“Hawaii Monitor” on CivilBeat.com

My regular (hopefully) weekly “Hawaii Monitor” column appeared on Civil Beat yesterday (“Demise Of Community Recycling Bins A Policy Failure“).

Here’s my lede:

You probably haven’t worried about this little-noticed impact of Honolulu’s daily newspaper monopoly.

The merger of the two formerly competing newspapers can be blamed, at least in part, for the demise of the city’s popular network of white community recycling bins, according to a recent city report.

The report released last month by the Department of Environmental Services said the shift to a single monopoly newspaper, coupled with the continuing drift of readers to digital access, reduced the amount of newsprint being deposited into the white bins, leaving more space for lighter cardboard boxes, often unflattened.

The result was a reduction in the average weight of a full bin by 50 percent or more, from two to three tons a decade ago to one ton. There was a similar decline in recycling revenue, the city says.

In any case, check it out if you haven’t read it already.

5 responses to ““Hawaii Monitor” on CivilBeat.com

  1. it also means less bird-poop lining!

  2. irony: “Production problems at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Kapolei printing plant this morning delayed distribution of today’s newspaper.
    Star-Advertiser personnel are currently delivering papers to customers, who should receive today’s edition by 10 a.m. Subscribers who are missing their paper are advised to call customer service at 538-6397.”

  3. I liked the Hawaii Monitor article on the Auckland zoo publicizing the issue of palm oil, and how the Honolulu Zoo does not put its exhibits in such a political or economic context. What I really liked is how you reflected on environmentally dubious biofuel efforts in Hawaii. It was like reading a good detective novel, where the investigation logically led to an unexpected detour.

    Your most recent article was similar, on how the ending of the recycling program can be traced to the newspaper merger and the rise of digital publishing. But I have to disagree with your conclusion that this phasing out of the recycling program is a bad idea. The reality is that there is now far less to recycle. So I think Carlyle was correct to end it.

    The bigger issue is that we need to consume less in order to have less to throw away. You wrote that when you drink wine tonight, you won’t know where to dispose of the bottle. Please don’t drink wine. Also, maybe don’t shop at Safeway. Safeway might not be around in ten years out in your parts, so not shopping there is good practice.

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