Honolulu’s bulky item pickup pilot program is now in its third month. Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the project is helping to curb illegal dumping.
From June to July there was a 24% increase in the number of appointments being made. There was also a 37% increase in the amount of bulky trash collected.
The pilot program requires anyone living from Foster Village to Hawaii Kai to make an appointment, in order to get rid of any oversize trash items.
“We’re into our 3rd month, and I do believe it is getting better,” Honolulu’s Mayor, Kirk Caldwell, said. “There are certain hot spots that are problems and there are complaints being made, and we need to adjust,” he added.
Lori Kahikina, the Environmental Services Director, said the program is working. “Our crews aren’t finishing at five in the evening anymore. They’re finishing maybe around lunchtime. It’s so efficient, and we are more efficient,” Kahikina said.
Councilman Tommy Waters has been critical of the pilot program, but said he is now cautiously optimistic. He said everyone has the same goal; to get rid of oversize trash on sidewalks.
Waters said the bulky items piling up in Waikiki is a huge problem.
“It sends the wrong message to tourist who spend a lot of money, their life savings often times to come for vacation only to see a pile of garbage. So I’m very concerned about that,” Waters explained.
Recently, the program made a change to allow people in apartments to make their own appointments, instead of the building manager. Officials are hopeful the change will help the problem.
Despite improvements, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said illegal dumping is still a problem.
“Someone in this area has decided to disregard the law, disrespect the aina, and the other residents who live here, and pollute their community,” Caldwell said about illegal dumping.
The Mayor asks anyone who witnesses illegal dumping occur to contact police. The city said it is considering adding cameras to problem areas.