Third Saturday Recycling program in jeopardy

Nearly four years ago, a model community partnership was formed to host monthly recycling events known as Third Saturday Recycling in West Maui. Since inception in July 2015, Third Saturday Recycling has collected over 500 tons — that’s 1 million pounds — of appliances, electronics, scrap metal and vehicle batteries and tires. Today this program is in jeopardy.

The funding allocated for Third Saturday Recycling in the mayor’s proposed 2020 budget covers only half the money needed by Malama Maui Nui to continue monthly recycling events at Lahaina Cannery Mall next fiscal year. This means the highly successful monthly program may take a step backward and become an every-other-month program.

If this happens, we expect some frustrated residents may resume old practices: dumping appliances, electronics, even vehicle tires in West Maui’s back roads.

But it doesn’t have to happen this way. Maui residents can email Maui County Council members (edb.committee@mauicounty.us) and ask them to increase the funding for Malama Maui Nui to ensure that Third Saturday Recycling continues as a monthly event next fiscal year.

West Maui residents don’t want to take a step backward on recycling. We want to continue to move forward with respect for the land, and affection for this precious and beautiful place we are privileged to call home.

Heidi Dollinger, President

Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset