City Recycling and Waste Disposal Ordinances

Recycling
Bulky Item
Plastic Bag Ban

Below is a summary of the City Ordinance related to recycling and waste disposal. To access the actual language of the City Ordinances, click here to go to Revised Ordinances of Honolulu (ROH): Chapter 9, Collection and Disposal of Refuse and Chapter 1 for purchasing laws.

Recycling

Click here for more information on mandatory recycling.

Green waste (yard trimmings) from commercial and government generators is RESTRICTED/BANNED from disposal. Commercial and government trucks are limited to a maximum of 10% green waste per load at H-POWER and transfer stations, and completely banned from disposal at the landfill. Local composting facilities accept this material for a fee and process it into soil amendment products. Generators are also encouraged to consider small-scale, do-it-yourself mulching and composting. (Restrictions began in 1994; ban effective January 2003) (See City Ordinance, Chapter 9 - 1.7)

Electronic waste is BANNED from disposal, effective July 2006. Commercial and government ewaste must be processed through ewaste recycling companies. State law requiring manufacturer take-back became effective January 2010. (City Ordinance, Chapter 9-1.7)

Cardboard from commercial and government generators is RESTRICTED from disposal. Commercial and government trucks are limited to a maximum of 10% cardboard per load. Local paper recyclers pay for cardboard. (Restrictions began in 1994) (See City Ordinance, Chapter 9 - 1.7)

Tires, auto batteries, white goods and scrap metals are BANNED from all City disposal sites, effective 1994. State law requires dealers to take your old tires and recycle them. City-collected residential tires are delivered to a recycler.(See City Ordinance, Chapter 9 - 1.7)

Bars and restaurants serving alcoholic beverages are required to recycle glass containers, effective July 1, 1996. (See City Ordinance, Chapter 9 - 3.5)

Office buildings with 20,000 square feet or more of office space are required to recycle office paper, newspaper and cardboard, effective July 1, 1996. (See City Ordinance, Chapter 9 - 3.1)

Hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, food courts, food manufacturers/processors and hospitals meeting specific size criteria defined by ordinance are required to recycle food waste, effective January 1, 1997. (See City Ordinance, Chapter 9 - 3.5)

City agencies are required to recycle newspaper, cardboard, office paper, aluminum, glass, and plastics through government mandatory recycling program established in 1990 for all City agencies. (See City Ordinance, Chapter 9 - 1.11)

The City is required to purchase recycled paper products to support the recycled paper market. Everything from toilet tissue and paper towels to copier and computer paper is purchased with recycled content. (See City Ordinance, Chapter 1 - 12.3)

Bulky Item

Bulky wastes must be placed curbside only on the prescribed collection schedule date. Property owners are responsible for the curb area(s) abutting their property, and may be fined up to $250 per offense for non-compliance. (See City Ordinance, Chapter 9 - 1.4 (d). ORD 10-16)

Any person who violates City Ordinance by placing or dumping bulky wastes in areas other than the curbside fronting their own property will be subject to a civil fine up to $2,500. (See City Ordinance, Chapter 9-1. ORD 16-009)

To access the actual language of the City Ordinances, click here to go to recycling laws in Chapter 9, Collection and Disposal of Refuse.

Click here for more information on bulky item collection enforcement.

Plastic Bag Ban

Regulates the use of non-biodegradable bags, effective July 1, 2015. (ORD 12 - 8)

Click here for more information on the plastic bag ban.

© 2005 City & County of Honolulu's Department of Environmental Services.