POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 19, 2013
~~<div>Question: Why is it taking so long to pick up bulky items in Lower Palolo/ Kaimuki? I talked to someone from the Ref­­use Division, and they said they’re late, but how much longer do we have to wait? They were supposed to have come on May 15, and it’s already June.</div>
Question: Why is it taking so long to pick up bulky items in Lower Palolo/ Kaimuki? I talked to someone from the Refuse Division, and they said they’re late, but how much longer do we have to wait? They were supposed to have come on May 15, and it’s already June. Answer: Bulky-item pickups in the Palolo area should be back on schedule by Tuesday, the city says. “We are having our employees from other base yards and a contractor helping to get us caught up,” said Lori Kahikina, director of the Department of Environmental Services. Refuse crews are behind schedule in picking up bulky items in some spots but not all, she said. “Certain spots in Palolo, Kaimuki and Hawaii Kai were left uncollected as crews moved into the next scheduled areas, leaving cleanup crews to continue to clear the area behind them as quickly as they could, but obviously not quickly enough,” she said. The problem is tied to personnel shortages that “are straining our ability to keep pace, coupled with running double time to address problem areas where people are illegally dumping or disregarding the collection schedules,” Kahikina said. The department is working to “increase manpower and revise collection procedures to gain some efficiencies,” but in the meantime, she said, it would help to get pickups back on track if residents would adhere to collection schedules. How does the department’s backlog affect enforcement of a new law making it a violation for property owners to place the items curbside before the scheduled pickup date? “City refuse inspectors are working in conjunction with collection operations, and do not issue citations in areas where the city may be the cause of the problem by being behind schedule,” Kahikina said. “The new enforcement program has received a lot of public attention, which is good, and we’re already seeing signs of compliance in many areas.” Meanwhile, she wants to assure readers that the goal is to keep streets and neighborhoods clean and to maintain on-time service. Question: Is it allowable for a resident to paint curbs red to mark areas where they do not wish others to park in a residential neighborhood? While the painting does allow for improved visibility, the process by which this was carried out caused damage on our street in Manoa. An herbicide was used to kill the grass growing in the gutter area, but it also killed the grass and plants within the curb area. The curb painting also does not seem to deter the people who painted it from parking in that area when it suits them. Answer: It is illegal for a private citizen to paint a public street curb red. An officer spoke to residents on the street you cited but was unable to identify any suspect, said Michelle Yu, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department. The officer made a criminal property damage report and contacted the city Road Maintenance Division to have the curb painted over, she said. We explained previously that the city Department of Transportation Services long ago stopped painting curbs red to signify no-parking areas, except at passenger and commercial loading zones and at bus stops. Mahalo To the supervisor of the Kaimuki bulky-item pickup route. I called his office about a toilet that hadn’t been picked up. It was in the replacement toilet box, and I was told it had to be out of the box so the crew would know what it was. It was passed over two times, and people were throwing all kinds of trash in the box, especially dog feces. It was nasty. I called in the morning, and less than two hours later, the supervisor loaded up the box by himself and took other illegally dumped items. What service. — The Zukerans
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