MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Homeless people living on University of Hawaii Manoa land just steps away from dorms and faculty housing have left behind piles of trash, making parts of Waahila Ridge look like a small garbage dump.
"It makes me very depressed to see all of this trash," said UH student Aaron Bullock, who hikes the Waahila Ridge several times a week and took Hawaii News Now on a short hike to homeless camps that look more like small garbage dumps, with rubbish everywhere.
Among the garbage were old laptops, stereo equipment, suitcases with clothes and toiletry products, old bicycles and shoes."You have electronics and things, there's no use for any of this if you're living in the forest. It's obviously somebody with a mental disorder," Bullock said.
UH posted trespassing warnings on some homeless sites on the ridge last week and began hauling out some trash and relocating homeless people. But clearly there's lots of rubbish left to clean up. Bullock has hiked the Waahila Ridge area for years and said homeless activity picked up there recently."Lately, in the last few months, I've notice a very high volume of people carrying trash up and neglecting the ridge," Bullock said.Sarah Rice, the community programs manager for UH Manoa's Department of Public Safety said her department is aware of the situation.
"We will continue the cleanup on an ongoing/regular basis," Rice said in an email. "We are currently working with stakeholders in both the UHM and surrounding community to achieve this, including UH Manoa Facilities, the Honolulu Police Department, and social services organizations."
Rice did not provide an estimate for when the areas would be cleaned up or how many homeless people had been removed from the area. UH dorms are right across Dole Street from the homeless dump sites. Bullock said the homeless rummage for trash from dumpsters outside the dorms, particularly at the end of the school year when students throw out lots of stuff.
Hawaii News Now found the dumpsters full to capacity and easily accessible Monday afternoon."They just rummaged through the trash cans and carried everything up here. Sad," Bullock said.These homeless sites boast some amazing views. It's easy to see UH's Hale Aloha tower dorms with Diamond Head in the background.
"There's a cave over there that somebody's living in and just trashing the place. I could understand if they respected the land which they dwelled on, but they don't have that mentality," Bullock said.