Mayor proposes fees for bulky item, residential trash pick-up

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is proposing that Oahu residents make appointments for bulky item pick-ups.

City officials are even planning a visit to San Francisco to see how it might work to reduce the problem.

"We increased the fines, we have a crew to go out and enforce it, yet people abuse it every single day," said Caldwell.

As part of his budget proposal, the mayor wants to start an online reservation system for bulky item pick-up, similar to one used in San Francisco. Residents enter their address and then click on specific items they want picked up. They can then pick the date and time for the trash to be hauled away.

"So we know you're going to have these three thing out on this date. You pay with a credit card, and then when our crews go out, they know exactly what's supposed to be out there," said city Environmental Services Director Lori Kahikina.

The city wants to charge $10 per cubic yard of items. The refuse team would know exactly what they're picking up, so other items piled on by neighbors would be ignored.

"We surely don't want people to just dump their stuff in a neighbor's yard, dump it down the street, in the bushes, so this is something we need to study. But the time is right to do exactly this," said Caldwell.

The mayor also wants to charge $5 a month for regular residential trash pick-up.

"It's clear by seeing so many communities being turned into illegal sidewalk dump sites that we have to do something different," said Honolulu City Councilwoman Kymberly Marcos Pine.

Pine, who represents West Oahu, has had some of the biggest trash piles in her community. She's open to a plan that helps residents, as well as the refuse crews struggling to do their job.

"They're surprised every time that they go out that some of the items are much larger than they are prepared for, and so they can never really end their day thinking that they did a good job," she said.

The mayor proposed the bulky item fee last year, but it was turned down by the city council. Pine is hoping council members keep an open mind on the new proposal.

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