Alternatives to bulky item pickup

Once a month, Honolulu offers a curbside bulky item pickup. It’s not free – it’s paid for by our property taxes – but there is no additional fee. The intent is to keep our communities clean and reduce illegal dumping.

It’s not working.

Our sidewalks have become small dump sites, sometimes cluttered for weeks until the next scheduled pickup. Homeowners can be fined $250 per day for bulky trash left out early, even if it’s not their trash.

I think we should stop curbside bulky item pickup altogether. Not only would it save money and reduce traffic, it would discourage people from leaving trash on the sidewalk.

What would happen to bulky items like furniture and appliances? Here are my suggestions:

* Take bulky items to City Convenience Centers. On Oahu, you can drop-off household trash for free at one of the 10 convenience centers, up to two loads per day. Most of us shouldn’t depend on the government for this.

* Request bulky item pick-up by phone or online. We could create an island-wide schedule or coordinate pickups based on service requests. Each request could be assigned a pickup number, linked to a street address, which would be written on the bulky item(s). It would be obvious if someone merely wrote down another resident’s pickup number.

* Set up community bulky item drop-off sites. The sites could be located near community recycling bins and HI5 recycling centers. Residents would be able to take their recyclables and their bulky items to the same location for disposal.

I think that bulky item pickup is actually encouraging dumping on our sidewalks. What do you think? Can we find a better way to dispose of bulky items?

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