There are many everyday household products that are also recyclable or have specific disposal procedures. Below is a list of some household products that are currently recyclable, can be diverted from the landfill or have special disposal instructions. If you have suggestions or questions on any other commodities not listed here, please contact us so we can update our list. Mahalo for your kōkua!
Medical Waste and medications
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), State Attorneys General and Local Law Enforcement collaborate to offer National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days for prescription and Over-The-Counter (OTC) medications/medicines/drugs. These twice yearly collections accept solid dosage and some liquid medications, including controlled substance medications (e.g. opioids) for anonymous and safe disposal. The National Take-Back Initiative goals are to remove potentially harmful unused or unwanted medications from households to prevent accidental ingestion, overdose and addiction.
Hawai‘i Medication Drop-Box Program (State/County Take-Back)
The State of Hawai‘i Department of the Attorney General, Department of Health and the County Police Departments with funding from the Federal government have implemented the Hawai‘i Medication Drop-Box Program to supplement the National Take-Back Initiative. This program offers year-round convenient, safe and environmentally-friendly drop boxes for household medications at local police stations. Look for the big green box inside these police stations.
County of Hawai‘i Locations:
- Hilo Police Station at 349 Kapi‘olani Street
- Puna Police Station at 15-2615 Kea‘au-Pahoa Highway, Pāhoa
- Kona (Kealakehe) Police Station at 74-611 Hale Māka‘i Place, Kailua-Kona
Syringes/needles/sharps, inhalers, thermometers or infectious waste not accepted. No businesses allowed.
For more information call the Hawai‘i Police Department non-emergency line at 935-3311.
CVS Longs Pharmacy Safer Communities Medication/Drug In-Store Drop-Off Kiosk
CVS Longs Pharmacy offers free in-store safe secure medication disposal kiosks at select store locations. CVS has also donated secure safe medication disposal kiosks to local law enforcement agencies to reduce the risk of misuse, abuse or diversion as part of their overall safe medication disposal program. Follow instructions on kiosk. Call store for more information.
- Prescription Medications (Scheduled II through V Controlled and Non-Controlled)
- Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medications
- Liquid Medication Bottles (less than 4 oz. in zip closed plastic bag)
- In original packaging, if possible.
- Illegal (Schedule I) Drugs
- Needles, syringes or sharps containers
- Medical devices, batteries
- Aerosol cans, inhalers
- Mercury (Hg)-containing devices (e.g. thermometers)
- Commercial or agency generators
CVS Longs locations with in-store safe medication disposal kiosks:
- Hilo Longs, 555 Kīlauea Ave., phone 935-9075
- Pāhoa Longs, 15-1454 Kahakai Blvd., phone 965-3144
- Kailua-Kona Longs, 75-5595 Palani Rd., phone 329-1632
County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management Solid Waste Division
Prescription drugs (non-controlled substances, no sharps or needles) can be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events that happen every six months in Kona and Hilo, or every year in Waimea & Pāhoa. Please visit the Household Hazardous Waste page for more information on what is acceptable and when they occur. There are also various national programs for the take-back of prescription medications.
For additional information, the following resources have been provided.
- “Proper Disposal of Home Health Care Waste” by the State of Hawai’i Dept. of Health
- CVS Longs offers for sale postage-paid envelopes to return non-controlled substances medications for safe & proper disposal via Sharps Compliance, Inc.
- Walgreens offers free in-store safe medication disposal kiosks at select locations. Check their website for locations and restrictions.
- “Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i outpatient pharmacies offer ‘mail-back’ postage-paid envelopes that can be used to send unwanted medications to a registered pharmaceutical waste handler for disposal”
- Safe Drug Disposal Portal – Product Stewardship Institute
- Product Stewardship Institute – What Do I Do With My Leftover Meds website
- Go-to-Guide for Safe Drug Take-Back
- FDA Consumer Health Information – How to Dispose of Unused Medicines
- FDA Consumer Health Information – Needles & Other Sharps Disposal
- Safe Needle Disposal – Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal (1-800-643-1643)
For more information and updated phone numbers visit Hawai‘i Health & Harm Reduction Center website
Safe Needle Disposal – Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal (1-800-643-1643)
Phonebooks / Phone directories
- Great American Self Storage
74-5499 Loloku St.
