Wall of trash at Ala Moana Park not really 'trash'

Wall of trash at Ala Moana Park not really 'trash'

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - People have been complaining about a pile of what appears to be trash piled on a wall at Ala Moana Regional Park, next to Ala Moana Boulevard near the tennis courts.

They wonder why maintenance crews haven't hauled the stuff away. It's trash, after all.

Or is it?

According to the city, it has been claimed as personal property, and therefore falls under the city's Stored Property Ordinance.

"We do have a policy that basically we tag it first, give them a warning, and then they have 24 hours to go ahead and grab their stuff, or otherwise we take it," said city Parks Director Michele Nekota.

This is the law that took effect two years ago, allowing the city to clear areas like Old Stadium Park of homeless campers, and the De-Occupy Honolulu site at Thomas Square.

According to a state lawmaker who walks in the park regularly, the pile started less than a month ago with just two shopping carts. Then it blossomed.

"Right now, several people camp in that area, but there are two people that I know of whose possessions are along that wall," said state Rep. Tom Brower (D-Waikiki, Ala Moana, Kakaako).

The city is aware of the site and said it will likely be tagged for removal. No notices were visible Thursday evening.

There is another alternative for the city to clear the area.

"If it's between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., during park closure hours, then we can pick it up," said Nekota.

Nekota said there have been random checks and clearing in the middle of the night, but there aren't enough crews to do that often enough at the city's parks island wide, much less just Ala Moana.

Nekota said the parks department is also looking at making improvements to Ala Moana Park, which got its last refurbishing eight years ago. There are also plans in the works to replenish the sand that has eroded  from the beach. But right now, the city will try to deal with the so-called property popping up in the park.

If the city tags the property and hauls it away, the owners have 30 days to claim it.

Copyright 2014 HawaiiNewsNow. All rights reserved.