In Oahu, the combination of residential, commercial, and industrial sites generates more than 4100 tons of waste every day. Collectively, that's more than 1.5 millions tons of waste each year (1). Landfill space is plentiful on the national level, but in Hawaii, it is promptly dwindling. Space is decreasing and disposal costs are increasing. At home the trash being produced is about fifteen percent recyclable. In commercial offices, this portion can increase to as much as 85% recyclable materials (2). Recycling is one of the best environmental success stories of the late 20th century. Recycling can turn waste materials into valuable resources. In consequence, recycling waste can generate a host of financial, environmental and societal returns. The full benefits of this architecture depends on a community's resources and structure. Hawaii is an ideal place to develop an extensive recycling program because at its economic and social core it depends on the well-being of its environment. .
If Hawaii doesn't begin to manage our waste products better, it risks losing its precious natural environment by saturating landfills. In a state that is composed of islands, where land - and thus landfill - is a limited commodity, the problems of waste accumulation quickly magnify. The disposal of garbage in the islands has been a continuous problem, predating as far back as the 1850's (3). When the Hawaiian Monarchy realized the growing problem and began to provide urban public services for waste disposal. From the 1930's throughout the 70's, comprehensive policies for disposal of garbage and swill were developed. Presently, these policies are no longer adequate for an exponentially growing population. A number of solutions must be implemented to prevent further overflowing of landfills and the inevitable destruction of the environment that comes with it. .
There are two approaches to managing municipal solid waste.