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Everyday 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Town & Country Moving & Storage
888 Kalanianaole Ave Ste #B
Hilo, HI 96720
Mon. – Fri. 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
969-1911 – Call first
Not interested in receiving a phone directory, you can opt out of phone directory delivery easily.
The County of Hawai‘i Recycling Section is joining forces with the Product Stewardship Institute to raise awareness about this important environmental issue and to encourage people to opt out of unnecessary phone book deliveries. Opting out is free, fast, and easy—and it makes a huge impact!
By opting out of receiving a phone book, you can quickly reduce your environmental footprint, save taxpayer funds and stop wasteful distribution.
How Do I Opt Out of my Phone Book(s)?
1. Visit yellowpagesoptout.com
2. Enter your zip code and create an account
3. After completing registration, click “opt out of or order directories”
4. Choose the “opt out of all” option or choose which directories you want to stop being delivered to you, then “save changes” and hit CONFIRM
It’s free, easy, and takes just 3 minutes!
Expanded Polystyrene (foamy #6 resin code plastic a.k.a. Styrofoam®)
No current recycling options. Please dispose with your regular rubbish.
Intact Bubble-wrap & Foam peanuts drop-offs:
- Copy Post Plus
77-6425 Kuakini Hwy Ste C2, Kailua-Kona
- Kailua Candy Company
73-5612 Kauhola St, Kailua-Kona
75-1027 Henry St, Kailua-Kona
- Paradise Business Center
15-2662 Pahoa Village Rd, Pahoa
- UPS Store
75-5660 Kopiko St, Kailua-Kona
- Volcano Island Honey
46-4013 Puaono Rd, Honoka`a
- Waipio Valley Artworks
48-5416 Kukuihaele Rd, Honoka`a
To properly dispose/recycle fire extinguishers please take them to the following locations:
|Big Island Scrap Metal||Shipman Industrial Park, Kea‘au||854-4530 (Please call first)||None|
|County of Hawai‘i
Solid Waste Division
|Hilo & Kona Transfer Stations’
Scrap Metal Bin
|Must be EMPTY!||no charge; commercial extinguishers not accepted by law|
|Hilo Fire Extinguisher||Kea‘au||966-7356||Free, only if sold by them|
|National Fire Protection||Hilo
|call Kona office
or $10.00/unit if sold by them
|Guardian Fire||Waimea||889-0608||$8.00/unit, only if sold by them|
Note: The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events will not accept fire extinguishers.
The US Environmental Protection Agency & County of Hawai‘i both recommend that you return your no longer usable smoke detector to the manufacturer. The address of the manufacturer is usually listed in the product warranty or user’s manual. If the smoke detector has an alkaline or lithium ion battery, please remove it and recycle the battery appropriately.
The U.S. Postal Service has instructions on how to return your smoke detector to the manufacturer for proper disposal, check their website: USPS Dispose of Smoke Detectors Properly website. It also contains a listing of smoke detector manufacturers and their addresses.
The County of Hawai‘i’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events and the County of Hawai‘i landfills and transfer stations are prohibited from accepting ionization-type smoke detectors (look for “ionization” or “americium 241” on the detector to determine if it is an ionization type detector). The County’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events now accept photoelectric type only smoke detectors (must clearly state “photoelectric” type only) from a household only.
Businesses, agencies, non-profits and farms must all contract with a hazardous materials management company or the smoke detector manufacturers to dispose of their smoke detectors.
Unwanted Firearms ammunition
Please contact County of Hawai‘i Police Department at 935-3311. Describe exactly what types, quantities and the reason for disposal of the unwanted ammunition to the police dispatch person. An officer will follow-up and determine whether they will handle the disposal/destruction of your ammunition.