Oneula Beach Clean Up: One Year Later

Mary Palmeira
Mary Palmeira
Tommy Palmeira
Tommy Palmeira

(KHNL) - While the city of Honolulu has been busy cleaning up West Oahu beaches, the question is, will the clean sweep help keep Hawaii's beaches clean in the future?

It was once known as an Ewa Beach dumping ground, full of crime.

Now Oneula Beach Park's Hau Bush has a new reputation as a recreation area that's been cleaned up and cared for, by a community.

Along with the beauty of Oneula beach, there are also ugly reminders this piece of paradise is still someone's dumping ground.

"It was going good for a while then the dumping started again," said Oneula Beach resident, Mary Palmeira.

Its more than just trash, but old tires, household items and waste that could easily be disposed of properly at a nearby refuse center.

"I noticed a lot of things are from people's houses - they are too lazy to go to the dump so they come out here and dump it," adds Palmeira.

But blocking off vehicle access to parts of Hau Bush has lowered the amount of litter that piles up.

Though, some still use Oneula for more than just a dumping ground.

"Couple of times people bring in stolen cars - but its not like it used to be," said Mary's husband Tommy.

A cleaner park has also meant a reduction in crime for this popular Ewa Beach spot.

Honolulu Police are still occasionally called but even they admit Hau Bush is not as bad as it once was.

Piles of neatly stacked and full trash bags are positive signs for this community.

A year after the city cleaned up, people are still pitching in to keep it that way.

With organized cleanups on the weekend that bag tons of trash. And those who call Oneula home also lend a hand.

"We try to patrol our own area and keep it clean," said Tommy Palmeira.

"I always try to pick up all the rubbish.  Whenever I can, I pick it all up," adds his wife Mary.

Just as important to those who use Oneula beach park, is that it not only still looks good a year after the clean up.

But many feel safe taking their families to this popular Ewa Beach spot.