Concerns grow along with piles of trash at public housing

Concerns grow along with piles of trash at public housing

WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There's a neat stack of old mattresses on the sidewalk at Kauiokalani Housing in Waianae. Those came from units that are being renovated. But there's a nearby pile that's much larger.

The second pile includes old discarded furniture, more mattresses, television sets and even a refrigerator. Residents say the pile has been growing for months, and they want it gone.

Marc Paaluhi of the Waianae Neighborhood Board says the illegal dumps are hard to handle once they get started.

"Once one person sees a pile of rubbish going, then everybody kinda tends to dump there," he says.

The Hawaii Public Housing Authority says the smaller, neater pile surrounded by yellow caution tape has only been on the sidewalk for two weeks. It's made up of items left when residents left a building that is now undergoing renovation. Paaluhi says it's still a potential hazard.

"The caution tape, I understand the principle behind it, but it's not going to determine a young man," he says. "You know how boys are. They'll look at this and (say) 'hey, a playground!'"

The city does not pick up bulky items from Kauiokalani Housing because it is a state project. Lawmakers are looking for a solution.

"I'm hoping for a system that's easier for the public to take part in, no matter if its city of state," says state Rep. Andria Tupola (R-Nanakuli, Maili, Lualualei). "If they have bulk trash, there's a way to get rid of it in a quick manner."

The housing authority says the piles of rubbish are being hauled away on Monday. But community members plan to tackle the job before then.

"They'll be available with their trucks and their manpower, so we want to try to make it disappear by tomorrow, if possible," says Paaluhi.

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