New bill aims to create fee for trash collection

By Brenton Awa
Published On: Feb 12 2014 12:00:00 AM HST
Updated On: Feb 12 2014 10:46:00 PM HST

Rolling out a trash can could cost you extra cash if a new bill from the Oahu city administration gets passed.

HONOLULU -

Trash collection could soon come with an added price. Rolling out a trash can could cost you extra cash if a new bill from the city administration gets passed.

Click here to watch Brenton Awa's report.

The plan would help the refuse division operate under the city's $156-million budget deficit. There's currently no fee specific to trash pickup. Instead the cost comes out of the general fund, but it seems there's not enough money to go around.

"All of the departments are competing for the fund, the fire, police, the parks, the roads and it's all essential services that's needed and trash is one of them," said Lori Kahikina, Environmental Services Director.

The proposed fee is $10 per month. The fee would be collected twice a year though property taxes and would cover the pickup of green cans, grey cans, blue cans, manual pickup, and bulky item pickup.

"I'd like the residents to know that Oahu is the only county that is not charging. Kaua'i charges, Maui charges and the Big Island doesn't have a trash service," said Kahikina.

Residents on Maui pay $18 a month, Kaua'i residents pay $12. The City says it costs over $50 per month to pickup trash per household and it's trying to recover a fifth of that bill. Some residents question the city's budget.

"You don't go back to your clients and say oh I'm so sorry, I need to ask you for another thousand dollars because we went over budget. It doesn't work well, you ask any private business person how that goes, it's not a pretty picture," said Nina Livingston, a Manoa resident.

The proposal would generate $20-million for the city per year and help level the playing field.

"Some residents, especially the condos and the townhouses, they get free service from the city. They use the front end loader carts and there are many other associations on the island that pay a private contractor to do the same service," said Kahikina.

If passed the new fee would begin in January 2015. You could decline that fee if you can prove to the city that you're disposing your trash properly, for example, taking it to the dump.

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