By Mary O’KEEFE
Montrose Shopping Park is a dining and shopping destination, but behind the scenes is an ongoing battle of the garbage bins taking place just south of Honolulu in parking lot 7.
Parking lot 7 is between Market Street and Ocean View. The garbage bins are for the local merchants and restaurants. All too often, however, too much garbage piles up causing a spill over onto the ground and, at times, into parking spaces.
“I have had complaints about this lot since I began as ambassador two years ago,” said Steve Pierce.
Pierce is hired by the Montrose Shopping Park Association (MSPA) to act as ambassador between the Montrose Shopping Park Association and the merchants/restaurants owners as well as in the capacity of film liaison.
Complaints about the abundance of trash – which can cause quite an odor especially during the summer – have come from merchants and the public. Causes of the problem may include that the bins are not being placed in the same spot after the garbage trucks have emptied them, trash is being placed on the ground instead of in the bins and people outside the shopping park are dumping items.
“[It looks as if] residents are using the bins,” Pierce said. “I find stuff there like a plastic [free standing] basketball hoop. That’s not from a merchant.”
For a while, at the request of a man who was recycling, merchants placed their discarded cardboard outside the bins. Pierce said this seemed to create a domino affect where everyone began throwing anything on the ground.
“We are not sure who is responsible for this,” Pierce added.
At first it appeared that local restaurants might have been creating a problem by tossing food onto the ground.
“On [Tuesday] there were fruit boxes put in the bins and garbage all over the ground,” Pierce said.
But he has spoken with the nearby restaurants and witnessed their employees taking great care to place garbage into the bins. Pierce thinks if the problem is coming from restaurants, it is not those in the area.
Some of the garbage receptacles are owned by the City of Glendale and some are contracted by the nearby merchants to private companies. The city picks up from their bins on a daily basis; however, Pierce is not certain how often the private bins are serviced.
“Maybe if they were all city receptacles that would be better,” he said.
The problem affects everyone from nearby merchants to those visiting Montrose.
“People park back there. Who wants to shop in Montrose when they are looking at and [walking] past all that garbage?” Pierce asked.
He has spoken to the city representatives to see what they can do to help with the garbage problem, but there has been little progress.
At this point, the MSPA is working with merchants to install cameras that can watch the area. The MSPA board hopes to identify those who are creating the problem.
Pierce is also looking into having an enclosure constructed for the bins.
“Maybe if they are put into an enclosure that is gated off, it will help [the situation],” Pierce said.