Illegal dumping puts kids at risk of hidden dangers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Illegal dumping puts kids at risk of hidden dangers

Dennis Takeshita Dennis Takeshita

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

MOILIILI (KHNL) - Illegal dumping is exposing kids to possible safety hazards in one Oahu neighborhood. The problem is so severe, a neighborhood board member is demanding something is done about it.

He says he's identified an average of over 100 addresses per month of illegal dump sites in the McCully Moiliili area, and more than 200 of them on New Year's Eve and Day.

Near Kuhio Elementary is a chronic problem residents say has been piling up for more than a decade. Among the hidden dangers is a hypodermic needle lying right in the path of one of the entrances to the school.

"We've got glass, jalousies, we've got a broken mirror that kids can get cut with, that's pretty dangerous," said Greg Cuadra, a member of the McCully Moiliili Neighborhood Board. He says illegal trash sites like it plague the area.

As Cuadra gives a tour of the problem spots, someone dumps rubbish at one of them. The man refuses to appear on camera, but says there's no convenient place to dump bulky trash.

Some residents who are tired of the eyesore have tried to take matters in their own hands.

"What they do is they try to cordon off this area with this danger do not enter tape. They come from the pole down there and they make it all around and tie it to the parking structure and people just rip it down and dump," said Cuadra.

According to city law, you can't place trash on the curb earlier than the day before Collection Day - a rule apparently broken, even in front of 'No Dumping' signs.

"It's like a 'Do Not Touch Wet Paint' sign, and people still touch. They just pile it on. They say, 'Do not dump here? Hey, this is a good place to dump it'," said Moiliili resident Dennis Takeshita.

Those convicted of illegal dumping could face severe punishment, depending on the size of the waste.

If it's at least a square cubic yard, you could spend a month behind bars, and a fine of up to $25,000.

If it's less than that, it's considered a petty misdemeanor with fines between $25 to $500.

"I think it's a matter of education. There is bulk pick up done by the City and County. And people they just don't know I think," said Takeshita.

Cuadra has written a resolution calling for the City to send letters to repeat offenders, and develop an education program on the rules of bulky-item pick-up.

All in hopes of protecting the public, especially children, from potentially tragic harm.

The city urges everyone to be its eyes and ears.

To report illegal dumping, click on "News Links" on this website.

There's also a link to the collection schedule so you can look up what day of the month the city picks up bulky items in your neighborhood.

The service is free.

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