Talk Story Report: Illegal dumping a growing hazard at Punchbowl neighborhood

Piilani Bauer
Piilani Bauer
Julianne Cheng
Julianne Cheng

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

PUNCHBOWL (KHNL) - There's a spot at an Oahu neighborhood that has turned into an illegal dump site. Some residents call it a mini landfill, and are tired of putting up with the smell.

The trash site is on Lusitana Street and Boyd Lane. A lot of tour buses go through there to get to the National Cemetery, so residents say the rubbish is an embarrassing eyesore.

It's a chronic trash problem that Punchbowl residents say has become a growing safety hazard.

"Over here, we have a car battery. That's dangerous, it's poisonous. It shouldn't be here. There are children all over the place here," said Piilani Bauer, a resident on Lusitana Street.

See It Snap It Send It pictures show the latest pile of rubbish, before the city took the bulky items away. Residents say the pile had been rotting for weeks.

"We lead right into the Capitol District and this kind of thing would never be allowed for five minutes in the Capitol District," said Bauer.

According to a city ordinance, in cases like this, the property closest to the rubbish is subject to being cited. Which means the Cheng's household, could be held responsible.

"Why us? I feel like this is just thrown upon us. It's like, we can't do anything about it. I mean we could put signs up, but what are signs going to do?" asked Julianne Cheng.

There is a fine of up to $500 per violation for anyone caught illegally dumping bulk trash. The challenge is catching them in the act.

"If the neighbors see a person doing that, they can take down the identity of the person or their license plate and call police," said Honolulu Councilmember Rod Tam, who represents the area.

City leaders say raising awareness of the law is key to curbing this behavior. Until then, residents are forced to continue picking up after a mess they didn't make.

City leaders say there's no reason to dump garbage in front of someone else's property. Unlike many cities on the mainland, they say pick up service for bulk trash is free. All you have to do is call the city's Sanitation Department.