Question: All RRR Recycling redemption locations abruptly closed for 14 days on April 12 through April 25. Why?
Answer: “With the CDC, mayor and governor’s social distancing and stay at home orders to help contain the COVID-19 virus, RRR Recycling made the decision to do our part to help ‘flatten the curve.’ The safety of our employees and customers has been our main concern. We post “Social Distancing’ signs, make barriers, etc., and noticed that while most customers try to adhere, there are sites where enforcing social distancing was not an easy task. We also did notice a drop in customers, who were likely observing” the stay-at-home orders and not venturing out to redeem deposits on HI-5 plastic bottles and aluminum cans, said Linda Henriques, an owner of the family business.
RRR Recycling Services Hawaii has eight redemption centers and one mobile site on Oahu, all of which are closed, according to its website, rrrhi5.com.
The company also processes Honolulu County’s “blue bin” curbside recyclables, work that is unaffected by the closure of the neighborhood redemption centers.
Another reader asked whether the duration of the closure — 14 days — reflected a mandated quarantine due to viral exposure. Henriques said no, that was not the case. Markus Owens, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Environmental Services, confirmed that the city had no part in closing the redemption centers.
“No COVID-19 amongst our employees or staff (thankfully) and we actually didn’t think of it as a quarantine period. We kept employees on our payroll and based on payroll cycles decided on two weeks” for the closure, Henriques said in an email.
She described the closure period — April 12-25 — as a crucial coronavirus containment period for the state. The company plans to reopen the redemption centers on April 26; the locations and hours are listed on the company website.
“Having lived in the islands for generations, as a locally owned and family operated business, the safety of Hawaii’s people is very important to us,” she said.
Meanwhile, Reynolds Recycling, another company that redeems HI-5 beverage containers for cash, has changed the operating hours at some of its Oahu trailer sites due to the pandemic, but said on its website that all but one trailer location will return to its regular schedule by April 21. See the company website, reynoldsrecycling.com, for locations and hours.
None of the recycling centers were forced to close under Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s stay-at-home, work-from-home order, which extends through April 30.
Q: Will we be restricted from going to the grave this year to participate in Qingming activities if we respect the 6-feet distance and wear a mask? The Chinese usually visit the tomb of the dead and offer food items, weed the burial plots and burn incense. We are thinking of going to the grave on either April 25 or April 26.
A: “Unfortunately because Qingming is not a business activity/service, going to the Chinese graveyard or any graveyard for that matter to participate in a cultural activity is not an activity that is permissible under the Stay at Home Order. Again, the objective is to stay at home at least until April 30,” said Brandi Higa, a spokeswoman for the city.
Mahalo to the two beautiful Foodland Pearl City ladies who, on March 1, recommended that I get a Tiffany & Co. heart necklace for my 19-year-old daughter for Girl’s Day. She absolutely loved it and it made our father-daughter bond so much stronger. Hope to meet you at PC Foodland again at noon on Sundays. Aloha! — R.W.
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