Bulky item mountains line the streets, but city still calls appointment-based system a ‘success’

Updated: Jul. 2, 2019 at 7:43 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - From a littered landscape in Liliha to piles of bulky trash in Kalihi, residents are crying foul over the city’s one-month-old appointment-based bulky pickup pilot from Foster Village to East Honolulu.

"Sometimes I count how many piles I see," said Liliha resident Larni Atkins.

“They started a new program and it’s not working right here,” said Kalihi resident Phil Reinhardt.

The city says it’s monitoring 87 hot spots where there’s illegal dumping in the bulky pilot area. One is at Kunawai Park in Liliha which has a toilet, chairs, televisions, refrigerators and even couches. Above all the bulky trash is a city sign that says ‘no dumping.’

Still, the city calls its pilot program from Foster Village to East Honolulu a ‘success.’

“As far as in one month, it’s definitely a success because everything is getting picked up that has been scheduled to get picked up,” said Tim Houghton, deputy director of Environmental Services.

He says in one month the city got 2,856 calls for appointments — and calls are increasing.

Trash attracts trash and Houghton says the city is trying to educate residents from Foster Village to East Honolulu to make appointments and that government won’t always do the dirty work.

“We don’t just want to go out and grab everything that everybody puts out there. We defeat the whole purpose of the change,” said Houghton.

So who will pick up all the illegal trash?

“First thing we’re going to do is encourage the adjacent property owner or if we can identify someone based on what was put out to encourage them to remove it,” he said.

The city says the illegal trash piles problem is worse from Foster Village to Nuuanu because appointments there were earlier in the month. Apparently, there are fewer trash piles from Nuuanu to East Honolulu because those appointments happened later in the month.

Houghton says they’re tweaking things along the way to avoid more messes.

Some tweaks include scheduling more pickups for certain areas and later this month, or allowing apartment dwellers to schedule appointments instead of leaving it to the manager.

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