Tips for Setting up a Recycling Program - Commercial Establishments
Village Goes Green Initiative
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Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management
Miami-Dade County Recycling Ordinance No. 91-123 requires that all commercial establishments must recycle.
This ordinance became mandatory in July 1992 and is intended to maximize the amount of waste that is diverted from disposal. Sections 15-2.3, 15-2.4, 15-2.5, and 15-2.6 are the relevant sections for commercial establishments; Section 15-2.3 is given below. Enforcement has recently been ramped up with the assignment of nine County code enforcement officers to the recycling effort.
Chapter 15 SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT
Sec. 15-2.3. Recycling programs required for commercial establishments; joint and several liability.
(a) No later than nine (9) months from the effective date of Ordinance Number 91-123, every commercial establishment shall provide for a recycling program which shall be serviced by a permitted hauler or the appropriate governmental agency and shall include a minimum of three (3) materials of its choice selected from the list provided in Section 15-2.3 below.
Recyclable Materials: Commercial Establishments
(1) High grade office paper
(2) Mixed paper
(3) Corrugated cardboard
(4) Glass (flint, emerald, amber)
(5) Aluminum (cans, scrap)
(6) Steel (cans, scrap)
(7) Other metals/scrap production materials
(8) Plastics (PETE, HDPE-natural, HDPE-colored)
(b) The failure of a commercial establishment to provide a recycling program or a modified recycling program pursuant to Section 15-2.4 hereof shall constitute a violation of this section for which the property owner and the owner(s) and operator(s) of the commercial establishment shall be jointly and severally liable.
(Ord. No. 91-123, § 5, 10-15-91)
To encourage recycling at your business if it is not offered, speak with your waste hauler. The County suggests that you check the renewal date and the renewal clause of your contract for terms and conditions. Many local waste haulers and private recycling vendors offer commercial recycling collection, so you may want to shop around to compare rates and services. If you choose your existing waste hauler, check to see if you can reduce your level of waste service (either the size of your current waste container or frequency of pick-up) to help offset the cost of implementing a recycling program.
Recycling containers and collection schedule: Most recycling and waste haulers provide portable, 96-gallon containers ("toters") that must be placed outside on the day of collection. If you have significant amounts of corrugated cardboard, "cardboard-only" containers are also readily available. Additionally, many businesses have found that employee participation increases when deskside recycling containers are located within individual offices or workstations.
If your business has nothing or only a small amount of material to recycle, consider applying for a Modified Recycling Program.
What happens to commercial establishments that don't recycle?
Rather than penalize businesses that do not conform to the law, Miami-Dade County prefers to assist those uncertain about how to comply by providing specific information and suggestions on how to get started. However, the County does randomly notify, and if necessary, inspect commercial establishments reported to be out of compliance by haulers and concerned citizens. Those who do not comply with recycling may be subject to fines ranging from $300 to $950, based on the size (in square feet) of the commercial establishment.
Need more assistance? Contact Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management.
Telephone: (305) 594-1500