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Printer’s reams come true by accepting glossy paper

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Glossy magazines, long thought of as un-recyclable, now have a place to go to get a new lease on life.

That’s right. Your decade-long collection of National Geographic, old copies of Time, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan — all glossy magazines — as well as catalogs, brochures, fliers and junk mail (including glossy postcards) can be recycled at Hagadone Printing Co.

Hagadone also takes copier paper, phone books, computer paper, yellow legal paper, manila and colored folders, and softcover books.

You can drop off your stash of magazines in the blue bins beneath the "Drive-up, Drop-off" banner at the Hagadone Printing headquarters near Sand Island at 274 Puuhale Road. If you have a large load, make an appointment. Otherwise you can drop them off every second Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.

You can also leave them at any one of five Lex Brodie’s, which has partnered with Hagadone to collect the materials as part of the EcoPaper Route program that aims to expand recycling efforts.

Hagadone is also at Haleiwa Farmers’ Market every first Sunday, and can arrange to pick up recyclables from businesses when it makes deliveries.

The printing company, which publishes a large number of magazines in Hawaii, recycles close to 300 tons of paper waste each month, according to Hagadone sustainability coordinator Myah Ely.

About a ton of that comes from the community, said Ely, but Hagadone has the capacity to receive more.

The materials get shredded, baled and shipped to various destinations — sometimes Asia, sometimes Canada — to be recycled into new paper.

Hawaii does not have a paper mill, so the materials have to be sent to other destinations.

The upside of it all is that instead of going to Oahu’s landfill, they are "upcycled" into new brochures and magazines.

Why do we care?

One ton of recycled paper saves 7,000 gallons of water, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, 17 trees, two barrels of oil and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity, according to the EPA.

Based on changes Hagadone has made under the leadership of outgoing president Erwin Hudelist, the company has since 2008 saved about 35.5 million gallons of water, 16,751 cubic yards of landfill space, 86,292 trees, 10,152 barrels of oil, and 20.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.

Under Hudelist’s vision, Hagadone made changes in both big and small ways to become more sustainable.

It invested in a wet press three years ago that runs on natural gas and recycles ink solvents.

In the break room, Hagadone has replaced Styrofoam cups with compostable cups, and set up an internal battery-recycling program. Instead of bottled water, the company’s 130 employees drink water from a triple-filter system.

Also, Hagadone buys carbon offsets for each print job, which go toward projects like the restoration of koa trees on the Big Island. Last but not least, Hagadone prints its publications on recycled paper (which is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council) with vegetable-based ink.

Locations and drop-off times for glossy magazines and junk mail are available at Call Hagadone headquarters at 852-6348 for large-load appointments. For more information, contact

Nina Wu writes a column about environmental issues on the first Monday of every month. E-mail her at


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