Concerns grow along with illegal trash dump in Pearl City - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Concerns grow along with illegal trash dump in Pearl City

PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

There's a roadway just off Lehua Avenue in Pearl City that has been called a "dumper's paradise." And the problem has gotten worse in recent weeks.The illegal trash dump is on a roadway from Lehua Avenue to a distant auto parts yard. Environmental watchdog Carroll Cox of Envirowatch, who's been monitoring the area, said the pile has been growing.

"Many years now this has been a problem area, an accumulation of trash of all sorts," said Cox. "Chemicals and waste and plastics and household goods, refrigerators, washers, dryers, oil -- you name it."

There are signs that a few homeless people camp here, but Cox said most of the items are simply trash that has been dumped there. Some mattresses in the heap look like new arrivals, unlike a nearby couch which appears worn and dirty.

There are also some possible hazardous materials that have been left in several spots in the heap and along the roadway.

The trash heap is very visible. It's right next to the Pearl City bike path and just behind the state Office of Elections. Lehua Elementary School is right across the street, and Cox is concerned that children could be injured by items in the dump.

According to Cox, it's unknown who owns the roadway. "Well, we know we have an easement here with the city with the bike path. We know that there's been some discussion and debate that this is private. Right next door is the office of elections. So, it's really unclear."

Cox said the auto parts yard has been warned by officials to maintain the roadway, but he believes its unfair to blame the yard. "They're open for business. So what's to prevent anyone from coming with with a load of trash and dumping it?"

Cox believes some reforms are needed in public solid waste programs to keep this problem from happening. 

"It's simply unimaginable that this can continue to repeat itself, year after year, month after month."

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