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City cuts Oahu multifamily dwelling trash pickup

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HONOLULU (AP) — The last multifamily dwellings on Oahu that receive city trash pickup service will lose it next year, leaving some property managers scrambling to find money to pay private companies to haul their garbage after decades of the city handling that for free.

Ending the service Jan. 31 is a matter of fairness, said city Environmental Services Director Lori Kahikina. The majority of other similar privately owned buildings such as townhouses, condominiums and apartment complexes already pay private companies to remove their garbage. Most single-family homes on Oahu don't pay a fee for curbside trash pickup.

The change will affect about 100 multifamily complexes and 80 schools, churches and other nonprofits, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (http://ow.ly/Ad5xR ).

It's not clear how much it will save, as the city will no longer have to replace front-loader trucks or pay for repairs of the existing fleet that handled the multifamily dwellings. But fairness, not cost savings, prompted the decision, Kahikina said.

Phillip Hurth, a resident manager for the Palm Villas apartment complex in Ewa, said the city should have helped property owners come up with alternatives. Members of the owners associations are reviewing proposals from private haulers ranging from $3,100 to $4,000 a month to clear the property's 17 bins twice a week.

The service had been unfair, said Council Budge Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi, who applauded ending the service. "It wasn't fairly done," she said. "Some private schools got pickup but not others, some churches and some condos."

Sister Joan of Arc Souza, head of St. Francis School, said she's grateful her school was able to benefit from the free trash pickup for so long.

"But things change, life moves on," she said. "I can complain, but we're not going to change it. You've got to fight the battles you think you can win."

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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