Recycling is a good thing, let's do what we can to support it

  Fun Fact: Germany has the highest overall recycling rate in the world with more than 50% of their total municipal waste being recycled!

Fun Fact: Germany has the highest overall recycling rate in the world with more than 50% of their total municipal waste being recycled!

Let's talk about HI-5 bottle recycling and redemption. What is redemption, you ask? It is when a person returns the empty beverage container (HI-5 labeled glass, plastic, or aluminum) to a participating recycling center. You see, when we purchase those beverage items with the label of "HI-5", this means we are paying an extra 5 cent deposit per bottle upfront, which we can redeem for the equivalent cash back when the bottle is empty. The simple idea is to incentivize consumers to return the bottles to recycling centers such that they won't end up littering our streets, clogging up drains, or polluting the ocean. Unfortunately, Hawaiʻi has seen a marked decrease in bottle redemption over the last several years. We must address this issue and find solutions that incentivize folks to redeem their empties! 

With the 2018 legislative session is rapidly nearing its end, change is on the horizon for our local recycling system. We should continue to support bills proposing initiatives for sustainable recycling and reuse of plastic commodities, especially after China announced its effective ban on 24 various scrap materials, most notably plastics. This is the perfect opportunity for the City and County of Honolulu to examine its history with local recycling and the steady decrease in redemption rates.

Senator Jill Tokuda (D-Kaneohe) introduced SB 3099 as a vehicle to increase redemption, highlighting success in other states like Oregon and Michigan who have implemented a 10 cent deposit fee. Michigan has shown an average of a 93% redemption from 2014 to 2016, and since its newest implementation last April 2017, Oregon has seen a jump from 64% to 82%. SB 3099 not only calls for an increase in deposit fees if the redemption rate falls below 85% after two consecutive years, but is also reinforced with 2 new positions for the deposit beverage program, established funds for a plastics recycling program, and gives more responsibility to the Department of Health in benchmarking return rates to 85%, and annually reporting fundings to the legislature.

Public approval of the possible new 10 cent deposit fees are up in the air for several reasons. Lack of knowledge about statistics included in the redemption rates, as well as decreased access to redemption facilities are among them. Redemption rates as stated above include all returns to redemption facilities, as well as the smaller 2% rate from residential blue bins. These blue bins are only offered on Oʻahu, whereas neighboring islands are required to return all recyclables to specified redemption facilities. This is concerning to locals who already have a difficult time with drop off and retrieving deposits from very limited facility options, possibly hindering redemption rates to begin with. Statistics show the declining rate of redemption directly correlates with the closing down of facilities and decreased access to redemption sites.

In addition to funding for a plastics recycling program, funding should also go to aiding additional facilities on neighbor islands, as well as possible research into new redemption sites (e.g., grocery stores). There are options for us to create a sustainable and resilient recycling system, beginning with the support and initiating the conversation on stricter recycling practices. Passing SB 3099 is a necessary first step to addressing these issues, keeping the conversation going with regards to the importance of recycling, maintaining the overall cultural conditioning to recycle HI-5 bottles, and to incentivize residents to redeem their recyclable bottles.


State Senate Bill Would Increase Can and Bottle Deposits, 3/19/2018, Honolulu Star Advertiser

To learn more about Senate Bill 3099, click here.

Crossover is upon us!

The 2018 legislative session is halfway finished! ...and what a whirlwind it has been. For those of you with us for the first time, welcome and thanks for sticking to it! We know it can be fast and furious. Please feel free to reach out with any questions: hawaii.chapter@sierraclub.org

Below is the list of 50 environmental bills we will be pushing after crossover. Please familiarize as necessary! Most bills already have committee referrals, so NOW it is time to contact committee chairs to hear these bills ASAP. Next important deadline: March 23 is second lateral.

What is "crossover", you ask? 

Crossover: deadline for bills to pass third reading in order to move (or “crossover”) to the other chamber. If successful, House bills are sent to the Senate and Senate bills are sent to the House for further consideration.

Click here for a quick view refresher on how a bill becomes a law in Hawaiʻi.


