’s community recycling bin at Fern Elementary School.

And last, but by far not least, there’re the Trashettes - who offered their own unique style and backup vocals. Carrie McCabe is the former recycling coordinator for the State of Hawaii. Suzanne Jones is the recycling coordinator for the City & County of Honolulu. Irobela Wreagh is a recycling specialist with the City.

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