Budget cuts spelled demise of litter control hot line
: I was driving in Kaneohe one day and witnessed the driver in front of me blatantly throw litter from his vehicle. I recorded the day, time and license number but have become frustrated after trying to find the appropriate number I can call to report this. I think if we all started to think, "Will I be a part of the problem or part of the solution?" this type of behavior can be eliminated from this beautiful Island. Where can I report this?
Answer: Unfortunately, there is no number to call to report such littering.
Several years ago, in the 1990s, the state did have a litter control hot line.
But that service went by the wayside years ago with budget cuts.
In this case, sending the information to the Honolulu Police Department won't help, because a police officer has to be the one witnessing the littering.
Also, HPD won't send a letter to the alleged litterer, according to spokesman Capt. Frank Fujii.
But, believe it or not, the litter scofflaws don't always get away with it.
From January through November 2007, HPD issued 163 "littering from vehicle" citations, Fujii said.
Littering from a vehicle is covered under Section 291C-132 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes: "No person shall throw, place, or drop litter from a vehicle on any highway."
Litter is defined as "rubbish, refuse, waste material, garbage, trash, offal, or debris of whatever kind or description, whether or not it is of value, and includes improperly discarded paper, metal, plastic, glass, or solid waste."
Someone convicted of the offense faces a fine of $25 to $500 and being sentenced to either picking up litter from public property or performing some kind of community service.
Q: My daughter is 13. Is there any volunteer work she can do during spring break or the summer?
A: For starters, check the Star-Bulletin's Features Section on Sundays, when it runs a listing of volunteering opportunities under the Calendars section, or click on starbulletin. com/calendars/volunteer.html.
You can also find out about volunteering opportunities through the United Way in Hawaii.
Call 211 or check online at search.volunteerhawaii.org/org/opp/dir-all.html.
Volunteer Hawaii is a free statewide service.
We also found a site called Volunteer Match -- volunteermatch.org -- that lists opportunities nationwide, including Honolulu. It also lists the age groups sought, such as teens or 55-plus.
Just type in your ZIP code.
Why is it that people who would never throw a cup on the ground think nothing of throwing their lit cigarette butts on the ground or out of their car windows? This is littering and adds up to a lot of toxic waste going down the sewer. It can also be the cause of brush fires. Please think before you toss! -- Joanne Pating
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