Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Trash pick ups shouldn’t
be starting before 6 a.m.

Question: I live in Palolo, on a street where an automated trash truck can't maneuver and where trash collectors start their run every pick-up day. That means twice-a-week, including Saturdays, they come between 5:30 and 6 a.m. They are extremely loud and wake up everyone on the street. I called the city and a foreman told me that they start the run in Palolo then head out to Hawaii Kai. When I asked if they could rotate and sometimes start in Hawaii Kai and then head to Palolo so as not always to disturb my neighborhood so early, the foreman said, "Oh, no the people in Hawaii Kai wouldn't like being woken up so early." The foreman then backtracked and said it was a logistical issue involving traffic flow. I suspect there is some truth to what the foreman first said. Can anything be done?

Answer: Probably not to the route change, but definitely to the start time.

Trash collection shouldn't be starting before 6 a.m., said David Shiraishi, the city's refuse collection administrator. If that's happening, you should call the nearest refuse collection yard, which in your case is the Honolulu one, at 523-4424.

Shiraishi said that the city prefers to keep to the same sequence of collection because people tend to rely on routine. "When we change the order of collection, then we get complaints that they missed our truck," he explained.

But some routes also start at 6 a.m. in Hawaii Kai, so what you were told was "not correct," he said. You happen to live on the only route where part of the pickup is in Palolo and part in Hawaii Kai. "Other than that, a route is usually contiguous," Shiraishi said.

Meanwhile, it's been proposed to the United Public Workers, the refuse collectors union, to delay the start of pickup to 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays and major holidays, he said. That's based on feedback from the public. However, no agreement has yet been reached.

Q: Do you know whom to contact at the Honolulu Airport for jobs as baggage inspectors?

A: You can get all the pertinent information by checking the Federal Aviation Administration's Web site,

The Transportation Security Act, signed by President Bush on Nov. 19, makes airport security a federal responsibility.

"As a result of this legislation DOT (the U.S. Department of Transportation) plans to hire a significant number of new federal security screeners ... (who) will be comprised of highly qualified and well-trained U.S. citizens," according to the FAA.

To apply, send your name and e-mail address to or call the DOT Connection at 202-366-9392 or 1-800-525-2878 to leave your name and address.

Application information will be sent as soon as it is available. The FAA says it expects to have standards and application procedures for these positions developed no later than the end of the year, at which time it will begin accepting applications.

You can check the Web sites for the Department of Transportation,, and the Office of Personnel Management,


To whoever stole our 12-year-old, black-white-and-grey poi dog, Magee, from our home on Rosebank Place in Nuuanu between 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday. Please return him soon to a heartbroken family. -- The Lees

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