Honolulu, Hawaii

Accumulated a score of 7.055, with population of 371,657.

Renowned for its clean air and pure water from Oahu’s aquifer, Honolulu is among America’s healthiest cities, with a mild climate that encourages outdoor activities along the 28 acre Kaka’ako Waterfront park. Although Honolulu draws 89 percent of its energy from imported oil, Bill Brennan, press secretary to the mayor, notes that seven percent of its power is from burning garbage. The city’s H Power Plant burns 500,000 tons of waste annually helping cut down on landfilled trash.

Any environmental group that promotes trash incineration as ecological is either a front for polluters or woefully ignorant of biochemistry, since it is well documented that burning trash creates thousands of new toxic chemicals not present in the original garbage. Trash incinerators generate ultrahazardous ash that is the most noxious material apart from the excretions of the nuclear industry.

To further reduce waste, this March Honolulu launched a lawn, garden and tree clippings or “greenwaste” recycling program. “This greenwaste is recycled here on the island,” says Brennan. “It goes to Hawaiian Earth Products, which turns it into mulch and compost and provides it to the public for free on the site or packaged and sold in stores.” The future looks green as well: By 2007, all new city buildings of over 5,000 square feet must meet LEED Silver standards.

Although the March 2006 sewage spill Honolulu suffered occurred too recently to be taken into account in this year’s scoring, The Green Guide will report on the impact it has on the city’s environmental health.