Honolulu recyclingHonolulu (pop. 387,170 city and 953,207 county) has one of the highest landfill diversion rates of any U.S. city, at 66.2% in 2011 (a figured that has increased nearly 10% over the past four years). That number jumps to 73.4% when considering only municipal solid waste streams. So, why does this city-county sit near the top of the U.S.? Quite simply out of necessity. The Hawaiian island of Oahu, where Honolulu is located, is less than 70 square miles. With a population of nearly 1 million, that leaves little room to dump waste, so recycling has become king. Honolulu uses a three-cart system for all of its waste: a blue cart for recyclables, a green cart for yard waste and a gray cart for garbage.

Materials recycled

Paper Including newspaper (no inserts), white and colored office paper and flattened corrugated cardboard (no paperboard or boxes). Plastics Plastics numbered 1 and 2 are accepted (rinsed; no lids or caps). Metals Rinsed aluminum cans Glass Glass bottles and containers (rinsed; no lids or caps)


Curbside pick-up occurs on a weekly basis, though some parts of Honolulu do not yet have automated service (it is in the works). A collection schedule can be found online.

Other programs

Honolulu’s curbside yard waste collection program offers convenience for residents and a local composting source for the city-county. The green waste cart, collected every other week, accepts yard trimmings, leaves, grass clippings and Christmas trees. Free mulch is available to residents at the Hawaiian Earth Products composting facility. Bulky items, such as furniture, mattresses, bedframes, boxsprings, carpeting (rolled up and fastened), appliances and minor home repair/remodeling materials are collected monthly at curbside during a three- to four-day period. Household hazardous waste chemicals can be scheduled for drop-off during bimonthly events. Residents can call the HHW info-line at 808.768.3201 to schedule an appointment. A number of community drop-off recycling centers are available throughout the island to properly dispose of various recyclables.

More information

Visit the Honolulu Department of Environmental Services website for more recycling program info.