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Honolulu Making Changes To Improve Bulky Item Pickup Program

Casey Harlow

Honolulu is updating a pilot program to improve the collection of bulky trash items that have been piling up in neighborhoods since new rules took effect, officials said.

The city's Department of Environmental Services has tweaked the program to allow Waikiki residents to schedule weekly rather than only once-monthly pickup appointments, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday.

"Waikiki is, and always has been, the only area on Oahu receiving weekly bulky collection. The rest of the pilot areas are allowed only one appointment per month over a multiday period," Timothy Houghton, environmental services deputy director, told the Waikiki Neighborhood Board last week.

The city initially shifted about 70,000 single-family homes and multiunit residential buildings from monthly scheduled bulky item collection to an appointment-based program that began in June and is slated to run through the end of January.

Complaints about the new rules began almost immediately as bulky trash items piled up, especially in Waikiki.

In August, the city began allowing tenants in multiunit buildings to make appointments instead of going through property owners, resident managers and apartment owner associations.

"It was deplorable," Waikiki resident Dave Moskowitz said. "But lately, I think it's been looking a little better."

Waikiki has averaged 11 to 15 tons (10 to 14 metric tons) of bulk items picked up per month for those making appointments, which has increased 32%, Houghton said.

Waikiki Neighborhood Board member Kathryn Henski said she is not satisfied enough trash has been removed in a timely manner.

"I don't believe that the system is working," Henski said. "I think it's a failed program that hopefully will be discontinued in January."

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