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map of HI-5 bins

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HI-5 BINS [more photos]

TAKE = act without shame
LEAVE = share without condition
WHATEVAS = trust without apology

It all started one day in 2004 when the city dropped off a blue recycling bin at our place. We were so {happy} . “FINALLY!!,” we thought. Nerdily we put all our recyclables in it and waited for the pick up. And waited. And waited. We waited for two {sad} years and they never came. Frustrated we took matters into our own hands. We made a simple wire mesh bin and attached a sign with a {funny} anarchist message, “HI-5 / Take, Leave, Whatevas...”. We put in our redeemables and set it up at our front yard. And viola they were picked up. Then unknown people dropped off their own redeemables!! And then these too were picked up!!! We thought if it worked so well at our front yard why not put them everywhere. The idea caught on very quickly. People invited us to do workshops. We collaborated with community groups. A few people sent money for materials. We even received a small grant from the Hawaii People’s Fund. By our unscientific estimate over 1,000 bins have placed on O'ahu along with a few on Maui.

In 2011 the unexpected happened. The coordinator of Honolulu City and County’s Environmental Services (ENV) called us. Instead of freaking out or being defensive she told us she was very excited about the HI-5 bins. She liked the concept, the simplicity of the design and its community building potential. To make a long (and painfully bureaucratic) story short ENV officially adopted the HI-5 project in 2013.

Like we did before, ENV will work with anyone, particularly groups, to make and set up bins, providing instructions and all needed supplies.

Most {miracously} ENV is keeping the language of our [TAKE, LEAVE, WHATEVAS...] signs AND our DIY instructions that explicitly say to [Trust Without Apology]. To prove that they mean it, they are not providing pickups. A major {triumph} over the irrational fear of strangers! Anarchists are everywhere. So go ahead:

A- Request a bin or a bin-making kit <schoolrecycling@honolulu.gov>

B- Invite ENV to do a bin-making workshop with your people

C- Better yet, take matters into your own hands (downloadable instructions)

D- ...whichever your route, help document the new locations/photos on the HI-5 map or email ENV to do it for you.

Lastly, we must acknowledge that recycling systems, no matter how comprehensive, do nothing in dealing with gluttonous First World consumption patterns and the {sad} packaging around all the {sad} shit we buy. The larger purpose of the HI-5 bin project is to create a consciousness of our interdependency through actual practice and real relationships, not based on abstract notions of groups or communities.

Lastly lastly, for a truly {inspired} idea see this.