City Council approves bill to catch trash dumpers
A bill making it easier for the city to catch and fine people who throw bulky items and other trash along roadsides or other public areas won an 8-0 final approval from the Honolulu City Council Wednesday.
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A bill making it easier for the city to catch and fine people who throw bulky items and other trash along roadsides or other public areas won an 8-0 final
approval from the Honolulu City Council Wednesday.
Bill 64 (2019) makes it clear that an inspector does not need to witness an act of illegal dumping for a fine to be issued. Instead, a witness to the dumping could file a complaint and submit additional evidence such as the model and make of a car, its license plate and photos or video showing the offense.
Inspectors from the Department of Environmental Services could then determine if there’s enough evidence to cite a party.
A fine could be as much as $500 and a person cited could either pay the fine or request a hearing on the matter, similar to the procedure for a traffic ticket
in the judicial system. If a fine isn’t paid, it could stop a violator from obtaining a driver’s license or registering a vehicle.
The bill was authored by Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga, who said she was spurred by constituents in her Makiki Heights and Tantalus neighborhoods who have been complaining about an increase in the amount of trash being dumped from vehicles onto the sidewalks and other public areas.
Mark Bernstein, president of the Tantalus Community Association, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Wednesday that he and his neighbors collected dozens of tires, bed frames, couches and a coffee table during a community cleanup day along the cliffs of their community.
Several residents said they hope to bust violators by capturing the illegal violators on video from strategically placed cameras.
In related news, two growing piles of garbage
in front of 1161 Maunakea Street were cleared, a day after a Star-Advertiser story was published reporting the illegal dumping.
The city had been refusing to pick up the trash because it was not properly bagged in specially marked yellow bags that had been provided.
Environmental Services officials said that their inspectors determined the trash came from residential tenants of the building.
The city contacted the property owner, who was issued a non-fine Notice
of Violation citation. The owner subsequently picked up the garbage and placed it in yellow bags that Environmental
Services collected Wednesday morning, Environmental Services said.
Under the notice, the property owner had seven days to clear the violation or risk being fined.
The property owner
had the yellow bags in his possession but had not passed them out to tenants, Environmental
The agency refused to identify the property owner, and did not immediately provide the Star-Advertiser with a copy of the citation showing the identity of the property owner, stating the request would need
to be processed under a formal open records law filing.
Real property tax records that are publicly available list the fee owners of 1161 Maunakea St. as Wendell K.M. Chang
and Edvah S.H. Chang.
An effort to contact the Changs was unsuccessful.
The building also houses, on its ground floor, the Maunakea Liquor and Grocery store. Environmental Services, however, did not mention the liquor store as being part of the violation notice.