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Appointment-only bulky pickup continuing in urban Honolulu

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                A pile of bulky items and regular trash sat on a sidewalk in the 430 block of Nohonani Street in Waikiki on July 8.

    BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A pile of bulky items and regular trash sat on a sidewalk in the 430 block of Nohonani Street in Waikiki on July 8.

The city’s pilot appointment-based system for bulky item collection service in urban Honolulu will continue indefinitely, the Department of Environmental Services announced in a statement late today.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell launched the pilot program — which applies only to residential customers from Hawaii Kai to Foster Village — in June 2019 and was slated to run through Jan. 31. It halted the decades-long system where haulers cruise neighborhoods on designated days each month in search of bulky items. Critics said the old system was resulting in trash pile-ups around the island.

The designated monthly pickup system remains in effect outside of urban Honolulu for the time being.

But the appointment system also drew criticism, largely from apartment and condominium dwellers who were bothered that it required property owners, resident managers or apartment-condominium associations to make reservations and limited the number of items that could be picked up from multiunit addresses. That prompted the city in August to allow multifamily residential dwellers themselves to call. Others have complained that the new system still is leaving trash sitting on sidewalks.

In August, Caldwell said the situation was improving although there continued to be at least some public grousing.

“Since starting this pilot back in June 2019, we’ve seen a lot of positive effects and have decided to continue the pilot in the Metro area,” ENV Director Lori Kahikina said. “We listened in the beginning, made some tweaks to the system, and feel we have a good concept on the largest section of the county.”

Under the pilot program, both single-family and multi-unit dwellers can make appointments once a month for up to five bulky items and two major appliances to be picked up. Separate appointments need to be made for bulky items and appliances, however.

Appointments can be made online at www.opala.org or via telephone during regular business hours at 768-3200. Appointments are for a specific date and residents are urged to place their items curbside no earlier than 6 p.m. the night before a scheduled collection.

“We are confident what we currently have in place is what we want to expand islandwide,” Kahikina said. “We are working on those logistics, and when we have what we want in place, we’ll alert the rest of the island.”

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