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SORT IT OUT: What to Recycle/
How to Dispose of...

In brief, the story of trash is that we can no longer toss it out into one container bound for the “dump." What a waste to bury it in a landfill, especially on an island where land is so limited. We need to SORT IT OUT into the blue, green and gray containers to enable the City to deliver different components of our trash to recycling and processing facilities that can utilize it to our benefit. Our trash is no longer a waste, it’s a resource for manufacturing new products, creating soil amendments, and generating power. Yes, power – up to 10% of Oahu’s electricity is trash powered, displacing the need for fossil fuels and contributing to our island’s energy sustainability. Our H-POWER waste-to-energy facility receives all of the trash from our homes and businesses. It’s incinerated to produce electricity, which is sold to Hawaiian Electric. This is why low-grade, low-value papers and plastics go into your gray cart.

Navigate our website for recycling and disposal instructions via a list of common items.

SORT IT OUT – blue, green, gray
Blue = mixed recyclables
Green = green waste
Gray = trash
Instructions for households in curbside collection and condo programs. Click to open a one-page pdf file specific to the 3-cart curbside recycling program.

SORT IT OUT – bulky items
Bulky items go out for monthly bulky item collection or to convenience centers or transfer stations and are then brought to H-POWER. Metal appliances are recycled. The 2012 expansion to H-POWER provided additional capacity to process the combustible furniture, mattresses and carpet. Recycling efforts in the construction industry could divert more concrete and rock.
Furniture, Mattresses
Rock, dirt, concrete
Appliances
Tires
Autos
Electronic Waste

SORT IT OUT – hazardous waste
Special handling is required for hazardous waste. Disposal is costly and inconvenient. Waste prevention strategies are the most effective: buy only what you need, use it all, use non-hazardous alternatives.
Hazardous Chemicals
Paint
Used Oil
Propane and Helium Tanks
Batteries

REDUCE-REUSE
Click for tips on reducing what you buy and reusing what you already have. Also, links to reuse organizations.

List of Common Items:

Aluminum Cans
Rinse, okay to crush.

Drop off at multi-material (HI-5 plus) recycling centers. Put in blue curbside recycling carts. Take deposit beverage containers to redemption center to redeem your deposits.

Appliances
Large appliances are delivered to metal recyclers. Small appliances can be disposed with regular refuse. Arrange for the appliance dealer to remove your old appliance when they deliver your new one; schedule an appointment for bulky item pickup; or drop off at a City Convenience Center or Kapaʻa and Kawailoa Transfer Stations. Commercial entities should deliver directly to recycling facilities. Reuse options are available for functional units.

Autos
All junk autos are recycled. To arrange for free auto junking service for your car see the City's Auto Junking website for more information and the Registration Form. To report abandoned autos, call 768-2530.

Batteries

  • See the Batteries section on our E-Waste page.
Bicycles
Donate bicycles with good reusable parts to the Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange (K-VIBE), a non-profit bicycle shop that serves as an intervention program for the at-risk youth of Kalihi Valley. Drop off bikes during business hours at 1638 Kamehameha IV Rd. Contact K-VIBE at kvibe@kkv.net or 843-1545. Take broken bicycles to an Aloha ʻĀina Recycling Drive.
Cell Phones
See the Cell Phone Recycling section on our E-Waste page.
Christmas Trees
Recycle your Christmas tree! See the Holiday ʻŌpala Alerts page.
Computers and Electronics
See our E-Waste page.

Corrugated Cardboard Boxes
Flatten boxes; corrugated only. No single layer chipboard such as cereal boxes, detergent boxes, tissue boxes, etc.

Drop off at multi-material (HI-5 plus) recycling centers. Put in blue curbside recycling carts. Cardboard is restricted at City disposal sites to no more than 10% per truckload. Large commercial generators of cardboard, including retail operations, can arrange for separate pickup service through recycling companies and haulers.

Dead Animals

  • *Please note: The City cannot collect from private, State, commercial or military roads.
  • Roadkill on City streets in Honolulu area (Foster Village to Hawai'i Kai) dead animals will be collected by the Refuse Division. Call 768-3200 Hours: Monday-Saturday from 6am-2pm.
  • For after hours and Sunday: email collection@honolulu.gov. Leave name, address, contact number, type of animal and location of animal and you will be contacted the next work day.
  • Roadkill on City streets in rural areas (outside of Honolulu) and in Industrial Areas (e.g. Māpunapuna, Sand Island) dead animals will be collected by Department of Facility Maintenance, Roads Division. See map for Roads Division areas.
'Ewa 768-9780
Waialua 768-9750
Kailua 768-3581 or 768-3583
Kāne'ohe 768-3669 or 768-3670
Lāi'e 768-9748
Wahiawā 768-9766 or 768-9762
Wai'anae 768-4310 or 768-4311
  • Dead animals from homeowners: Less than 70 lbs.
  • In Honolulu area (Foster Village to Hawai'i Kai) Call 768-3200 Hours: Monday-Saturday from 6am-2pm. For after hours and Sunday: email collection@honolulu.gov. Leave name, address, contact number, type of animal and location of animal you will be contacted the next work day.
  • In rural areas (outside of Honolulu), contact the appropriate Department of Facility Maintenance, Roads Division District listed above.
  • Alternatively, these animals can be taken directly to Waimānalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill. Call 668-2985 ext. 110 to schedule an appointment.
  • Dead animals from homeowners: Above 70 lbs. MUST be taken by the resident to Waimānalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill. Call 668-2985 ext. 110 to schedule an appointment.

Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers may contain materials that could be environmentally hazardous, so they must be disposed of safely and in accordance with City & County of Honolulu regulations. Empty, full or partially full extinguishers should be dropped off at a City Convenience Center or at the Kapaʻa or Kawailoa Transfer Stations. This option is available to residents and limited to A-B-C rated home fire extinguishers only.

Fluorescent Tubes and CFLs (compact fluorescent lights)
Residents have three options for disposal: drop off CFL bulbs at Home Depot’s recycling drop box (no tubes); wrap small quantities of bulbs/tubes in newspaper and dispose of with regular household rubbish; or schedule an appointment to drop off CFL bulbs/tubes at the City's bi-monthly Household Hazardous Waste events. Businesses must consult the State Department of Health at 586-4226 for disposal guidelines.
Furniture, Mattresses, Carpet
Make an appointment for bulky item collection. Drop off at City Convenience Centers or Transfer Stations (Keʻehi Transfer Station accepts only combustible bulky items). Commercial entities should deliver directly to H-POWER. Reuse options are available.

Glass Bottles & Jars
Glass bottles and jars must be rinsed clean with caps and lids removed; labels are okay. Place them loosely into your blue curbside recycling cart, or drop off in the public blue carts at Kawailoa Transfer Station and Waialua Refuse Yard. Redeem your HI-5 deposits at a HI-5 redemption center or donate HI-5 bottles at an Aloha ʻĀina Recycling Drive. Some non-profits may pick up HI-5 bottles from your home or business. Liquor-serving establishments are required by law to recycle their glass bottles. Local companies make recycled glass products.

Green Waste
Green waste includes yard trimmings, leaves, grass clippings, branches, and fruit and vegetables grown in your yard. Click here for info on Christmas trees. Leave grass clippings on your lawn when you mow to return nutrients to the soil. Large commercial generators of green waste, including landscapers and property managers, should deliver to Hawaiian Earth Recycling Wahiawā. Consider backyard projects to reduce waste, such as backyard composting or doing your own shredding/mulching. Place green waste loosely in your green cart. Trim material so that the lid shuts completely. Green cart contents get turned into compost; do not put bags into the green bin, as they contaminate the material. Homes without a green bin (manual collection) can bag their green waste with their rubbish. Residents can recycle green waste free of charge at Kapaʻa Transfer Station, City Convenience Centers (excluding Wahiawā), or at Hawaiian Earth Recycling Wahiawā.”

Hazardous Chemicals
See the guidelines for proper handling and disposal of Household Hazardous Waste and call the HHW Info-Line at 768-3201 to schedule an appointment for the next drop-off (held every other month) for those items that require special handling. Limited quantities will be accepted from each householder. Commercial generators must handle and dispose of hazardous material in accordance with EPA and State Dept. of Health guidelines.

Medications
Different forms of medications need to be properly disposed of in different ways(such as SHARPS). See our Household Hazardous Waste page for disposal or Take Back Program options.  

National Take Back Day: For more information on proper disposal visit www.dea.gov or call 541-1930. Or visit ag.hawaii.gov or call 837-8470.

Medication Drop Box Programs: Year round drop-off for excess or unused medication. See the links below for details and accepted types.

  • The Hawai'i Opioid Initiative drop box is located at the State Narcotics Enforcement Division - 3375 Koapaka Street, #D-100, Honolulu. Visit the State Department of Health website or the Hawaii Opioid Initiative website for more information and up-to-date drop box locations.
  • Longs Drugs has 9 O'ahu locations with medication drop boxes. These disposal bins accept prescription medication, over-the-counter medication and liquid medication bottles. Click here for more details and see below for locations.
Hau'ula 54-316 Kamehameha Hwy. Pearl City 850 Kamehameha Hwy. Suite 107
Honolulu 2470 South King St. Wai'anae 86-120 Farrington Hwy.
Honolulu 1620 North School St. Waipahu 94-060 Farrington Hwy.
Kāne'ohe 46-047 Kamehameha Hwy. Suite C Wahiawā 925 California Ave.
Kapolei 590 Farrington Hwy. Unit 300  
Metals
Put all metal cans in your blue curbside recycling cart or drop off at multi-material (HI-5 plus) recycling centers. Large metals from commercial generators are banned from City disposal facilities and should be delivered to a metal recycling company. Also see Appliances.

