Do your part: Proper disposal of trash is OUR responsibility

Gunner's Mate 1st Class Jyrone Hogan, Information Technology 2nd Class Andrea Basnett and Sonar Technician Submarine 2nd Class Scott Socks, gather bulk trash items improperly disposed of at Honeymoon Beach, Feb. 1.

Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Jyrone Hogan, Information Technology 2nd Class Andrea Basnett and Sonar Technician Submarine 2nd Class Scott Socks, gather bulk trash items improperly disposed of at Honeymoon Beach, Feb. 1.

Story and photo by Ensign Britney Duesler

Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

On a recent visit to Honeymoon Beach, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Tim Greene, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam First Lieutenant, spotted a blatant example of improper disposal of bulky items.

“We found a jet ski, a futon frame, a commissary cart, and plenty of green waste over at Honeymoon beach [on the Hickam side]. We’re trying to coordinate getting a truck over there so our Sailors and Airmen can clean it up,” Greene said.

Greene estimates thousands of hours have been spent by his 44 service members in unauthorized trash cleanup in January alone.

For JBPHH commander, Capt. Stanley Keeve, improper disposal of bulky items at Joint Base has to stop.

“Base cleanliness is a part of overall good military order. There are systems already available for residents of JBPHH to properly dispose of unwanted items. Doing otherwise is simply littering, and violators will be dealt with accordingly,” Keeve said.

Ohana Military Communities’ (OMC) policy is a $150 fine per offense for improper trash disposal, to include bulk items. The next bulk item pickup for OMC is Feb. 6. Hickam Communities is in the process of developing a fine/ penalty system.

“If residents are found leaving hazardous items to be picked up in bulk trash, it requires a conversation with our property management staff. If that doesn’t work in getting the item to the proper disposal center, we contact the resident’s command,” said Leslie Dalzell, director of Property Management at Hickam Communities.

The state of Hawaii requires that bulk items be placed curbside for bulk item pickup, which is usually once a month, and makes this service available to every resident on the island. Bulk items do not include large appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, air-conditioning units, or other items that contain oils and hazardous materials. Under no circumstances are these items to be put out for conventional trash pick-up.

“This is all stuff that can damage the truck, or set fire to the truck. The truck is made for packing, not crushing or smashing,” said front loader driver Eric Tachibana, one of Perry Management Corporation’s trash pick-up drivers that services military bases on island.

During his pickup, if Tachibana finds unauthorized items in the dumpsters, he takes a photo and notes the address. He then sends the information to Perry Management Corporation’s contract manager.

Improper disposal, if not caught, places both the truck and the driver at risk. Lawn mowers with gas inside them, compressors, and large metal panels are just some of the items found by Tachibana. These items can damage the truck, and in the case of flammable items, are at risk for catching on fire when compressed in the truck.

“Every resident has a personal responsibility to remain informed of these policies and ensure our base is the safest, cleanest and best it can be,” Keeve said.

Both the Pearl Harbor and Hickam base housing communities have clear procedures outlined in their housing agreements for trash pick-up. Additionally, www.opala.org allows residents to type their address in for specific trash pick-up dates for bulk items, green waste, recycling, and conventional waste. Contact your housing community for more information regarding proper trash disposal.

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Category: News