Sea Level Rise

HB 2106 OEQC/Chapter 343 include SLR considerations

SB 2334 SLR planning

SB 3068 Implements recommendations of the SLR report

Clean Energy

HB 1801 Gas utility standard = electric utility standard

HB 1864 Ocean thermal air conditioning

HB 2460 Microgrids

SB 2939 Performance based rates

HB 2724 Office of Clean Energy

HB 2719 Clean energy economy advisory board

SB 2910 Grid resiliency / HB 2249 Grid resiliency

HB 2110 Microgrid tariff

HB 1830 UH Green Special Fund

Carbon

HB 1986 DBEDT carbon revenues

HB 2182 Carbon Sequestration Task Force

SB 1088 Haleakala Carbon Forestry Project FIN

HB 795 Carbon forestry certification WTL, WAM

Cesspools

HB 2626 Third party consultant

SB 2717 Grants for Hawaiian Homelands

SB 2567 Upgrade upon sale

Sunscreens

SB 2571 Oxybenzone/Octinoxate Ban

Polystyrene/Plastics

SB2498 Polystyrene ban

HB 2107 Plastic Pollution Initiative

HB 2718 DAGS county polystyrene

Waste/Recycling

HB 1806 Food donations

HB 1800 Motor vehicle tires

SB 3099 Recycling benchmarks

HB 2025 Composting in schools pilot project

SB 2110 Motor oil collection

Native/Invasive Species

SB 2399 Invasive Species Authority

Pesticides

SB 3095 Buffer zones

SB 2126 Pesticide revolving fund

SB 2569 Pesticide Advisory Committee

Agriculture/Land Use

SB 2524 County land use requirements

SB 2572 Local food production

SB 2561 Conservation districts / HB 2101 Conservation districts

Trails

SB 2331 Na Ala Hele trail funding

Watersheds

HB 2595 DLNR watershed funding

HB 1977 Watershed flood mitigation

Freshwater

HB 1987 Stream study 

SB 2930 Underground Storage Tanks

HB 2592 Water infrastructure funding

DLNR Funding

SB 3038 TAT—>DLNR funding 

General Environment

HB 2026 LRB study to re-org agencies

HB 2470 State and county water and air quality standards

SB 2977 Tourism effects on climate change

SB 2965 Nature-based solutions in climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts

Sustainable Development Goals

SB 2667 Clean water and sanitation

SB 2668 Affordable and clean energy

SB 2674 Climate action

SB 2675 Life below water

SB 2676 Life on land

Contact Your Legislators ASAP!

We have provided the following bill numbers and talking points for your convenience. Please call and email on Monday at the latest to get these important bills heard before crossover!


Please contact Chairwoman Sylvia Luke of the House Finance Committee at 808-586-6200 and repluke@capitol.hawaii.gov

Aloha Chair Luke, 

My name is ____________ and I live in ____________. I am writing to kindly request that you hear a few environmental bills this week.

  • HB 2468 HD2 - This bill would establish a Hawaiʻi Beach Preservation Special Fund and a 3-year pilot project for North Shore beaches. As climate change progresses, we must find solutions to address the very real problem of sea level rise and how it will impact our communities.
  • HB 2249 HD2 - This bill would establish the Grid Resiliency Rebate Program and a Grid Resiliency Task Force to prepare the State's electrical grid for natural disasters and other emergencies. We don't want what happened in Puerto Rico to happen here. 
  • HB 2726 HD2 - This bill would support our recycling programs by setting important benchmarks for redemption rates and finding alternatives for the sustainable reuse of plastics. We need to reduce the vast amount of waste that ends up in our oceans and on our beaches, plus redirect unsustainable waste that goes to H-Power (e.g., plastic--which is an unclean source of energy when burned!).

Mahalo for your time and I look forward to seeing these bills on a hearing notice soon!


Please contact Chairman Chris Lee of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee at 808-586-9456 and replee@capitol.hawaii.gov

Aloha Chair Lee, 

My name is ____________ and I live in ____________. I am writing to kindly request that you hear an important environmental bill this week.

  • HB 2512 - This bill would further restrict the criteria for variances from the requirement that all new single-family homes utilize solar water heating. In places like the Ewa Plain on Oʻahu where solar irradiance is high, there are few reasons why on-demand gas water heaters should be installed instead of solar water heaters. We MUST avoid dependence on liquified natural gas. It is often obtained in an unsustainable way (e.g., fracking) that not only contributes to climate change, but also pollutes communities at the source.