Newspaper
Remove magazines and glossy inserts.

Drop off at multi-material (HI-5 plus) recycling centers. Put in blue curbside recycling carts. Some recycled products are locally made.

Oxygen Tanks
To dispose of safely, take to AirGas (842-2142), Matheson (842-4125 Sand Island, 682-2100 Kapolei), or Refrigerant Recycling (682-1555), or contact the retailer for instructions and take-back programs.
Paint
Small quantities generated at home can be disposed of with your regular household rubbish. Latex paints can be hardened in the can, then thrown away. Oil-based paints must be solidified with an absorbent material, such as shredded paper, old rags, or sawdust, then sealed in a plastic bag. An oil change box provides the same results. Commercial generators must handle and dispose of paint in accordance with EPA and State Department of Health guidelines.
Plastic Bags
Some grocery stores (like Target, Walmart, Safeway and the military NEX) provide collection boxes for recycling plastic bags. Please call ahead to confirm. Before throwing away plastic bags, first knot them to prevent them from becoming windblown. Reuse plastic bags for pet waste or as trash liners.

Plastic Containers (1 and 2)
Look for the plastic number code in the triangle embossed on containers. Number 1 and 2 plastics include all bottles, such as beverage, detergent, shampoo, vitamin; and some other container types as well. More information on plastic numeric codes.

Drop off at multi-material (HI-5 plus) recycling centers. Put in blue curbside recycling carts. Take deposit beverage containers to redemption center to redeem your deposits.

Propane and Helium Tanks

Propane Tanks: Do not dispose of in trash. Residents can drop off up to two 5-gallon propane tanks or small compressed gas cylinders (such as 1 lb. “green” propane cylinders, 8 oz./14 oz. butane and 16 oz. MAPP gas cylinders) twice per month at a City Convenience Center or at the Kapaʻa or Kawailoa Transfer Stations. Tanks can be empty, full or partially full.

Helium Tanks: Do not dispose of in trash. Empty, full or partially full residential helium tanks should be dropped off at a City Convenience Center or at the Kapaʻa or Kawailoa Transfer Stations.”

Rock, Dirt, Concrete
Do not dispose in trash. Residential inert materials accepted in the inert bin at Kapaʻa Transfer Station. Not accepted at any other City Convenience Centers or Transfer Stations. Deliver to the Waimānalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill in Kapolei (call 668-2985). Commercial generators are restricted from the Waimānalo Gulch Landfill and can deliver to crushing/recycling facilities or take to the PVT Landfill in Nānākuli..
Tires
Give your old tires to the dealer when purchasing new ones. State law requires the dealer to accept and recycle them. Residents may take up to 4 tires per month to a City Convenience Center or Kapaʻa and Kawailoa Transfer Stations. Commercial generators should deliver to tire recycling facilities. Some recycled products are locally made.
Trash/Household Refuse
Examples include: plastics #3-#7, polystyrene foam, plastic bags/film, glossy paper, all books, flat board (cereal/tissue boxes), toys, ceramics, dishes, glassware, lightbulbs, mirrors, and general household rubbish. Wrap items that might cause illness or injury (lightbulbs, broken glass, etc.). The following do not belong in the trash, and must be disposed of properly: liquids, inert materials (concrete/construction debris/soil/rocks), radioactive material, compressed gas cylinders, fire extinguishers, lead-acid (auto) batteries and rechargeable batteries.
Always bag your household refuse before disposal, and keep container lids completely closed to keep your neighborhood litter free. Homes with automated 3-cart collection – click here. Homes with manual collection – click here. Apartment/condo dwellers - follow directions for disposal provided by property management. Residents can bring up to two loads of refuse per day to City Convenience Centers and Transfer Stations. Instead of disposal, consider waste prevention, donation, and fixing broken itemst.
Used Oil
Motor oil, cutting oil, fuel oil and cooking oil can be safely disposed of with your regular household rubbish; for instructions, please see the “Absorb and Trash” section on the Household Hazardous Waste page. Commercial generators must handle and dispose of used oil through a recycling company in accordance with EPA and State Dept. of Health guidelines. Used residential cooking oil can be dropped off at a 3Rs School Recycling Drive, or contact Island Commodities or Pacific Biodiesel.

White & Colored Office Paper
Recycle regular bond paper in the blue curbside recycling bin. Do not recycle envelopes, adhesives, rubber bands, shredded paper, or shiny junk mail/magazines/photos. Staples are okay. Drop off bond paper at participating multi-material (HI-5 plus) recycling centers. Commercial buildings and City Agencies are required by law to recycle office paper.

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