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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Friday, July 28, 2000

Trash pickup an
equitable matter

Question: I live in Kaneohe, where bulky item pickup is every two weeks, but Honolulu residents have pickup any time they need it. Also, Windward residents are limited to things that can be picked up. Why can't we get the same treatment as Honolulu residents? And why is the road division picking up bulky items? Shouldn't the refuse department pick up trash and the road division fix roads?

Answer: It's not true that Honolulu residents have more frequent pickups for bulky items.

Under a new schedule that took effect May 1, pickup in all Honolulu areas is once a month, instead of every four weeks as before. For example, the first Monday of each month for Foster Village and the fourth Wednesday for Hawaii Kai.

Although it's true that, "for all practical purposes," there is no limit for Honolulu residents, that's because pickup is less frequent and not specific to a single day, said city refuse collection Administrator David Shiraishi.

In Kaneohe and other rural areas where pickup is biweekly, the limit is 2 cubic yards -- the equivalent of a washing machine OR stove PLUS a sofa, Shiraishi noted.

Because Honolulu residents are told pickup will be within a 2-1/2-day period, "That gives us some flexibility" to handle unexpectedly large loads, he said.

With only one-day pickup in rural Oahu, if some households put out a lot of items, that could result in other homes not being accommodated that day, Shiraishi said.

As for why road maintenance crews pick up bulky items, that task fell on the division years ago because the refuse division was shorthanded, explained city engineer Albert Miyashiro, former assistant chief of road maintenance. At one time both were under the Department of Public Works. Now, refuse is with Environmental Services and road, with Facility Maintenance.

The refuse division continues to handle bulky item and dead animal pickup for the Honolulu District, but the road division is responsible in the rural areas.

As Miyashiro said: "We handle all kinds of miscellaneous things that other departments don't have resources to manage."

Q: I've been trying to get in touch with the local Social Security Administration. A recording comes on to press this and that number, but there is no way for me to get through to anyone to get an appointment for an interview. What number do I call?

A: Call 1-800-772-1213, said local spokeswoman Shelia Callum.

If you stay on long enough, you have the option to speak to a person, who can then schedule an appointment, she said.


To Calvin with a BMW and Vince from Steven's Towing in Aiea for helping my wife and me on the morning of July 8. We were at a retail establishment in Pearl City and weren't able to start our car. Vince towed it to a shop and Calvin took us home. -- No name


On Thursday, July 13, my car stalled in the center lane at Beretania and Punchbowl streets at the worst pau hana traffic hour. Six unnamed persons selflessly and at risk to themselves stopped to help: a middle-aged man, three young men who pushed my car more than 100 feet into a parking space at the Department of Health, a young lady who used her cellular phone to call my family, and a taxi driver who called a towing service. I am humbled and grateful to them all for stopping to help. -- Stephen Murin

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

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