Richard Ha writes:
Today I drove down to the recycling center at the Hilo dump to learn how to recycle. This is a big, behavior-changing deal for me.
Many things converged to make me do this. Charlotte Romo’s girls Sydney and Hana are dedicated recyclers. I watched them separating bottles and cans at last year’s Alan Wong cookout and they are not yet 12 years old.
Roberta Chu told me that her family recycles their trash.
My friend Jim Murray told me how he recycles his recyclables. But he goes one step better. He composts green waste and grows vegetables at his townhouse. I have to go see his operation. He tells me that he grows in bins, and there are holes in the container to insure that he cannot overwater. There is also a plastic barrier that prevents weeds from growing. I can see how it could work and I want to talk to Jim more about this. Sounds like the perfect answer for busy people. I can see how composting can be very rewarding.
I read that Councilman Bob Jacobson has put forth a recycling proposal that requires residents to recycle 85 percent of the waste stream. I have decided to start recycling so I can see what works and what doesn’t. I want to see how reasonable 85 percent recycling might be.
I'm also doing it to assess the problem of non-recyclable plastic packaging. I’ve been wanting to reduce the plastic packaging on our tomatoes as a way of reducing costs. I can see how it would be frustrating to people who want to recycle as much as possible.
My plan is to separate the cans, glass and newspaper and recycle those. I’ve set banana boxes outside for each category. I would like to eventually start composting and then make a garden outside the house.
It’s true that one could consider us as already having a 600-acre garden, at the farm where the soil is so deep one could bury a giant bulldozer and not find one stone. But it’s also true that we live in Panaewa where there is no soil—just pahoehoe lava. The average rainfall in Panaewa, though, is 120 inches. It would be a good challenge to turn this into a highly productive, food-producing property.
I looked around outside, evaluating the situation. If I want to grow anything here I will need to bring in soil or some other appropriate media. Here we go!