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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Council delays action on trash fines for a month

Advertiser Staff

The City Council Public Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday deferred action on a bill that would allow the city to fine property owners who put bulky trash items out for collection too early.

Committee Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi said members want a month to address concerns.
Kobayashi said she agrees with critics who say $500 a day is too large of a fine.
City attorneys said that while trash left on sidewalks is technically owned by the city, responsibility for the upkeep of the sidewalk is the property owner’s.
Council Chairman Todd Apo said asking people to be responsible for moving bulky trash they didn’t place there in the first place isn’t the same as asking that they keep the grass along their sidewalks mowed. “We’re moving into a whole new level of responsibility.”
The bill, being sought by Mayor Mufi Hannemann, would allow inspectors to issue a fine-free citation giving a property owner seven days to remove bulky items left out earlier than the night before a scheduled pickup. Fines would begin accruing on the eighth day.