Honolulu Star-Bulletin - Kokua Line

Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Friday, June 18, 1999

Automated trash
pickup service nears

Question: On June 12, someone dropped off one of those large automated trash cans in front of my house in Manoa. But there was no notice when the automated pickups will begin. When will these cans be used?

Answer: As of yesterday, that hasn't been determined.

But when the automated pickups are ready to begin in several neighborhoods, "We will go door to door to let (people) know what the start date is going to be," said David Shiraishi, the city's refuse collection administrator.

The city's plan to use automated refuse trucks along most of its collection routes stalled in April 1998 because of a dispute with the United Public Workers, which represents refuse workers. That dispute, resolved last month with pay raises, centered around replacing three-person trash trucks with one-person automated trucks.

The city recently again began delivering 96-gallon trash containers that will be used on the automated trash routes, beginning with Manoa.

"Generally, for the Honolulu District, we are going to be delivering from Manoa, working westward -- Makiki, Papakolea, Pauoa, Pacific Heights, Nuuanu and Liliha," Shiraishi said.

About 8,000 will be delivered in the Honolulu District.

After that, containers will be delivered to other parts of the island, including the Ewa/Waipahu area, Windward Oahu and the North Shore.

By the end of this year, 90 percent of the neighborhoods targeted for automated pickups will be on line, Shiraishi said.

By the time the task is completed next year, 134,000 households -- 80 percent of the city's single-family customers -- will be serviced by the automated trucks, he said.

Q: We will again be on the automated trash pickup line. When we were automated for a short time, our driver placed our container on the street and not back on our driveway. If I recall, when someone asked why this was a few years ago, the answer was "because maybe the arm of the truck could not put the container back on the driveway if there was a car nearby." But in our case, the container is placed five feet from our mailbox, there is not a car parked there and we are not on a hill. In other words, there is no obstruction. Since I am now working full time, that means my trash container will be on the street the whole day! If the truck's arm picked up the container from the driveway, shouldn't it be able to put it back on the driveway?

A: Yes, according to refuse collection administrator David Shiraishi.

"Drivers are expected to put the carts (trash containers) back on the sidewalk area," he said. Probably the only time that wouldn't happen is when a car is parked too close, "so that the reach becomes longer for the driver."

In that case, the refuse driver has to move the container from the sidewalk area with the tips of his mechanical "grabber" -- in effect, pulling the container off the sidewalk onto the street. Then, he uses the grabber to lift and dump trash from the container, Shiraishi said.

But, the driver can't return the container to its original location. "That should be the only case the cart is not returned to the sidewalk," Shiraishi said.


To whoever stole my favorite pair of Gap blue jeans, a gift from my husband, off our clothesline in the early morning of May 25. Shame on you! -- S.P.R./Pearl City

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to kokualine@starbulletin.com

E-mail to City Desk

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