Police, Private Partners Join Forces To Remove Derelict Cars

Shannon Wood
Shannon Wood

KAILUA (KHNL) -- It's where many unwanted cars and household appliances go to die. But on Friday, Honolulu police and private partners joined forces to clean up Kapaa Quarry Road.

A backhoe emerges from the brush carrying a car that has seen better days.

"Yeah, hallelujah," Shannon Wood, Windward Ahupuaa Alliance, cheered.

Shannon Wood watches with a smile on her face. She's been a caretaker of this area since 2003.

"We said we'll take Kapaa Quarry Road, never dreaming how difficult it was going to be," she said.

Just off the roadway, police find a graveyard for abandoned vehicles. Broken windshields, missing doors. It's an eyesore that takes an entire team to tackle.

"We just organized with private and city agencies," Sgt. Duane Samson, Honolulu Police Department, said. "And we came out here to enhance the quality of life for the community."

Wood says her heart sank the first time she participated in a cleanup here.

"We collected probably a hundred tires," she recalled. "We made arrangements to pick up about a dozen washing machines, television sets, sofas."

She hopes people will stop leaving their unwanted items along Kapaa Quarry Road. It cradles one end of Kawainui Marsh, the largest wetlands in Hawaii.

"What is particularly frustrating is, if you, right in the middle of Kapaa Quarry Road is the city's transfer station, which is open 363 days of the year," Wood said.

On this day, police and private construction crews remove about 20 derelict cars from one stretch, and several more from another location.

While clearly many people see the area as a dumping ground, Wood sees a lot more.

"I see it as a natural and cultural, environmental resource that we should be greatly proud of," she said.

Crews later placed boulders in the areas where people would access the brush to deter more dumping.