It’s simple, everyone can do it!

Mixed Recycling Non-HI-5 Glass Recycling
The Mixed container is for paper, cardboard,
metal and plastics #1, #2, #5. Details »
The Glass container is for glass only.
No HI-5 containers. Details »

Place extra containers around your house for Mixed items and one for Glass in the kitchen.


Residents are allowed to use the 2-Bin recycling bins at County Recycling and Transfer Stations. These stations are closed for New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day and are open according to the schedule on our Facilities page.


Businesses are not allowed to use the 2-Bin system. Please contact one of the following local recycling companies to find out what materials they accept for commercial recycling.


Recycling works when you follow the rules about what can and cannot be placed in the bins. If the wrong materials are placed inside, the entire contents of the bin may end up in the landfill instead of recycled. It costs more to sort out contaminants, that’s taxpayer dollars that could be used for something else.  Just because you think it is recyclable doesn’t mean we accept it.  We appreciate your support in following the rules.

What Happens After You Recycle (PDF brochure)

When in doubt, leave it out!

All items placed in the 2-Bin system must be rinsed clean and labels do not have to be removed.  Unacceptable items/contamination increases processing and your taxpayer cost.  Contaminated items will be disposed in the landfill.

Changes to County of Hawai‘i Recycling Program – New List of Acceptable Materials Starting December 1, 2018

MIXED BIN Acceptable (must be clean)

Box board paper paper-cardboard
paper-mixed paper-newspaper
paper-magazines Plastic milk jug, container and symbols
plastic-bags Non-HI-5 aluminum and tin cans

Paper of all types like:

  • corrugated cardboard
  • newspaper or phonebooks (to opt-out of phonebook delivery click here or donate them to a local school recycling challenge)
  • magazines
  • office paper
  • junk mail
  • wrapping paper (non-metallic)
  • boxboard/paperboard like cereal or cracker boxes and cardboard (e.g. paper towel) tubes flattened

Plastic containers like:

  • milk or juice jugs
  • yogurt or cottage cheese cups (until November 30, 2018)
  • margarine or ice cream tubs (until November 30, 2018)
  • ketchup or sauce bottles
  • mayonnaise or jelly jars
  • laundry or dish detergent bottles and containers
  • plastic containers with #1 resin code (PET, PETE or polyethylene terephthalate)
  • plastic containers with #2 resin code (HDPE or high density polyethylene)
  • plastic containers with #5 resin code (PP or polypropylene) (until November 30, 2018)

The containers must have a “1”, “2” or “5” on the bottom. There will be a triangle made of arrows with the number in the middle.

Containers can be crushed to save space.

Do not include the lids if they are not stamped with a correct number.

Small metal and aluminum cans like:

  • soup cans
  • canned meat, vegetables or fruits
  • cat food cans
  • metal covers or lids

Containers can be crushed to save space.

Plastic bags (resin code #2)  (until November 30, 2018)

Plastic bags can only be placed in the Mixed bin if you do the following:

Tie a knot in the clean, empty plastic bag, this way it will not blow around if it gets loose.  Then put the knotted bag in another similar plastic bag.  Keep filling this bag with other knotted bags.  When the bag is full tie it off and place it in the Mixed bin.  Film type plastic bags should state #2 plastic resin code.  No metallic or mixed plastic/non-plastic films allowed.  When in doubt, leave it out.

Do not insert other types of recyclables in plastic bags and place them in the recyclables bins.

Plastic bags can also be recycled by taking them to KTA Hilo or Target. Or reuse them on your next shopping trip to the store or at farmer’s markets.

Items Not Accepted IN THE MIX BIN

Pizza box, waxed milk carton, styrofoamDo NOT place the following in the 2-Bin system:

  • Contaminated materials or containers that are dirty, have food residue or oil on them, or have not been rinsed clean.
  • plastic containers or plastic lids that are stamped with a #3, #4, #6 or #7 inside a triangle made of arrows. These symbols indicate the type of plastic and are usually on the bottom of the container.  If there is no marking on the plastic do not put it in our recycling bins.
  • expanded polystyrene (a.k.a. Styrofoam® or EPS, #6 plastic) packing materials, cups, food containers (‘clamshells’ or plate lunch containers) or food trays
  • plastic or metal squeezable tubes (e.g. toothpaste, glue, food products)
  • plastic playground equipment (kiddie pool, balls, jungle gym/slides etc.) and toys
  • large plastic items – laundry baskets, lawn chairs, ducting/irrigation systems
  • plastic packaging in the form of hard, clear ‘blister’ or form packaging – generally #3 plastic.
  • plastic packaging in the form of bubble-wrap or shrink-wrap
  • disposable plastic utensils (forks, spoons, knives & etc.)
  • kitchen or cooking utensils
  • automotive fluid (motor oil, fuel, brake fluid, antifreeze & etc.) containers
  • pesticide or herbicide (poison) containers
  • HI-5 beverage containers, instead please take them to a HI-5 redemption center.  Or donate them.
  • wax or plastic coated containers or wax paper, metallic or metal foil coated papers (i.e. juice foil bags, milk/juice cartons, soup foil-pack cartons or microwaveable foil-lined bags for crisping food).  Cartons are also known as gable-top aseptic containers.
  • paper towels, paper plates, napkins, facial tissues
  • parchment paper
  • window glass panes, jalousies or louvers, mirrors and windshields. aquarium tanks.
  • lighting fixtures (lamps, chandeliers, sconces and etc.).
  • light bulbs (incandescent, fluorescent, LED, UV and HPS) are not acceptable.
  • CRT (cathode ray tube) TVs or monitors
  • empty or filled spray cans (aerosol cleaners, hairspray, poisons, paints and etc.)
  • empty or filled compressed gas containers (propane tanks, butane canisters, camp stove gas containers)
  • Do not fill plastic bags with recyclable materials and put the whole bag in the bin. Instead empty the contents of the bag in the bin.


Non-HI-5 recyclable glass In the second bin, the Glass bin, put all types of small glass containers like:

  • wine bottles
  • liquor bottles
  • jams and jelly jars
  • baby food bottles
  • pickle jars
  • mason jars
  • makeup or perfume containers

Rinse bottles clean. Labels do not have to be removed.  No lids.

HI-5 redeemable beverage containers are NOT accepted. Beer bottles are redeemable so don’t put them in the glass bin.

Not accepted:

  • Lids
  • leaded crystal glassware
  • window panes, jalousies
  • mirrors
  • automobile windshields
  • CRT TVs or monitors
  • fluorescent bulbs, incandescent light bulbs and other lighting fixtures
  • aquariums, terrariums
  • optical glasses
  • drinking glasses or stemware
  • vases
  • Pyrex® or similar glass cookware

The Volcano Recycling & Transfer Station glass bin will be locked from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. daily.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  Please do not leave your glass containers during the closures.