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HI-5 redemptions slightly down from year ago

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Hawaii’s beverage container deposit redemption rate for the fiscal year ending June 30 was 76 percent, down from a record high 79 percent in the previous fiscal year, the state Department of Health said today.

“The redemption rate is down slightly from last year but participation in the HI-5 recycling program remains strong,” Jennifer Tosaki of the department’s Office of Solid Waste Management said.

“The current rate represents more than 685 million containers recycled during fiscal year 2010, helping to significantly reduce litter and conserve resources,” she said.

Each August the state uses the redemption rate to help determine whether the container fee for the HI-5 program should be increased. This year, the fee could rise by half a cent per container, but it will remain at 1 cent, the department said.

That means consumers will continue to pay 6 cents per container – a 5-cent refundable deposit and a 1- cent nonrefundable container fee for administrative costs.

The redemption rate is calculated by dividing the number of deposit beverage containers redeemed by the sales of deposit beverage containers. The drop in the redemption rate is attributed to an increase in sales accompanied with a decrease in redemption activity in fiscal year 2010, the department said.

Some 3.3 billion beverage containers have been recycled in Hawaii since the HI-5 program began in 2005, it said.

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