Illegal dumping continues to create eyesore at Kawainui Marsh

Local News

For years, Kapaa Quarry Road has been used as an illegal dump site by people getting rid of trash, equipment, even furniture.

Residents and lawmakers say it’s long been a problem with no clear solution.

The site sits right next to Kawainui Marsh, which is home to endangered birds and plant life, and a place many come to take in its beauty.

“My wife and I, we walk down here,” said Kenneth Kupchak. “We’ve been walking back and forth for a good 20 years.”

Kupchak spends his evenings walking on the marsh’s paths and while the area he uses is kept clean, there’s another area that is filled with trash.

“This has been a real problem going back a long time,” said Rep. Chris Lee (D-Kailua, Waimanalo).

Piles of old mattresses, tires, televisions and more can be found along Kapaa Quarry Road, and a lot of the trash ends up in the marsh.

“We’d like to have it stopped and of course we need to get it cleared up,” said Kupchak.

“We’ve made some good steps such as making it a felony punishable up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine,” said Lee.

But how can there be trash with a transfer station on the same road?

“Perhaps we need some longer hours at the landfill because it doesn’t cost anything to drop it, just have to find the right time,” said Kupchak.

Longer hours or, some say, more enforcement in the area. “We think more police presence is an important thing,” said Lee.

Lee says he has reached out to state officials find a solution and believes they are making strides, but adds that more needs to be done and fast.

“If we can put a few more boots in the ground to clean things up, whether it’s the city or the state, and get some more enforcement there, that’s going to go a long way to preserve what is the heart of our community on the Windward side,” said Lee.

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