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Kokua Line

Disposal of bulky trash limited because of landfill shutdown


Question: I am trying to get the city to pick up illegally dumped trash on Portlock Road that includes a refrigerator with doors still on and glass shower doors. After calling the illegal-dump line and the mayor’s office, I was told they’re no longer picking up trash because the landfill is closed. When I called again on Monday, I was told that they could pick it up maybe next week. I’m concerned because kids could crawl into the refrigerator and get killed. Can you help or just clarify what’s going on?

Question: We live in a condo at Punahou and Dole streets and were told our bulk rubbish pickup is the second Wednesday of each month. We have had our big pile of rubbish sitting in front of the building since last Tuesday. If there was a change in pickup date, why weren’t we notified?

Answer: The city shut down the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill last week because of heavy rain and flooding (which resulted in trash, including medical waste, polluting Leeward Coast beaches).

Because of that, the city has limited trash disposal at its convenience centers and restricted bulky-item pickup only to items that can be delivered to recycling companies and HPOWER.

On Saturday the city announced it would not be picking up carpets, chairs, sofas, mattresses, box springs, toilets and home renovation debris. Until further notice, residents are asked to not place those items curbside until the next scheduled pickup or when convenience centers reopen.

However, bulky-item trucks will continue to pick up metal appliances.

Meanwhile, we are told a crew will be in the Portlock area next week to retrieve the appliances.

The city Refuse Division’s regular manual and automated trash collection is not affected by the landfill closure and will continue as scheduled.

Question: How is the restriction on placing bulky trash at curbside only a day ahead of scheduled pickup going to be enforced? I own property that is currently vacant, i.e., an "empty lot" that is bounded by a narrow lane on one side. Six homes are located along the lane, which is too narrow for large trucks such as the trash truck. Historically and currently, homeowners who live along the lane bring their trash to the curb fronting my property for pickup. Large items also appear there frequently and not necessarily timed for pickup the next day. It’s not clear who deposits the large items — could be anybody. If this practice continues, who, in the eyes of the city, is or will be held liable/responsible for these items and ordinance violation?

Answer: Although the new law cracking down on bulky-item violators took effect this month, the city has not yet completed administrative rules that would govern fines and appeals.

Once finalized, the city will send out a news release highlighting what property owners need to know, said Markus Owens, spokesman for the Department of Environmental Services.

Anyone with questions is advised to contact the department. Initially you can call Owens’ office at 768-3454; there will be another number to call once the rules are in place.


To the good Samaritan who found my wallet on a rock wall at the bus stop in Nanakuli on Jan. 10. You absolutely renewed my faith that there is more good than bad out there! Many blessings to you. — N. Grace, Nanakuli

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 e-mail


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