12 May 2010

Hawaii cleans up dumped tsunami aid goods

3:05 pm on 12 May 2010

Environment officials in Hawaii are preparing to clean up illegally dumped items, which had been donated two months ago for tsunami victims in American Samoa.

Carroll Cox of Envirowatch says 80 percent of household goods found dumped illegally near a popular tourist site could still be recycled, but the rest now has to be disposed of properly.

Items found by a secluded road in Honolulu included a fridge full of rotting food, an air conditioning unit, office furniture and kitchenware.

Mr Cox says they're yet to find out why the donated goods had been thrown away but unfortunately its a common occurrence and very damaging to the environment.

"It's a sad commentary about our people within our society, that's the price we pay. I don't think we're all that way, but that we'd take something that could be used by others, especially under the pretense that it was for relief in the tsunami. Getting past that, there should be a fine but we also know that the individual should pay and bear the full cost of cleaning it up and restoring that site."

The Health Department is now investigating the incident