Christmas trees still litter sidewalks, potential fire hazard

Wyatt Kam
Wyatt Kam
Donald Kang
Donald Kang

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HAWAII KAI (KHNL) - There's a potential fire hazard in some Oahu neighborhoods. Christmas trees are still laying on sidewalks. The root of the problem is it appears not everyone knows about the City and County of Honolulu's new method of collecting trees.

In Hawaii Kai, there were three of them on or near Hahaione Street alone, including one sitting right next to a pile of bags filled with yard waste.

"The Christmas tree, we put it out just about the end of January so it's been sitting out here for a while. Nobody seems to stop over here and pick this rubbish up," said Wyatt Kam, a Hawaii Kai resident.

That's because the City no longer picks up Christmas trees on the curb unless they're chopped up and placed in a green bin, for green waste. It's one of three bins the City rolled out as part of the new three-cart recycling program. But for those who have loads of yard waste, stuffing one with a Christmas tree poses a problem.

"Not enough space in the green cans, maybe kind of small," said Donald Kang, a Hawaii Kai resident.

"There's not enough days in the week that they pick up to remove it, then I'd have to find some way to stuff it in that car over there. But there's no where to dump it around here. You have to drive it to Waimanalo," said Kam.

It's a problem that's apparent at Kaiser High, where people still dump their Christmas trees. And while a pile there looks like it has been picked up, the City says schools stopped collecting trees three to four years ago - a sign of an old holiday habit that apparently has yet to be broken.

Not all communities have the three recycling bins yet. The program is scheduled to grow island-wide by May of 2010. Until then, if you don't have the bins, you must chop up your Christmas tree, put them in bags, and place them on the curb.

You can also take them to composting facilities or drop them off at city convenience centers.