Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Thursday, June 21, 2001

Automated trash cans
a valued commodity

Question: Why is there only one automated trash can per home regardless if it is a duplex? I live in a two-family home. We are two separate renters but are only allowed one can for the two families. On some pickup days we cannot put any trash out because the other family has filled it almost to capacity.

If I want to request another can, I have to be monitored for four to six weeks and make sure to fill the can up as much as possible in order to prove the need for two receptacles.

I think this is unfair because a) we don't always have a ton of rubbish to fill the can to show the monitors we need it, b) if we were two separate homes, there would be no question of the need for separate bins, c) four to six weeks is a long time to be monitored like this. Why are we punished just because we live in a duplex? Both homes have the right to not have to fight for space in the trash bin. If we are two separate tax-paying households, I don't understand why we cannot be provided with two bins.

Answer: The sticking point is that the city has to "recognize" your unit as a duplex.

If so, "we will issue a second cart," said David Shiraishi, the city's refuse collection administrator. "Sometimes (people) may think because there are two different units, it's recognized by the city," he said. "But we check with the Department of Planning and Permitting as to how many units does the city recognize" at a particular address.

Shiraishi said he's willing to double-check your circumstance if somehow that wasn't done in your case. If the city does recognize two units, you automatically will get a second cart, "no questions asked." If not, you are required to go through the monitoring process.

If you have extra trash only sometimes and not consistently, then you will be turned down in writing, he said.

The alternatives suggested to those who are turned down include waiting until the next collection day, since the pickup days following weekends tend to generate the most trash; stuffing the rubbish in the cart, which "has smooth, flexible, reverse-taper sides," which can hold a substantial amount of rubbish without damage; recycling or composting; or just asking your neighbor if you can use their cart.

Q: At the junction of Auloa Road and Kamehameha Highway, the street light is not lit and has been out of commission a long time. That area is always plagued with rain. Considering other areas with a bus shelter, that area has no protection at all. Why is that? Many times when it rains, I am exposed to the wind and rain and have no protection at all.

A: The street light outage was referred to the street lighting division, said George Souza of the city Department of Customer Services.

Meanwhile, you should get some relief from the elements very soon. The Department of Transportation Services says a bus shelter is planned for that spot sometime next month.


To a very nice young man for helping to start my red Camaro in the parking lot of Longs Drugs. -- Elderly Japanese woman

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