More than 800 reservations already made ahead of new bulky item pickup system

City trying experiment to clear streets of bulky-item trash

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city starts a pilot program on Monday aimed at ridding the streets of over-sized opala.

"People have been using our city streets for decades as a dumping ground," Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.

From June 3 to January 31, 2020, residents in homes and condos from Foster Village to Hawaii Kai can contact the city to schedule pickup of their bulky items.

Honolulu's effort is modeled after San Francisco's system.

"If it worked for them maybe it'll work for us," city Department of Environmental Services director Lori Kahikina said.

The reservation-based method replaces the city's fixed-schedule system that wastes time and manpower.

"They're out there traversing every street once a month whether there's anything there or not," said Tim Houghton, Environmental Services deputy director.

In the last two weeks the city received 862 requests. But in Kalihi there have only been about a dozen.

"We need more appointments in Kalihi. All the other eight sectors seem to be okay. But Kalihi, please, start making more appointments," Kahikina said.

The city will begin with a grace period, but eventually people caught breaking the rules and illegally dumping will be fined from $250 to $2500.

Caldwell said there's the possibility the city will eventually charge a fee to pick up bulky items.

"If the pilot works and we roll it out in a permanent way, we would be charging for bulky item pickup -- $5 for half a cubic yard, $10 for a full cubic yard," he said.

The city is also allowing drop-offs of bulky items at the Keehi Transfer Station. To schedule a pickup at your home go to Opala.org or call the city at 768-3200.

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