Trash becoming a problem on Oahu

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

WAIPAHU (KHNL) -- An overlooked part of Oahu has grown into a major dumping ground.

Trash in some neighborhoods is nothing new, but the amount in this now popular dumping ground is so much, lawmakers this legislative session put out a resolution to get things cleaned up.

It is not the nicest part of Waipahu.

But the apartments behind Pupuole Street do come with a water view.

Unfortunately, that water is contaminated with toys, tires and trash.

There is more in the nearby mangroves, like old cars and leftover appliances.

"If you're looking for old parts, just go back in some of these areas, and you'll find some pickens," said Tom Berg, a concerned Ewa Beach resident.

Its not hard to envision what the area could look like, nearby the Kapakahi stream used to be buried in trash but now with continued efforts, this waterway is clean.

"If you look at Kapakahi stream from five years ago to today, it's night and day, it's beautiful," added Berg.

But now that beautiful waterway and marsh are in danger of contamination from the Waipahu dump site and others along the West Loch shores.

Why isn't the area cleaned up?

Part of the problem is some of the land is the county's, some the state's and other parts belong to the military. Leaving no single organization responsible for keeping things clean.

"Its really a no man's land," said Berg.

State lawmakers are calling on the military to clear the mangroves. Which some feel would eliminate the criminal element and decrease the excessive dumping.

But the U.S. Navy says they don't have the money to do the job. They're hoping instead have a community clean up day.

While debate continues to pile up over solutions, so does the garbage in Leeward Oahu.