Do you have half a can of paint sitting in the garage you are not sure what to do with? Do you have an empty propane tank that seems wasteful to throw away? Are you PCSing and hate to throw away all your lightly used gardening supplies? The place you are looking for is Marine Corps Base Hawaii’s Re-use Room (building 6409 near 3rd Marine Regiment’s Supply building along Mokapu Road).
The Re-use Room is a program operated under the Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Material Minimization Center (HW/HM Center) that encourages MCBH residents to bring their unwanted paint and other useful household chemical items for re-distribution. Meaning, a family that is leaving MCBH can come and drop off some lightly-used detergent and then it will be placed by staff in the Re-use Room until someone that has base access (including contractors, civilians, etc.) can utilize that detergent. “This is a huge benefit for incoming military families trying to get settled on Marine Corps Base Hawaii,” says Jeff James, Project Manager of the HW/HM Center. “So then they don’t have to pay for paint and basic cleaning products right off the bat.”
To be clear, only residents of Marine Corps Base Hawaii can drop off items to the Re-Use Room. This reduces the amount of government funds spent disposing of un-usable products from the general public. However, the idea is to help save military families money by re-utilizing items that otherwise would have become household waste. “Ultimately, there are less hazardous household materials being released to the environment,” James says.
A few reminders for anyone planning to use the Re-use Room:
· Be sure to check-in with staff when checking items in and checking items out. The hours of operation for the facility are Monday through Friday 7:00 am to 3:30 pm.
· When families come to the grounds- please do not leave your children unattended, since the facility is an active working area. Actively supervise young children, for safety, when on the premises.
· “The items that folks want to turn in need to be re-usable,“ James reminds us. Quantity and quality matter when depositing your used items in the Re-use Room. “Do use your best judgment. And if the container is leaking, it’s not something we can take in. We want things that someone else can use.”
· Acceptable Items for the Re-Use Room: Paint, motor supplies, detergent, stains, propane tanks, gardening supplies, etc.
· Unacceptable Items for the Re-Use Room: Hygiene products, ammunition, batteries (car & household)
The center staff can also help answer questions about proper disposal of common hazardous materials like antifreeze. Staff suggests absorbing the liquid in kitty litter or any other absorbent material before throwing it away in the household trash.
For additional information or to contact staff about taking or donating items at the Reuse Room, call 257-0770. For information about household hazardous waste disposal, call the City and County of Honolulu hotline at (808)768-3201.