Under city pilot, residents find long wait times for oversized opala pick-up

Updated: Jul. 19, 2019 at 5:41 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - If you live between Foster Village and Hawaii Kai, you’re now required to schedule an appointment to get rid of oversized opala.

But residents are finding that’s easier said than done.

Waikiki resident Cheryl Nadler is trying to follow the rules.

When she moved into her new condo at the Monte Vista in March, a couch came with the place.

“It’s disgusting,” she said. “We want to get rid of it.”

[Read more: City’s appointment-based pilot for bulky item trash pickup gets mixed reviews]

Now the delivery of a new sofa has to be put on hold because it’ll be well over a month before the city can haul the old one away.

“I asked the property manager to make an appointment for pick-up,” said Nadler. “He said the earliest they could come is September 7 and I said, ‘what!’”

The head of Monte Vista operations says he sees tenants trying to get rid of bulky items on a weekly basis. He believes long wait times are prompting more illegal dumping.

“They come at night and just dump,” said Raymond Lavalouis. “There’s a lot more going into the Ala Wai across the street.”

Lori Kahikina, director of the city Department of Environmental Services, says that kind of behavior isn’t acceptable.

“We need to stop this,” she said.

She added changes are being made to make the program more efficient.

Starting Wednesday, tenants of apartments will be able to make their own appointments online instead of going through a resident manager.

The city is also working on decreasing wait times. She says they’ve been averaging a little less than a month.

“It’s definitely an education process,” said Kahikina. “That’s why I’m asking the public to please have patience.”

In the meantime, at least 15 Monte Vista residents say they’re storing what they consider oversized junk inside their units.

Unable to postpone a furniture delivery until September, Nadler has decided to donate the old sofa to the Salvation Army. The non-profit will come by and take it off her hands free of charge.

Nadler said, “They were about three days out for pick-up.”

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