Home US Oahu residents raise a fuss over delayed trash pickup

Oahu residents raise a fuss over delayed trash pickup

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Garbage piles up in the Kulalani village in Kapolei.

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Large bags of trash littered the ground when they spilled from yellow trash bins at the ParkGlen housing complex in Waikele last week, the result of a week of missed trash pickup on the property.

Missed trash pickups have become the norm for multiple apartment, condo and townhome properties in West Oahu, leading to worms, bad odors and a sense of frustration among residents.

Kylie Bagio, who manages several properties, including ParkGlen, said that since she started working at ParkGlen in August, she learned that West Oahu Aggregate, the company that services the property, was short on staff.

“I find that sometimes they just miss pickups and then when we call to reschedule, sometimes they’re not available,” Bagio said.

Bagio said management sometimes receives emails from WOA notifying the team of staff shortages on certain days, resulting in trash being picked up on alternate days, but that the emails are infrequent.

“Those (emails) are great, but we don’t get them all the time. Also, when we get those messages, landlords, tenants and residents don’t understand them because they pay for these services,” he said. “Sometimes we don’t get notifications. Sometimes we just have to figure it out, like, ‘Oh, the trash is increasing, what’s going on? Okay, they didn’t come this day.'”

In July, WOA purchased Aloha Waste Systems of Honolulu, a competing waste disposal company. The state is also facing a shortage of licensed commercial truck drivers (with the license needed to drive a garbage truck) that also impacts the availability of school bus drivers and the movement of shipments from docks to shelves.

At the Punchbowl Home public housing centre, rubbish bins have also been overflowing with rubbish for weeks, causing flies and foul odours, and residents unable to dispose of their rubbish. KHON2 first reported Friday that the state initially oversaw trash collection at the building, but a public notice posted that day said the Hawaii Public Housing Authority contacted a private trash company to manage the waste. The Public Housing Authority recommended KHON2 contact WOA for more information.

WOA did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The Department of Health said it would “normally not regulate garbage collection unless it becomes a public health hazard.”

Bagio said the lack of garbage pickup this week at ParkGlen was “the first incident in a long time,” but that at Kulalani Village in Kapolei, garbage had not been picked up for almost two weeks, forcing her to contact with another waste management company, Perry Management. , to help her and the Villages of Kapolei board president with the cleanup.

“You have dog feces, you have food, and to have to go through that with gloves and pick it up? It was very unpleasant,” Bagio said. “One of the Perry Management drivers that came by said someone actually got sick from picking up trash like this because you don’t know what types of chemicals they get mixed with and it just sits outside for a couple of days.”

Bagio said Kulalani Village has had issues with trash pickup every month and the property is holding a board meeting to approve a permanent switch to Perry Management.

Bagio also manages Sixty Parkside in Mililani, whose trash she said also wasn’t picked up last week.

In ParkGlen, residents were asked to hold on to their trash for a few more days, just to wait for trash service to arrive. Bagio said the trash was completely picked up on Friday, a week after the last pickup from the property was completed.

“The associations pay for this service, and it should be a priority for the WOA to achieve this with their drivers who provide this service that we pay for. If not, it will be a big disaster later,” Bagio said. .

In the meantime, Bagio said he’s calling for more communication between drivers and site managers. With more communication, he said, he can help alleviate his residents’ concerns more quickly.

“Mainly, my frustration as a site manager is always having to be in the middle and taking those annoying phone calls and trying to make the residents happy, and that’s all I can do,” Bagio said. “I have to make sure the trash pickup arrives the next day. If not, I’ll hear it over and over again.”

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