Kokua Line: Survey about bulky pickup ‘coming soon’ to refuse-collection website
Question: I am writing to express my disappointment with the city’s new Bulky Item Pilot Program.
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Question: I am writing to express my disappointment with the city’s new Bulky Item Pilot Program. We live in East Oahu, and our formerly scheduled bulky item pickup day was the fourth Monday of every month, which worked fine all these years. Recently we ordered a new mattress set which is to be delivered this week. Normally, we would have put out our old mattress for bulky pickup on July 22, which is two weeks away. I went online Monday to schedule pickup for our old mattress set and itemized the items to be picked up. However, the earliest pickup date was Aug. 19, which is six weeks away! I called the city refuse department at 768-3200 and spoke to a person. He said that I should go back to the website and schedule an appointment. I explained to him that I would have to wait six weeks for the pickup of our old mattress set, versus just two weeks under the old program. His response was that this is a pilot program and hopefully they will be able to shorten the scheduled pickup dates in the future. I am not holding my breath. I prefer the old system. It seems that we keep getting less and less for our tax dollars. I am not sure if there is anything that can be done about this. Have you received any other complaints and/or inquiries similar to mine about the new bulky item pilot program?
Answer: Yes. Kokua Line returned from vacation to more than 20 questions or auwes on this topic alone. Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter Allison Schaefers covered the subject Tuesday (808ne.ws/79bulk); we’ll continue the conversation today.
Q: Auwe! The city says it wants “community input,” but there’s no survey link. What’s up?
A: You’re referring to a notice on the city Department of Environmental Services’ website (www.opala.org) that invites residents in the Bulky Item Pilot Program to express their opinions in an online survey that will be used to help analyze the program. The pilot began June 3 in metro Honolulu (Foster Village to Hawaii Kai). A link to the promised survey remains described as “coming soon,” at 808ne.ws/bulkypickup. “We are looking at late July at this time,” Markus Owens, a department spokesman, said Monday. The survey “will be the main vehicle for input from the public,” he said.
Among other concerns we received from multiple readers:
>> Appointments should be made well in advance of the preferred pickup date because pickup availability varies by neighborhood. But residents must specify exactly what is going to be picked up when they make the reservation. That works for someone who knows they’ll need to get rid of their old sofa to make room for a new one, but not so well for someone who is doing general cleanup. As one reader said, “I know I’ll be cleaning out my garage next month, but I’m not sure what I will find. Why can’t I make an reservation now for pickup next month of five general items?” (Single family homes in the pilot may dispose of five bulky-waste items a month, specified by type; metal and nonmetal items have separate pickups.)
>> The city is encouraging people to divert unwanted items from the bulky-waste stream to local nonprofit organizations. Donating salable items in good condition is one thing, but make no mistake: Charities don’t want your garbage (with the exception of HI-5 recyclables, which some accept). Be honest about the condition of your stuff before scheduling a charitable pickup, and don’t be surprised if some items are rejected.
>> Several readers described trash piling up in Kalihi as a public-health hazard and asked whether the state Department of Health is investigating. We’ve asked the department but didn’t hear back by deadline.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.