City & County of Honolulu

Council bows to union
on trash pickup

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

A proposal to stop trash collection before 6 a.m. has been dumped by a City Council committee.

The Public Works Committee yesterday voted 4-1 to defer the measure after objections came from the United Public Workers union.

Councilman Duke Bainum, who introduced the measure, was the sole dissenting vote.

The bill would have barred pre-6 a.m. refuse pickup for both city and private disposal services.

Bainum said residents from around the island complained about being awakened by the clanging of garbage cans during pre-dawn operations.

Frank Doyle, city deputy director for environmental services, said only four areas have routes that start at 4 a.m. Haulers start early in downtown Honolulu, all of Pali Highway, and all of King and Beretania streets because they are high-traffic areas during morning commute hours.

An unsigned letter from the office of UPW state director Gary Rodrigues was sent to the Council saying the union opposes the measure because it runs counter to what has been negotiated in its work contracts with the city since 1972.

"Hours of work for refuse collection is a negotiable matter," the letter said.

Bainum said he intends to draft a new bill applying only to private haulers, none of whom testified yesterday.

Councilman John Henry Felix said the Council should not be violating the terms of a labor contract.

Councilman Romy Cachola said that if the bill is approved, he is afraid the city would open itself to other requests such as no pre-dawn construction.

City & County of Honolulu

E-mail to City Desk


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