Illegally dumping cases go up as economy goes down

Published: May. 17, 2011 at 8:06 PM HST|Updated: May. 19, 2011 at 4:30 PM HST
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Mike Leary
Mike Leary

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

KUNIA (HawaiiNewsNow) - You know your old phone book.  Well many didn't get recycled or even thrown in the trash.  Instead truckloads of books were illegally dumped out in a field along Kunia Road.  They happened to be piled right next to construction material, tires and green waste that were also dumped illegally.

"The Kunia site, the problem is its out in the middle of nowhere and it's not lit up," said Mike Leary, Island Demolition.

The land is owned by the Weinberg Foundation.  In the past three years Leary says they've spent $20,000 cleaning it up and Island demolition has done most of the work.

"Just think of this as a side effect of the bad economy," said Leary.

He's put up concrete barriers but they've dumped just beyond it.  There are also boulders to block access but the dumpers make a new path.

"Hawaii has a lot of these open spaces," said Grace Simmons, State Department of Health Hazardous Waste Supervisor.

It's often contractors who were paid by the client to legally dispose of the material but instead they pocket the cash and find an open space to dump.

"Someone is getting paid and they're just going and dumping it for free," said Leary.

"Especially now the way the economy is we find it's cyclical. When there is a downturn in the economy we'll find more dumping out there," said Simmons.

People can ask for a manifest or receipt to show the contractor legally disposed of the rubbish but that does require follow up from the client.

"There's no easy answer on this," said Leary.

In the meantime guys like Leary will try to stop dumpers from trashing the land.

To see part 1 of our series Paradise Trashed click here.

Part 3 of Paradise Trashed can be found by clicking here.

Part 4 of Paradise trashed can be found by clicking here.

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