When talking to environmental experts in the area about how we can do more to move towards a sustainable future, the one thing they ask is for more people to practice proper recycling procedures. One bag of garbage thrown into a recycling bin, either on purpose or by accident, can contaminate a whole recycling load. Reviewing the recycling guidelines and rules will help Miami residents get a better handle on proper recycling.
If we have the luxury of continuously taking from mother nature’s resources, paper, food, glass, and other materials, it’s part of our responsibility to give back. Follow along in this easy guide to see if you are recycling properly in Miami.
- Step number one: for recycling in Miami, proper sorting. This ensures your curbside recycling actually gets recycled, instead of ending up in the landfill. Full details below.
- Containers with liquid or food can spoil everyone’s recycling in a collection truck.
- Gunk on plastic makes it less likely to get recycled.
- Shake or wipe liquid or food out of containers (no need to rinse them).
- Plastic shopping and garage bags are not recyclable! Do not bag up your recyclables and toss them into the blue bin. Drop them out of your bags into the bin.
- Garage bags are not opened at recycling-sorting facilities. So, if your recycling is in a black bin bag, it will go to a landfill.
- Non-recyclable materials can cause the equipment to jam up or break down.
- Items such as hoses, wire hangers, plastic bags, and string lights work their way into the belts and joints of the machinery.
RECYCLE: MOST OF YOUR ITEMS WILL GO HERE (blue bin)
NOTES: For Recycling in Miami: Miami-Dade County’s curbside recycling program has made it easier for residents to Recycle Right with The Simple 5:
- Paper: clean and dry newspapers, magazines, catalogs, telephone books, printer paper, copier paper, mail, and all other office paper without wax liners
- Cardboard: packing boxes, cereal boxes, gift boxes, and corrugated cardboard; flatten all boxes before placing them in your cart
- Cans: steel and aluminum food & beverage cans; aluminum bottles are also accepted
- Cartons: aseptic poly-coated drink boxes, juice cartons, and milk cartons
- Bottles: (plastic & glass) – plastic bottles* milk, water, detergent, soda, and shampoo (flatten and replace cap); glass bottles.
*NOTE: Numbers on plastics are no longer useful indicators of recyclability. Miami-Dade County recycles plastic bottle containers regardless of the number listed.
WHAT NOT TO RECYCLE
- NO Batteries: dry cell batteries, lead acid batteries. See what to do with batteries.
- NO Certain plastics: plastic bags, cups, utensils and plates, clamshell containers, polystyrene (foam) products, egg cartons and trays, margarine and butter tubs, yogurt cups, and plastic hangers.
- NO Certain glass products: window or auto glass, light bulbs, mirrors, glass cookware or bakeware, ceramics.
- NO Electronic waste and accessories: PCs, monitors, televisions, printer cartridges, keyboards, cell phones, CDs, and DVDs.
- NO Garbage/food waste: gas cylinders, tanks, rocks, dirt, building debris, garden hoses, flammables.
- NO Home chemicals: paints, pesticides, pool chemicals, fertilizers, and other household hazardous waste.
- NO Medical waste and pharmaceuticals.
- NO Other non-recyclables: wire coat hangers, small appliances, and microwave trays.
- NO Plastic bags: do not place recyclables in plastic bags or place loose plastic bags in the recycling cart.
- NO Pizza boxes: Paper or cardboard soiled with liquid or food waste.
- NO Textiles: clothes, shoes, bedding, pillows, etc.
NOTE ABOUT PLASTIC BAGS
When you place a plastic bag or other soft plastic items in your recycling container, the plastic bag ends up jamming the machinery. The facility shuts down at least two times a day where workers have to cut bags out of the machinery. Here is an example of how plastic bags get caught in the machinery:
- Do not place any soft plastics in your recycling container, and do not bag your recyclables.
- Keep all recyclables loose in your recycling container.
COMPOSTING AT HOME: ITEMS THAT WILL DECOMPOSE
Of all the beautiful food grown in the U.S., 40% of it is not eaten and as a result, 95% of food waste goes to the landfill/incinerator. You can change that!
- Miami-Dade County’s Department of Solid Waste Management is hosting Home Composting Workshops in cooperation with the Miami-Dade County Cooperative Extension.
- Visit the Miami-Dade County Public Library’s Calendar of Events or call the Pinecrest Branch Library at 305-688-4571 to find out about the next class.
- Home composting of yard waste and select kitchen waste takes materials that could wind up in a landfill and converts them into compost, a useful product for all South Florida gardens.
- It also avoids the energy and carbon emissions associated with the transportation of this material to a centralized final disposal site.
- Anything that was a plant can be composted.
NOTES: ITEMS THAT CAN BE COMPOSTED
Materials that come from plants contain nitrogen and carbon, which over time can decompose. That material can then be used as a slow-release fertilizer, a soil amendment, in your potting soil, or in your raised-bed vegetable garden.
In addition, home composting helps the environment as it is waste that is not transported to a landfill.
The following materials known as “greens” are high in nitrogen:
- Coffee grounds
- Fruit and vegetable kitchen scraps
- Grass clippings
- Green leaves
- Tea bags
The following materials known as “browns” are high in carbon:
- Brown leaves
- Chipped tree branches
- Crushed egg shells
- Paper coffee filters
- Stale cereals and rice
The following materials SHOULD NOT be placed into compost, would make it unusable for mulching and repurposing:
- Broken Tools
- Blocks and bricks
- Construction debris
- Cups and other fast food containers
- Dirt and rock
- Pet waste
- Treated and painted wood
SELL, DONATE, OR RECYCLE FURNITURE & HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
Reusing, selling, donating, and recycling unwanted items is an important component of growing a Circular Economy which is a large part of preserving the world’s environment and keeping it environmentally safe.
If you have several larger household items, jewelry, electronics, sporting equipment, or such that you no longer want AND don’t feel like dealing with, there is a simple stress-free solution with Remoov. Their service does it all.
- Send them photos of your unwanted items (all categories).
- You’ll receive an estimated price, then they pick up and sell, donate, or responsibly recycle it for you.
- Other advantages include:
- Multiple Platforms- Your item is listed on all their sales platforms- finding the “right” channel to sell a variety of items. Remoov uses its own consignment store and e-commerce platform, The Local Flea, as well as dozens of other potential resale channels to ensure your items are marketed to the largest audience possible and sold for you at the best price possible.
- Low Cost– You pay a pickup fee based on your item volume, but no additional storage fees after!
- Value– Mint condition items are priced at around 70% of retail. Remoov can range from 20-70 % return on the original value, with a median of 45%.
- Professional Advantage– Integration with different marketplaces, and appraisers are all part of Remoov’s services and an advantage to you. Professional appraisers on staff provide accurate resale estimates as well as the best sales channels for each item. These trained experts examine pieces to assess their value, determine authenticity, and as a result, can often uncover hidden gems.
Use An All-In-One Service!
Get started today and get a free estimate for your pickup! And for quick answers to all your questions check out the FAQ Page.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: Check out this guide on “How To Responsibly Recycle Everything” including books, clothes, and electronics HERE.
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