You are here:  Main / Customer Services / Public Communications Division / 2007 / Palama Kicks Off Summer With Adopt-A-Block Clean-Up

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                June 25, 2007




Community volunteers, backed by City and County of Honolulu agencies, will clean up the Pua Lane area of Palama in an Adopt-A-Block project slated for Saturday, July 7, beginning at 8:30 a.m., behind St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church on Kanoa Street.


Volunteers from Parents and Children Together, Weed and Seed Community Care Group, and other organizations will join City crews for the clean-up.


            Iwalani Sato, the City’s coordinator, said, “The Adopt-A-Block project is a ‘hands-on’ activity for everyday environmental heroes in our communities.  Volunteers remove trash and graffiti, pass out pollution prevention fact sheets, and stencil storm drains to remind citizens to ‘Dump No Waste.’  The City will be distributing t-shirts to volunteers and community members with the message ‘Protect Our Waters … For Life.’  We’ll also have the lane itself cleaned by our Department of Facility Maintenance Road Division.”


            Fetu Taua Kolio, a leader in the Pua Lane Adopt-A-Block project, said, “We’re excited about the impact this program will have in our neighborhood.  We believe that a clean neighborhood is a key component to improving our quality of life and raising the pride that our residents feel for their community.”


            The Adopt-A-Block program is coordinated by the Storm Water Quality Branch of the Environmental Quality Division of the City’s Department of Environmental Services.  The branch carries out the mandates of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Storm Water regulations.  Adopt-A-Block projects, in turn, are carried out by community volunteers in collaboration with the City.


            Groups seeking to Adopt-A-Block must meet these criteria: (a) adopt a portion of a City stream for a minimum of two blocks, (b) agree to conduct quarterly cleanup days, and (c) maintain this agreement for at least two years.


Anyone wishing to volunteer for the Pua Lane clean-up may sign up online (; call Fetu Taua Kolia of Weed and Seed Community Care (779-7687); the office of Councilman Romy Cachola (527-5674), or the Adopt-A-Block program (692-5208).


General information is also available at or




Iwalani Sato, Department of Environmental Services, 429-4112

How Can You Help


We all have an impact on our island environment and water quality. Water entering our storm drains flows directly to streams and the ocean, carrying pollutants and debris. These pollutants seriously impact the environment.  As property owners, we’re liable for all work that may affect storm water quality, whether we perform the work ourselves or hire a contractor.  Non-compliance with City regulations can result in fines of up to $25,000 per day per violation.

We can have a positive impact on our environment by minimizing runoff that drains into streams, estuaries, and the ocean.  Sound environmental practices begin at home and at work.  Here are some actions we can incorporate into our daily activities to reduce pollution.

1.  Keep sidewalks, curbs, and gutters clean.

Do keep sidewalks, curbs, and gutters around your property clean by sweeping up debris and disposing of it in the trash prior to hosing with plain water.  Remember, it is a property owner’s responsibility to keep these areas clean.  Don’t wash or allow debris from sidewalks, curbs, and gutters into the storm drain.


2.  Prevent soil and debris from leaving your property.

Do sweep excess dirt and sediment runoff from landscaping or watering from sidewalks and driveways into grassed or planted areas. Control soil erosion on your property by planting ground cover or mulching erosion-prone areas.  Don’t wash excess dirt into the gutter because it will flow into the storm drain.  Don’t over-water your yard.


3.  Gather grass and tree cuttings and dispose as green waste, or compost your yard trimmings.

Don’t wash cuttings or any other debris from your yard into the gutter and down the storm drain.


4.  Purchase a used oil change box and soak up spilled oil and dispose of appropriately.

Do purchase an oil change box available at any retail outlet that sells motor oil.  Used oil can be drained directly into the box, sealed, and placed in the trash.  Soak up spilled oil and dispose of it properly.  Don’t pour motor oil on the ground or down the storm drain.


5.  Remove and dispose of pet waste.

Do remove and properly dispose of pet waste from public areas and other people’s property.


6.  Use water-based paint and discard properly.

Do soak up small amounts of leftover paint products by using cat litter, sawdust, rags, or shredded newspaper, or by painting it onto cardboard and letting it dry before disposing with the rest of your household trash.  Paint can also be hardened in its container and thrown away in the trash.  Use water-based paint whenever possible.  Don’t pour paint or paint products down the drain or onto the ground.


7.  Use only the required amount of pesticides and fertilizers.

Do use pesticides and fertilizers according to the instructions and purchase only what you need. Fertilizer and its packaging may be disposed of in the household trash. Call 692-5411 to find out how to dispose of a particular pesticide product.  Don’t overuse pesticides or fertilizers.  Overuse can result in the products being transported into storm drains with water runoff from watering or rain.  Don’t use these products if rain is anticipated, and never pour leftover pesticides down the sink, into the toilet, or down the storm drain.


8.  Wash your car with plain water.

Do wash your car using a nozzle and bucket, and direct the flow of water into a grassed area. Wash with plain water without using soaps or detergents.  If you must wash with detergents, make sparing use of environmentally friendly soaps or go to a commercial car wash.  Don’t let the hose run continuously, thereby sending excess water and detergents into the gutter.


9.  Keep household cleaning products from becoming hazardous waste.

Do use non-hazardous and environmentally safe cleaning products that don’t contain phosphorous or other toxic chemicals. Avoid having household cleaning products become hazardous waste by buying and using only what you need. Call 692-5411 to find out how to dispose of a particular product.  Don’t pour household products into the gutter.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

© Copyright 2002-2008 City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii
Privacy Statement | Technical Support | Customer Service | Policy | Accessibility | Diversity Statement