comscore Kokua Line: Why aren’t there more recycling containers in Waikiki? | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Why aren’t there more recycling containers in Waikiki?

Question: On the weekends, trash containers on Waikiki beaches are often overflowing, leaving trash scattered. On top of that, homeless people often rummage through the trash looking for recyclables, increasing the mess. Why aren’t there recycling containers in Waikiki?

Answer: There are some recycling bins in Waikiki, mainly on public sidewalks along Kalakaua and Kuhio avenues. But there are fewer than the busy district needs, especially as tourism bounces back, said Jennifer Nakayama, president and executive director of the Waikiki Business Improvement District Association.

In 2009 the city’s Department of Environmental Services purchased 25 sets of recycling and trash bins for WBIDA to set out in various locations, said Markus Owens, a spokesman for the department. Twelve years later only about 10 to 15 of the 25 sets remain, Nakayama said. The rest may have been removed by the city due to wear and tear or because of construction projects, including sidewalk improvements, she said.

WBIDA is working with the city to get more installed, but funding is an obstacle, she said. Secure containers to deter rubbish rummaging are much more expensive than standard bins.

The existing sets are round containers next to each other — blue for aluminum cans and plastic and glass bottles, and green for garbage.

Emptying the bins is a collective effort; ENV is not involved, Owens said.

The Department of Facility Maintenance’s Division of Road Maintenance empties the bins on Kalakaua and Kuhio avenues seven days a week, early in the morning, said Brandi Higa, a Honolulu County spokeswoman. WBIDA takes over from there, emptying the containers throughout the day and into the evening, Naka­yama said. WBIDA staff also clean and disinfect the bins and pick up trash that has been scattered on the sidewalk.

You also mentioned overflowing trash cans at the beach. Honolulu County’s Department of Parks and Recreation is responsible for litter containers at Kuhio Beach Park, Higa said. “The bins are emptied by DPR crews at least two to four times a day/night. Around once a month, major vandalism/misuse occurs that affect public use of these bins or DPR access,” she said.

Q: Thank you for the helpful information on renewing our Hawaii driver’s license by mail. The one thing I’m looking for is how far in advance can we submit our application by mail. I’m over 72.

A: Within six months of your license’s expiration date, assuming that you are otherwise eligible, said Harold Nedd, a spokesman for Honolulu County’s Department of Customer Serv­ices. People renewing in person can’t make an appointment on AlohaQ more than three months ahead of their license or ID’s expiration date, but that restriction doesn’t apply to mail-in renewal, he said. Renewal by mail is limited by age and other criteria. See the rules at

Q: How long are we going to have this North Shore detour? It’s a hassle.

A: Bridge 605, Waialua Beach Road Ki‘iki‘i Stream Crossing, is likely to be closed until at least October, according to Honolulu County’s Department of Transportation Services. The bridge closure is causing the detour. The bridge is on Waialua Beach Road between Goodale Avenue and Haleiwa Road. Drivers traveling between the west end of Waialua Beach Road and Haleiwa must use Goodale Avenue, Farring­ton Highway, Kaukonahua Road and Weed Circle, according to the department.

The bridge was closed after an underwater inspection found severe structural damage. It’s unclear when major repairs will begin or how long they will take. DTS is preparing to seek permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it said last week in a news release.

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

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