Mahalo for your time and I look forward to seeing this bill on a hearing notice soon!


Please contact Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz of the Senate Ways and Means Committee at 808-586-6090 and sendelacruz@capitol.hawaii.gov

Aloha Chair Dela Cruz, 

My name is ____________ and I live in ____________. I am writing to kindly request that you hear a couple environmental bills this week.

  • SB 3063 - A bill that would have the University of Hawai‘i conduct an economic analysis of North Shore beaches. As climate change progresses, we must find solutions to address the very real problem of sea level rise and how it will impact our communities. This bill will help us understand the economic aspect of addressing this issue.
  • SB 2446 SD1 - This bill requires that a percentage of the Hawaii Tourism Authority's budget be transferred to the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the counties. With tourist arrivals poised to exceed 10 million per year in the next couple of years, we MUST re-direct funds to protect and preserve the very natural resources most visitors--not to mention locals!--are coming here to experience. 

Mahalo for your time and I look forward to seeing these bills on a hearing notice soon!


Please contact Chairwoman Rosalyn Baker of the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection & Health Committee at 808-586-6070 and senbaker@capitol.hawaii.gov

Aloha Chair Baker, 

My name is ____________ and I live in ____________. I am writing to kindly request that you hear an important environmental bill this week.

  • SB 2442 - This bill would require mandatory seller disclosures in real estate transactions within a sea level rise exposure area. As climate change progresses, we must find solutions to address the very real problem of sea level rise and how it will impact our communities, beaches, and the environment.

Mahalo for your time and I look forward to seeing this bill on a hearing notice soon!

Clean energy and environmental bills enter their final Committee in the House!

We need your help getting these important bills through their final hearing in the House: the Committee on Finance! Hearing notice here.

a) Submit written testimony by Thursday 2/22 at 2:00 PM

b) Attend the hearing on Friday 2/23 at 2:00 PM in Conference Room 308

Clean Energy

Waste

Sea Level Rise

Carbon

  • HB 2182 HD1 Relating to Environmental Protection - STRONG SUPPORT
  • HB 1986 HD2 Relating to the Environment - Oppose HD2 Amendments, Support original bill language. We would like to promote carbon projects throughout the state, but believe that all revenues generated through carbon offsets to be administered by DBEDT alone would potentially create disincentives for project proponents to engage in costly and time-intensive projects (e.g., forest carbon projects).

Plastics/Styrofoam


TIP: You can review testimony submitted by these House Draft 1 (HD1) and 2 (HD2) bills by clicking on the Testimony link on the Measure Status of each bill's page on the Capitol website. This way, you can see what other organizations, agencies, and individuals were saying about each bill!

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First Lateral Bill Update

It has been a whirlwind of bill tracking since session started, but we have come to the first lateral deadline (2/16) with many of our priority environmental bills still alive!

First lateral: all bills referred to more than one committee (i.e., those with multiple referrals) must move to their final committee in the originating chamber by this day.

Some of these bills are still sitting in their final committee, which means we need to get them heard before crossover on 3/8. A handful have already made it to crossover!

Crossover: deadline for bills to pass third reading in order to move (or “crossover”) to the other chamber. If successful, House bills are sent to the Senate and Senate bills are sent to the House for further consideration.

Please update your bill trackers with the bill list below. We will start ramping up our calls to action soon, as many of these bills are passing through tougher committees. Our scope is narrowed, now is the time to push hard for these good bills to be passed this session!

*Note: Designated ALL CAPS acronyms refer to the committee the bill is currently sitting in (e.g., FIN = bill still needs to be heard by the Finance Committee before 3/8 in order to make it to crossover). CRSO = the bill has been heard by all committees it was referred to and now it is headed to crossover.

