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 Position Papers - State

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League of Women Voters of Hawaii

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Solid Waste

POSITION IN BRIEF Action to support recycling and resource recovery by private industry, with cooperation and support from government. Action to support requiring a deposit on beer and soft drink containers.


The League of Women Voters of Hawaii:

  1. Approves the state establishment of standards and criteria as well as rules and regulations for the disposal of solid waste
  2. Considers the following disposal methods as acceptable options in Hawaii: landfill compacted and covered daily, incineration, preferably with energy recovery, composting, recycling
  3. Advocates the establishment by both county and state governments of definite policies and programs to encourage recycling and resource recovery
  4. Recommends that Hawaii give priority attention to market development and energy recovery
  5. Contends it is in the interest of state and county government to share with private industry the responsibility for increasing the demand for secondary materials
  6. Believes that development of recycling facilities should be a three-way responsibility shared primarily by the state with industry, then county, respectfully, contributing to a lesser degree
  7. Holds that private industry should be responsible for operating the recycling facilities
  8. Recommends that recycling facilities be financed with combined private capital and government revenues
  9. Would support the following types of activity if government were to take measures to reduce the generation of municipal solid waste requiring disposal sites:
    1. Imposition of a fee on new or imported automobiles to help defray disposal costs of the car when junked material
    2. A prohibition of the sale of beer and soft drinks innonreturnable containersThe separation (at the source) of household and urbanwastes to facilitate recycling and to attract secondarydealers bottles
    3. A state law requiring a deposit on beer and soft drinkand/or cans

Consensus, May 1973


During 1959-61 the League of Women Voters of Honolulu conducted a study of the problems of refuse disposal in Honolulu. The study was an outgrowth of a local agenda item, “Air and Water Pollution”. The League conclusions and recommendations were sent to city officials. During the next legislative session the League strongly supported a bill to dispose of beach debris.

In 1971 solid waste management became a national program item. In May 1972 the state board authorized a state study of solid waste under the national program item. Local leagues participated in both the state and the national consensus. The national Solid Waste position was announced in April 1973, and the state position in May of that year.

Action at the state level since then has taken the form of monitoring legislation, helping to develop regulations on solid waste, and testifying on selected bills relating to resource recovery and recycling. We have also supported measures requiring deposit and return of beverage containers, primarily as a member of the d.a.r.! (deposit and return) coalition. Unfortunately, legislative concern has been slow to develop. Much needs to be done to persuade both the city and state administrations and legislative bodies that the emphasis should be on effective resource management rather than on litter control. Since solid waste disposal in Hawaii is primarily a county function, this position is an example of a state position that can be used by the local Leagues at the county level.

In 1980-81 the League of Women Voters of Honolulu, with the help of the state League’s natural resources committee, lobbied actively in support of the proposed Hpower plant, where Oahu’s solid waste would be turned into electric power. Unfortunately, the site selected was unacceptable to the community and the project was brought to a halt until this problem could be resolved. When the project was again proposed in 1983 for Campbell Industrial Park, the League commented on the impacts on water and air quality. The project was approved in 1985.

In 1982-83, at a time when pesticide contamination of milk and groundwater was a major issue in Hawaii, a project on hazardous waste was undertaken and the resulting publication, Is Paradise Hazardous to your Health? was distributed to elected officials, government agencies, and the general public.

Solid Waste Management in Hawaii. League of Women Voters of Hawaii, December 1972

Is Paradise Hazardous to your Health? League of Women Voters of Hawaii Education Fund, June 1983


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