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students standing in garbage cans
Circle K International members from left, Jenna Stone, Kristian Kim, Sheena Juliano and Jolene Siu celebrate the completion of their Gecko Deco cans.
girl posing with decorated garbage can
Sheena Juliano, elementary education student, poses with her inspirational Gecko Deco can.
student painting garbage can
CKI Vice President Kristian Kim paints birds on his personalized Gecko Deco design.
student painting garbage can
Jolene Siu, CKI member, concentrates on putting the finishing touches on her gecko.

Colorful gecko-themed trash cans are helping the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa clean up its act—at least in the lower campus parking structure. On September 8, members of the Circle K International (CKI) Club—a student organization focused on community service—assisted with Commuter Services’ Gecko Deco project. CKI volunteers customized the reptilian-imaged receptacles with paint, brushes and their imaginations. These colorful cans serve the dual purpose of brightening up the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa parking structure and encouraging proper trash disposal.

CKI chose the Gecko Deco project because the club was looking for a way to give back to the campus community. Sheena Juliano, CKI member, was inspired to participate while walking past other decorated trash cans.

“For me, this project is something fun that made me feel like a kid again,” said Juliano, an elementary education major. “And I get to leave something behind on campus that I created, sort of like leaving my mark here.”

Kristian Kim, vice president of service for CKI, agrees. “This project is not only fun and cool, but it brings out your creativity as well as doing a community service project at the same time,” Kim said. “Through completing this project, I learned that even the smallest contribution can make a big difference for your community and the environment around you.”

Commuter Services hopes that more student organizations will volunteer. “We created this project to help connect with students and work together to keep the parking structure clean, bright and cheerful,” Commuter Services Manager Cate Matsushima said. “Painting the cans is personalized and individual for each student, which inspires them to create something unique and eye-catching.”

The gecko trash cans have made an improvement in keeping the structure cleaner, with less trash on the ground and more trash in the bright cans.

It is just one of the low-cost, high-impact projects that Commuter Services is implementing at the parking structure. Other efforts include eye-catching signage giving campus visitors a fun place to put their gum when they’re done chewing it (rather than the ground). In addition, the parking structure will be upgraded this fall with LED light installation with backup batteries and a new coat of slip-resistant paint by the elevators and stairwells.

Join the fun!

Want to help keep our campus beautiful and clean? If your student organization is interested in the Gecko Deco service project, contact Commuter Services at (808) 956-9290 or

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