Further study necessary prior to drop box closures — mayor

Because of the amount of public confusion and concern expressed over Mayor Alan Arakawa’s proposal to end several of the county-funded residential drop box recycling sites, Arakawa announced Thursday that there will be no changes until further analysis can be done.

“The residential drop box program will continue, although at some point the locations of the bins may change,” he said in an announcement Thursday. “We’ve heard from the public that they are passionate about recycling, and while I am an avid recycler myself, the public needs to understand exactly how much it costs to haul, process and transport the materials off-island.”

On Tuesday, Arakawa confirmed reports that he was seeking to eliminate the recycling box program at half of the county-funded drop box sites that collect items such as cardboard, newspaper and nonredeemable glass and plastic bottles. The HI-5 redemption services would not be affected.

In Thursday’s statement, Arakawa said he has not called for cutting recycling funding in his proposed budget. (A story published on Page A1 and continued on Page A4 on Wednesday was incorrect in reporting that the mayor was seeking to eliminate funding for the program.)

While the funding remains the same for recycling in the mayor’s budget, Arakawa has said that $700,000 would be saved by cutting the drop box program.