Bulky item violations soar under city crackdown

Bulky items violations soar
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Since it began cracking down on improper dumping of bulky items this year, the city has cited more than 900 people.

The count is nearly double last year's 550 and nearly triple from the 385 seen in 2014.

But so far, the city has collected less than $10,000 in fines and some say the city still isn't doing enough to penalize offenders.

"Right now there's very little enforcement. I don't see anyone saying, 'Oh, it's a threat we can't put the materials out early,'" said Alvin Au, chairman of the Chinatown Neighborhood Board.

The city picks up bulky items once a month and residents are supposed to place out their items on the street on the pick-up day.

But Hawaii News Now drove around several neighborhoods and saw large amounts of bulky items, such as television sets, appliances and even car parts placed out on the street a week before the pick-up dates.

"It's still a problem but it's not as bad maybe a year ago but today it's still a problem," Au said.

Tim Houghton, deputy director of the city Department of Environmental Services, said the increase is partly due to the fact that more residents are reporting violations in their neighborhoods.

"We've had more complaints in the last year, which is really a good thing because it shows a community interest, and a community understanding," he said.

Houghton said the city gives residents seven days before they issue fines. He said a vast majority fix the problem before fines are issued.

"They take care of it in 90 percent of the (time). So their response has been much, much more positive," Houghton said.

Some believe the crackdown is working.

"From my view, downtown Chinatown is kept very good. They do a good job down here," said Delores Mollring, also a member of the Chinatown Neighborhood board.

Others disagree.

"It's gotten a lot worse," said Terry Kakazu, owner of HASR Bistro in Chinatown.

Kakazu said residents and businesses regularly dump their bulky items in front of her restaurant.

She said it creates a danger for people walking by.

"A lot of times those furniture items are falling over, it's hitting cars, it's just hazardous altogether," Kakazu said.

City officials are encouraging residents to know their pick-up schedules before placing their bulky items outside.

To see your schedule, click here and search for your address.

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