Paradise Trashed: Concerned elders look to stop illegal dumping

Published: May. 19, 2011 at 4:15 PM HST|Updated: May. 20, 2011 at 12:34 AM HST
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Lucy Gay
Lucy Gay
Alice Greenwood
Alice Greenwood

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

WAIANAE (HawaiiNewsNow) - When it comes to illegal dumping, there's a group of ladies in Leeward Oahu that take it personally.

"It's an injustice. It's an environmental injustice," said Lucy Gay.

Lucy Gay isn't just angry about illegal dumping, she's doing something about it. She leads a group of concerned elders. Not only do they spot dump sites but they'll go through the rubbish looking for clues on who dumped it. She also teaches people how to write letters to lawmakers and testify if necessary.

"Because if you don't empower the people how do you begin to take care of your place," Gay said.

It's paid off. The group helped track down and clean up a huge dump site up Waianae Valley Road.

"There is a lack of connection and recognition that the land is us, so you crapping on yourself," said Gay. "There's a whole breakdown of societal disrespect."

Alice Greenwood is one of the concerned elders. She cares more than most because she used to be homeless and knows what it's like to live off the land.

"That's why it angers me that something like this is happening. We need to care. We need to really look at our land at start looking at how to take care of it," said Greenwood.

Their efforts are spreading in the community. As we were up Waianae Valley Road one of the neighbors came to check if we were dumpers.

"They watch what the strangers or trespassers are doing in this area and call it in," said Greenwood.

They say even little ol' ladies can effectively stand up to dumpers and hope others will follow their path.

"Very effective. Hey we can do things people don't realize," said Greenwood.

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

Part 2 of Paradise Trashed can be found by clicking here.

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

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