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Trash piling up as Honolulu begins bulk item pickup program

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu residents are complaining about trash piling up because of the city’s new bulky item pickup program.

The program launched last month has resulted in garbage piles in front of residences and schools, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.

The city in April informed more than 70,000 residents of single-family homes and multi-unit residential buildings about new collection procedures.

Single-family homes are limited to five bulky items per collection, while multiunit buildings may schedule up to 20 items, officials said.

Pickups must be scheduled online or by calling the city Department of Environmental Services.

“We’re trying to change bad behavior, so our crews are not canvassing every street and lane looking for material. Through a deliberate process of feedback and follow-up, the department is hoping to change the illegal behavior associated with bulky item pickups, whether that is being done unknowingly or purposefully,” said Timothy Houghton, deputy director of the Honolulu Environmental Services Department.

Beginning in August the city plans to change its multiunit procedures to allow tenants to make their own appointments instead of requiring them to go through property owners or managers, officials said.

The city placed 2,800 stickers on illegally dumped items last month but issued only 10 warnings.

The program scheduled through the end of January has reduced the material put out for collection, officials said.

Critics want the city to rethink the program, which they claim is creating eyesores, sidewalk impediments and hygiene and safety issues.

“It’s ridiculous. I’m seeing trash all over,” said tour bus driver Robert Gatewood. “Something has to be done. It’s getting so nasty everywhere.”