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Kokua Line

Dillingham recycling bin is emptied every fourth day

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Question: I’ve been taking various recyclables to the large recycling bin at the Dillingham shopping complex. The past three to four weeks, it has never been emptied. I looked for other bins at schools, etc. in the area and they are completely filled, too. Do you know who does the hauling of the recyclables and if they will be replaced with empty bins soon?

Answer: It’s incorrect that the Dillingham community recycling bin had not been serviced for three to four weeks, according to Markus Owens, spokesman for the city Department of Environmental Services.

He said it is on a schedule to be serviced every fourth day and was done so on Feb. 1, when he responded to your complaint, as well as on Jan. 28, 24, 19, 15, etc.

However, Owens did say the department began "making adjustments to the hauling frequencies (in January) to gain more efficiencies and lower program costs." Asked what that means, he said pickups would be cut back or added, depending on how full the bins are at pickup time.

For example, if a bin is on a four-day schedule and is only half full, pickup might be extended to five- or six-day intervals. Conversely, if it is on a four-day schedule and "spilling over every pickup," it might go to a three-day schedule.

Question: Lately, we are having a lot of black bugs with wings. We usually see them on the ceiling or cabinets in the kitchen with a few on the counter tops. They look like pantry pests, but in checking our pantry items, we haven’t found any bugs. Any idea as to what these bugs are and how to get rid of them?

Answer: Bernarr Kumashiro, insect taxonomist with the state Department of Agriculture, says he would have to see a specimen to accurately identify the bug.

But he guesses it is the cigarette beetle, which is about 1/16th of an inch in size, brown to dark brown in color and "probably the most common household pest."

He said the name is a bit misleading. Although the cigarette beetle does attack cigarettes, it also feeds on a wide variety of stored food products in the pantry, including dried noodles, spices, candy bars, rice, etc.

"Usually, there is one nest, consisting of eggs, larvae, pupae (all stages are white) and adults," Kumashiro said. "Adults leave the food container a few at a time, and those are the ones you see walking on counter tops, cabinets, etc."

The way to control these beetles is by locating the nest or breeding source, "but this is easier said than done," he said.

He suggests turning on the kitchen light late at night to try to determine where the adults are most abundant. Start your hunt by looking there.

"You must inspect the contents of each bag or container, since even the slightest opening would have allowed initial entry of the beetles," Kumashiro said. "When you locate the infestation, dispose of properly."

He says it is a good practice to avoid storing products for a long period of time, or to make sure that the container is sealed absolutely tight. Or store items in the refrigerator.

AUWE

To the male customer entering Times Super Market in Kahala around noon Saturday, Jan. 22, as my elderly mom and I stopped briefly next to the shopping carts to say hello to a friend we had not seen in years. Sir, you didn’t even grab a cart yourself, and you could have easily walked around us, but instead you chose to walk right into our cart and shout "EXCUSE ME LADIES!" Shame on you for your childish, obnoxious behavior. — Annoyed in Kahala

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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 kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

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