Sea Level Rise

 HB 2468 FIN, HB 2469 FIN, HB 2106 FIN, SB 2442 CPH, SB 694 CPH, SB 2334 CRSO, SB 3068 WAM, SB 3063 WAM, SB 2017 CPH

Cesspools

HB 2626 FIN, HB 2732 FIN,/SB 2642 CPH/AEN/WTL, SB 2717 WAM, SB 2567 CPH

Clean Energy

HB 1801 FIN, HB 1864 FIN, HB 2460 FIN, SB 2939 WAM, HB 2724 FIN, HB 2719 FIN, SB 2910 WAM/HB 2249 FIN, HB 2110 FIN, HB 1830 FIN

Carbon

HB 1986 FIN, HB 2182 FIN, HB 795 WTL/WAM, SB 1088 FIN

Oxybenzone Ban

HB 2723 FIN, SB 2571 CPH

Polystyrene/Plastic

SB2498 CPH, HB 2625 FIN, HB 2107 FIN, SB 2285 JDC/WAM, HB 2718 FIN

Waste/Recycling

HB 1806 CRSO, HB 1800 FIN, HB 2726 FIN/SB 3099 WAM, HB 184 FIN, HB 2025 FIN, HB 2095 FIN, SB 2110 CPH

Native/Invasive Species

SB 636 WAM, SB 2399 WAM, HB 2301 FIN

Pesticides

HB 2721 FIN, HB 2722 FIN, HB 1756 FIN, SB 3095 EDU/WAM, SB 2126 CRSO, SB 2569 CRSO

Agriculture/Land Use

SB 2575 WAM, SB 2524 CPH/PSM/AEN, SB 2572 WAM, SB 2561 WAM HB 2101 FIN

Trails

HB 479 FIN, SB 2331 WAM

Watersheds

HB 2595 FIN, HB 1977 FIN

SDGs

SB 2667 CRSO, SB 2668 WAM, SB 2674 CRSO, SB 2675 WAM, SB 2676 WAM

Freshwater

HB 1987 FIN, SB 2930 CPH, HB 2592 FIN

DLNR Funding

SB 2446 WAM

General Environment

HB 1708 FIN, HB 2026 FIN, HB 2470 FIN

Bills, Bills, Bills

The 29th legislative session is in full swing! With help from our members, partners, and Capitol Watch team captains, we’ve been busy tracking a number of bills that we've identified as priority bills. Please add these to your trackers and flag as bills that either a) have "legs" (i.e., have a decent chance to pass first lateral) and/or b) are well-written with the greatest positive environmental impact.

Please note: after first lateral (February 16th), many bills will die. It is important we make every attempt to get these priority bills through the committees they have been referred to! Please contact Committee Chairs ASAP and request your priority bills get heard!

HOW can you help?

There are many ways you can help usher these priority bills through the legislature:

WHAT bills are priority?

Sea Level Rise: HB 2468, HB 2469, HB 2106, SB 2442, SB 694, SB 2334, SB 3068, SB 3063, SB 2327, SB 2017

Cesspools: HB 2268, HB 2626, HB 2732/SB 2642HB 1722/SB 2717, SB 2567, SB 2117

Clean Energy: HB 1801, HB 1864, HB 2057, HB 2109, HB 2460, HB 2431, SB 2933, SB 2956, SB 2939, HB 2724, HB 2719, SB 2910/HB 2249, HB 2110, HB 1830

LNG/Fracking: HB 1836, HB 1837, HB 1838, HB 1839

Carbon: HB 1986, HB 1991, HB 2182, HB 795, SB 1088, SB 105

Oxybenzone Ban: HB 2264, HB 2723, HB 1391, SB 2571, SB 2409

Polystyrene/Plastic: HB 1937/SB2498, HB 2625/SB 2964, HB 371, HB 2107, SB 2285, SB 2127, HB 2718

Waste/RecyclingHB 1806HB 1800, HB 2726/SB 3099, HB 184, HB 2025, HB 2095, SB 2110, SB 2120

Native/Invasive Species: HB 904/SB 636, SB 2399, HB 2301/SB 2728

Pesticides: HB 2721, HB 2722, HB 2495/SB 2837, HB 1756/SB 2456, SB 2469, SB 3095, SB 2126

Agriculture/Land Use: SB 2575, SB 2524, SB 2572, SB 2561/HB 2101

Trails: HB 479, SB 2331

Watersheds: HB 2595HB 2543, HB 1977

Freshwater: HB 1987, SB 2930/HB2712, HB 2592

Sustainable Development Goals: SB 2667, SB 2668, SB 2673, SB 2674, SB 2675, SB 2676

DLNR Funding: SB 2446

General Environment: HB 1708, HB 2026, HB 2470

*Slash indicates companion bills.