Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: I read that a recent wastewater spill in Waiehu was blamed on a power outage. What I’m wondering is, don’t the plants have backup generators? And if the generator requires a manual turn-on that didn’t occur, was the overflow preventable if staff were available or a backup generator that should kick in when the power goes out?
A: Very good question. Ordinarily during MECO power outages, a transfer switch automatically takes power from the backup generator to prevent a disruption of service. A review of the spill report indicates there was a power surge just before the power went off, which then damaged the transfer switch and voltage regulator for the backup generator. Our Dept. of Environmental Management is in the process of replacing the damaged components.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: I recently bought a new refrigerator but the store wanted to charge me a lot to deliver the new fridge and haul away the old one. I ended up bringing the new fridge home in my truck, so how do I properly dispose of the old one?
A: Residents can drop off unwanted household appliances for free at Hammerhead Metals Recycling, ph. 280-8844; commercial businesses may drop off items containing Freon for a fee. Hammerhead is open Mon.-Thurs. from 8 a.m. – 3:45 p.m., Fridays from 8 a.m. – noon, and the first Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. – noon. The other option is to request a free County pickup through the Solid Waste Division of the Dept. of Environmental Management. Central, South Maui and West Maui residents may call 270-7452; Upcountry residents should call 572-3958. For both numbers, please leave a voicemail with your name and contact number. You will be contacted with an estimated pickup day. On the day before your scheduled pickup (not sooner), the appliance should be placed securely and safely at the curb with your house number visible on the appliance. You do not need to have a residential refuse account to request an appliance pickup, but please be aware that the County cannot pick up appliances from condominiums, apartment complexes or gated communities.
Q: I was wondering what’s going on here in Waiehu Terrace? The smell of the breeze is very unpleasant, and it smells like a farm (i.e. animal waste). It’s been like this since last January, and the smell is still really bad.
A: There may be some pigs being raised at a residence near the shoreline in Waiehu. That would explain the smell on the breeze, except when the tradewinds are light and Kona winds prevail. Since it’s possible the area is not zoned for Agricultural use, residents that are particularly bothered by a nuisance of that nature have the option of submitting a Request for Service (RFS) through the County website, to clarify whether this is a permitted use: www.mauicounty.gov/RFS.
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9thFloor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.