HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Environmentalists and City Council members are raising alarms about a bill that would allow the city to charge residents for bulky item pickups.
The city said the fee is needed to offset costs, but the critics said it could lead to more illegal dumping.
"It already looks bad with all the bulky items laying out on the street because it's not always picked up on time," said Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi.
Environmental watchdog Carroll Cox said some people will try to avoid the fee by dumping their bulky items in front of other people's homes. Or worse, they'll try will dump it on vacant land, he said.
"We will also see a lot of it dumped in the mountains, along the country roads and in vacant property," Cox said.
The city said its inspectors will continue to enforce anti-dumping laws. It hopes homeowners will do a better job of monitoring illegal dumping on their properties.
"This change will require owners … to make sure that material isn't dumped illegally," said Lori Kahikina, director of the city Department of Environmental Services.
Right now, the city doesn't charge residents for trash pickup. But the mayor announced last week he wanted to start charging at least $10 a month for the service.
The package also includes a new $10 per cubic yard bulky item fee.
Residents would also have to schedule bulky item pickups in advance.
Kobayashi said residents don't want to see another fee hike.
"When is this going to end. What fee is next. That's what I'm really concerned about because people just can't afford it," she said.
The bill will likely be heard by the council in two weeks.