January 31, 2002
Contact: Rep. Hermina M. Morita
Tel: 586-8435     Fax: 586-8437



Honolulu, Hawaii - As debate on a proposed beverage container bill heats up, Tomra Recycling Hawaii will install a reverse vending machine at the Hawaii State Capitol on Sunday, February 3 at 10:00 a.m. Already in use in many parts of the country, reverse vending machines accept empty beverage containers for recycling and dispense either cash or a receipt redeemable for cash.

"Since we do not have a 'bottle law' in effect to give a cash value refund the reverse vending machine will dispense information about the value and importance of recycling", said Representative Mina Morita, Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection. "The idea here is to introduce my colleagues to technology that makes recycling easier and more cost efficient. The parent company of Tomra Recycling Hawaii has been instrumental in the development of these types of machines and I am grateful for the loan of the machine here at the Capitol."

During 1999, an estimated 192.5 billion aluminum, PET, HDPE and glass beverage containers were generated which is equivalent to 684 beverage container per person. It is estimated that Hawaii's residents and visitors consumer over 625 beverages per person per year generating over 800 million containers. Approximately 20% of the containers are recycled the balance end up as trash. "Hawaii has a waste diversion goal of 50% by 2000 presently we are only at 25%. A bottle bill is a step in providing the incentives for waste diversion and recycling," said Morita.

Representative Morita will be present to answer questions at the installation as well as staff from the Department of Health's Solid Waste Division and other proponents for recycling.

For additional information contact:
Jennifer Lucien, Office Manager/ phone (808) 586-8435

Hawaii State Capitol Loading Dock     Sunday, February 3 at 10:00 a.m.