Environment watchdog gets help spotting illegal dumps

Carroll Cox
Carroll Cox

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

WAIPAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The illegal dump site between Waipahu High School and Pearl Harbor is tough to see, unless you're looking from above.

"When we saw this one it was an absolute eye catcher," said Carroll Cox, EnviroWatch.

Environmentalist Carroll Cox worked out an agreement with Terrapac Imagery.  When the company flies around taking aerial pictures for clients, it also keeps an eye out for dumpsites.

"It looked worse in the air when I saw the picture, but then when I see this, this is probably one of the worst I've seen in the area," said Cox.

It's tough to get to, down dirt roads and through clipped fences.  Once there you'll find old boats, motorcycles and cars all of which have been stripped down.  There are plenty of chemicals and burn piles as well as things like satellite dishes, appliances and roofing materials.  They are things found in homes which makes Cox think it's not all homeless to blame but also contractors looking to avoid paying fees to dispose of the junk legally.

"What's the solution? A more aggressive recycling program, maybe think about reducing the charge at Waimanalo Gulch, reducing the charge at H-Power," said Cox. "The old way is not working, so start to incorporate new thinking."

The city says it's familiar with the location.  It swept the homeless out in the spring and posted no trespassing signs last February but the rubbish still hasn't been removed.

"That sign is fresh the cement is rather fresh where it says keep out Parks and Recreation City and County of Honolulu.  They found it more important to put in a sign than to clean this up," said Cox.

Cox says he plans to give the city a week to come in and clean up the junk, if not he's going to contact private contractors and ask them to volunteer their services and do it on their own.

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