In heavy rains, an upstream dumping problem triggers a trashy situation on exclusive Kahala Beach

Shopping carts, clothes, and other debris litter Kahala Beach following heavy rainstorm.
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 10:21 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 4, 2023 at 2:44 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Shopping carts, clothes, and other debris littered Kahala Beach on Monday following heavy rains over the weekend.

The city said residents fished out several carts and assorted clothing from the ocean. City crews moved the items uphill to them from being swept back into the sea.

They plan to dispose them with dump trucks.

Residents say the trash pileup happens after heavy rainstorms, and now they’re hoping for a solution.

Longtime Kahala resident Jim Dimarchi said it was even worse a month ago. “There were fewer shopping carts, but there were there was 10 times as much debris,” he said.

Other concerned Kahala residents said since heavy downpours in December, debris has washed down the drainage canal at least five times.

Video shows carts on Kahala Beach on Dec. 18, after a different strong storm.

Just three weeks ago, there were piles of clothing along the shoreline.

“A few people have actually gone up the ditch and followed it to where it begins and come to find out it leads to Kahala Mall where there’s a Goodwill donation drop-off,” said one Kahala resident.

The city said it appears homeless people are filling shopping carts with clothing and taking them to a drainage culvert beneath the Waialae Ave-Hunakai Street intersection. When those carts are discarded, they get swept downstream to Aukai Avenue and then all the way to the ocean.

“It’s saddening to see it,” said Dimarchi. “It makes me realize that even though I don’t see the houseless problem every day, it brings it to the forefront.”

“It’s sad that there’s so much trash that gets into the canals because it eventually does wash into the oceans, and then it pollutes the environment and ruins the ecosystem,” added Gwyneth Stevens-King.

Kahala Mall General Manager Ezy Paeste says they plan to install a new fence along the canal.

“We believe that the authorities need to check those areas on a regular basis to keep those people out of the canal and stop dumping in the canal,” said Paeste.

The city said HPD has been notified and will discuss the security of the donated goods being dropped off with Goodwill and Kahala Mall.

Goodwill Hawaii said they have been actively working to deter after hours dumping at their Kahala Mall donation center by adding signage and scheduling additional pick-ups in the early morning and evenings.

They non-profit released the following statement:

In a continued effort to be a good community partner, we’ve made the decision to extend the Hours of Operation at our Kahala Mall Attended Donation Center to allow more time for people to drop off their stuff. When our donation centers are closed, all items are locked safely and securely inside. We humbly ask that the community do their part by dropping off donations with an attendant only during our hours of operation so that we can ensure that no items are left outside.