Oahu residents could pay for trash pickup

If the city administration gets its way Oahu residents would soon have to shell out cash to have the city pick up their trash.

The city wants to charge users $10 a month for this service.

“All this will do is offset some of that subsidy from the general fund. And we don’t have to raise property taxes to do this,” City Director of Environmental Services Lori Kahikina said.

The city says it costs more than $50 a month per location to pick up the trash so it will still be paying for most of it.

“I don’t know. That seems like it’s a pretty basic thing. We never had to pay for that anywhere before that I can think of,” Windward Oahu resident Bob Schormstheimer said.

But Kauai and Maui counties already charge fees for trash pickup. Hawaii countydoes not offer this service.

“Who wants to spend more money that one doesn’t necessarily have? Not a terribly high amount of money but taxes seem to be going up all the time,” Windward Oahu resident Mark Verschell said.

But this proposal would also level the playing field for all users, since some condos, businesses and non-profits pay, while others, do not.

But this isn’t the first time the city has tried to establish a fee. A previous administration tried unsuccessfully to tack on an $8 a month user fee. Councilmember Ann Kobayashi says the same concerns may come up.

“And if we get into charging for trash pickup, then are we next going to say well if the police answer a call at your home there’s going to be a charge?” she asked.

She says the city needs the money, but asks, “Is this the right time to start charging for trash pickup?”

There will be public hearings scheduled for this bill. But if the Honolulu City Council passes it, the new fee would begin next January.

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