HONOLULU (KHON2) — The City and County of Honolulu’s appointment-based bulky item pick up is going island-wide on July 1.
The appointment-based bulky item pick up started with a pilot project that launched between Salt Lake and Hawaii Kai last year. That will now become the new normal for the rest of the island. The City is sending letters in the mail to alert people about the change.
The City and County of Honolulu Department of Environmental Services (ENV) will start taking appointments starting Monday, June 1 for July on their website opala.org. You can also set up an appointment by calling the ENV phone line at 768-3200.
Every household will be limited to just one pick up a month for up to five items. As you are making an appointment, you will have to identify the what items you will be having picked up, whether it is an old couch or a broken dryer. ENV crews will only pick up these items and leave the rest.
If items are left out in front of your house, regardless if you own them or not, you will be sent a letter asking to have it removed. If it’s not removed, you may receive a notice of order.
Department of Environmental Services Director Lori Kahikina tells KHON the new program will help solve past problems and save taxpayer dollars.
“We’ve seen a drastic reduction in injuries with our employees, breakdowns in our vehicles, (and) overtime, because our people or employees don’t have to drive through the streets looking for the trash. Now we know exactly where to go, what to pick up,” said Kahikina.
Kahikina said they’ve worked out many of the kinks from when the pilot project began, including allowing individual apartment owners to make their own bulky item pickup appointments instead of having property managers do it.
One thing they’re working on is allowing people to add additional pick-ups within a month.
“It’s not just a software issue, it’s a union issue. We need to make sure they’re okay with us doing that, so the goal is to have between two to three appointments available per person,” said Kahikina.
Kahikina admits the new system will be a major change for some.
“We anticipate at least two to three months, a huge learning curve so we’re going to have to be out there to do public education,” said Kahikina.
ENV is also anticipating a high volume of calls with questions.
“We’ve hired on contract staff to help with the calls coming in and also to do the inspections, so we’re ramped up enough that the rest of the island when we roll this out, we’re ready,” said Kahikina.
She said the department will be going to neighborhood board meetings in the coming weeks to explain the new process and answer questions. In the end she hopes the new system will help the bigger picture.
“I know it sounds harsh, but we are trying to change the habit and culture of the community, stop treating the sidewalks, the land like a dumping ground,” said Kahikina.