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Large trash bags intentionally thrown into the Ala Wai

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Paddlers have been noticing large bags of trash floating in the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor since October.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources believes the bags are being deliberately thrown into the canal.

Kristen Kelly is a staff member from 4ocean — a recycling company that makes accessories out of ocean and coastline trash. The company is retrieving and disposing the waste with permission from the DLNR.

"Beyond the smell, it's super hard to pull them up because they're just full of water. And you just can't get them in over the edge of the harbor there," Kelly said.

"So before we figured out this parbuckling method, we had been kind of having to rip them open and picking stuff up one piece at a time and whoo, this smell. It's really not fun," she said.

"And a lot of them don’t get picked up. There's so many people in the Ala Wai that care about it — paddlers, the fire department picked a few up, and the yacht clubs have been doing such an amazing job, but unfortunately, they're so heavy that a lot of them just go right out into the ocean," Kelly said.

Anyone caught throwing trash into a waterway in Hawaiʻi could face criminal littering charges.

If you have information or see anyone dumping trash into streams, lakes, or the ocean, call the DLNR hotline at 643-DLNR (3-5-6-7).

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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