In 'smelly' problem, city says personnel shortage slowing trash pick-up

In 'smelly' problem, city says personnel shortage slowing trash pick-up
Published: Nov. 16, 2015 at 8:12 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2015 at 8:39 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city's schedule shows trash bins on Kalaniiki Street near Kalani High School are supposed to be emptied on Saturday.

But Monday morning, the gray bins were still sitting curbside -- full.

"It's a garbage issue that's smelly," said resident Steven Maratta.

Up and down Kalaniiki, bins were stuffed. Some lids couldn't close. Maratta said the issue isn't new to the neighborhood.

"It's been the last six to eight months that there's been a real problem in that it's hit or miss whether they pick it up or not," he said.

The city's Environmental Services department blames a manpower shortage that's thrown off collection schedules from Red Hill to Hawaii Kai.

The city needs to hire 13 refuse collection equipment operators, six alone for Honolulu routes that include Kalaniiki. The city expects to be adequately staffed in January.

But residents like Jeanette Lujan are getting impatient.

"I'm on this electric scooter. I need clear sidewalks. And I will have to dodge in and out and actually stop and push things aside with the my feet," she said.

"People are paying high taxes around here. They're not getting the city services they deserve."

Last week, garbage on Kalaniiki was collected on Tuesday, three days past due. It was the same story for residents on other streets in the area.

"Three or four days it sits out here. If you happen to pull it in because you don't want it to be out on the street, then you miss the guy.  There's no options for us," Maratta said.

The city said if your trash bin isn't being emptied on time, leave it on the curb until a trash truck can get to it.

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