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Many factors dictate possible cost to dump household waste

For Friday, June 3, 2011

By June Watanabe

LAST UPDATED: 10:05 a.m. HST, Jun 3, 2011

Question: When I purchased my 1986 half-ton pickup truck, the regular bed had been replaced with a flat bed. It is not a commercial truck. I use it to haul green waste from my house at least once a year and household rubbish two to three times a year. The past few times when I’ve gone to the Kapaa Transfer Station, they made me go on the scale that commercial trucks use. I was told that because the truck has a flat bed, it is classified as a commercial vehicle. Is this correct? Is there a way to get a waiver? I have been able to convince workers that this is my personal truck and household waste, and I have been let go without a fee.

Answer: We’re told you’ve been “fortunate to this point.”

Under city regulations dating to 1990, householders are allowed to dump a maximum of two pickup-truck loads of “ordinary household refuse” per day without charge.

Ordinary household refuse does not include large quantities of demolition/roofing/renovation/construction material, dirt, rock or land-clearing debris. Householders using vehicles bigger than a pickup truck or passenger van or those who make frequent trips to the landfill or other refuse facility will be charged a disposal fee.

Question: When I arrived home recently from Las Vegas, I caught a cab from the airport to Aiea. The driver charged us $2.50 per bag for two golf bags and two carry-on bags for a total of $10. I questioned the cabbie about the charges for the bags, and all he did was stick his hands out to collect the $10, plus $21.50 for a total of $31.50. But in Las Vegas, when we caught a cab from our hotel to the airport, we didn’t get charged for any baggage. Are cabdrivers allowed to charge for baggage? I tried to call the cab company to complain, but it is not listed in the phone book.

Answer: Cabdrivers in Honolulu are allowed to charge for baggage.

In your case we’re told the charges appear to be in line with what’s allowed under the law, although the calculations differ: $4.50 each for two golf bags and 50 cents each for two regular bags, for a total of $10.

However, the charges should have been displayed on a rate card posted within 12 inches of the taximeter and readily visible to passengers, said Dennis Kamimura, administrator of the city Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division.

Taxicab complaints are investigated by the Motor Vehicle Control Section. Complaints are asked to be submitted in writing to Motor Vehicle Control Section, P.O. Box 30350, Honolulu, HI 96820-0350.

“In order to initiate an investigation, all complaints should contain as much information as possible,” Kamimura said, including date/time/location of the incident; identification of the driver, cab company and license plate; description of the incident; and, if an overcharge is suspected, a copy of the receipt.


To a caring bus driver. In May I watched a city bus let off an elderly woman at a bus stop in Aiea. She was having a great deal of trouble crossing the street. The driver parked her bus, got out and helped her cross the street. She made sure the woman was safe before resuming her route. I didn’t get the driver’s name, but her route was marked “Alapai via Red Hill.” I just wanted to thank her for going above and beyond her job description!

— James Cook

Oahu Transit Services identified the driver as Cherylann Perry.


To Joe, a senior like me, and the young men who changed my flat tire at Burger King on Beretania Street on May 5. Aloha also to Midas on Beretania Street for the excellent service I received. It made me and my friend Mary, both in our 80s, thankful we live in Hawaii.

— Dorothy Gulden

Write to “Kokua Line” at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

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