Hypodermic needles reported as city completes fourth phase of Kakaako enforcement

Local News

The city says more than a hundred hypodermic needles were among the items removed as crews enforced sidewalk nuisance and stored property ordinances in Kakaako Makai.

The data comes as crews completed the fourth phase of enforcement Tuesday at Coral, Cooke Street and Ilalo streets and Ala Moana Boulevard.

The city’s Department of Facility Maintenance released the following data for the first three phases of enforcement:

Phase I: Sept. 8 (Ohe Street, Cooke Street, Ilalo Street, Ala Moana Blvd.)

  • 3 Summary Removal Notices (SNO);
  • 3 bins of stored property (one bin per notice);
  • 1.56 tons of trash;
  • 8.6 cubic yards of metals;
  • No shopping carts.

Phase II: Sept. 17 (Forrest Avenue, Keawe Street, Ilalo Street, Ala Moana Blvd.)

  • No items stored;
  • 3.17 tons of trash;
  • 2.5 cubic yards of metals;
  • 3 shopping carts.

Phase III: Sept. 21 (Keawe Street, Coral Street, Ilalo Street, Ala Moana Blvd.)

  • 1 Summary Removal Notice (SNO);
  • 1 bin of stored property;
  • 7.26 tons of trash;
  • 13 cubic yards of metals;
  • 8 shopping carts;
  • 126 needles

Phase IV: Sept. 22 (Coral Street, Cooke Street, Ilalo Street, Ala Moana Blvd.)

  • 2 Summary Removal Notices (SNO) issued;
  • 2 bins of property stored;
  • 4.17 tons of trash removed;
  • 15 cubic yards of metals removed; and
  • 6 shopping carts removed.

On Monday, Ross Sasamura, the department’s director and chief engineer, said the homeless who lived there took what they needed and gave crews permission to dump whatever was left.

“When we do remove items and we store them in bins, we leave a notice that’s left here in place, in the event of the owner or the claimed owner of those items isn’t available,” he explained. “We actually tape it to a street light pole or a parking meter or any kind of landmark around the area that we do enforcement so on that notice is a telephone number and other information that they can use to reclaim their items.”

Enforcements will continue to take place in a phased approach on the remaining blocks of Kakaako Makai in subsequent weeks.

Notices have been posted and handed out throughout Kakaako Makai in Chuukese, English, Marshallese and Samoan.

“I want to thank our enforcement crew for the hard work they do every day to keep our sidewalks and public spaces open and clean for everyone to use, removing everything from rotting food to toilet buckets to hypodermic needles,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “They remove between four to six tons of unwanted garbage from the streets of Oahu every week.”

Meanwhile, crews also continue to enforce the ordinances at other locations across Oahu based on complaints. This month, they enforced areas in ‘Aiea, Waikiki, Ala Moana Park, Mother Waldron Park, Aala Park, and Chinatown. They also enforced twice along the Kapalama Canal where they issued 39 stored property notices and in addition removed nearly 7.5 tons of unwanted garbage and 18 cubic yards of metals.

In total, from Sept. 1-18 not including Kakaako Makai enforcement, they’ve removed 14.25 tons of unwanted garbage, 36 cubic yards of medals, and 31 shopping carts, while issuing 42 SPO notices and 5 SNO notices and storing 11 bins.

In the month of August, they removed 16 tons of unwanted garbage, 29 cubic yards of metals, and 84 shopping carts, while issuing 50 SPO notices and 5 SNO notices and storing 18 bins.

In July, they removed 19.6 tons of unwanted garbage, 32.75 cubic yards of metals, and 101 shopping carts, while issuing 100 SPO notices and 3 SNO notices and storing 11 bins.

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