Curbside recycling education program wins national award

By Gayle Love….
The Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM) recently won a coveted 2011 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for the DSWM’s ongoing Curbside Recycling Education Campaign.

“We are proud to win this prestigious award,” said Kathleen Woods-Richardson, Solid Waste director. “It took a significant effort to educate our customers when we first converted to our current single-stream recycling program. We wanted to keep that momentum and excitement going for recycling, and our education efforts have continued paying off as we are consistently seeing excellent results.”

The DSWM began to transition from its old dual-stream recycling program to the new streamlined single-stream program in June 2008. The transition was completed by the end of 2008.

In the first fiscal year of the new recycling program, FY 08-09 (Oct. 1, 2008 through Sept. 30, 2009), the DSWM collected nearly double the tonnage of recyclable materials as it had done the last fiscal year of the old program (31,778 tons in FY 07-08 versus 59,616 in FY 08-09). In FY 09-10, Miami-Dade curbside recycling customers recycled 60,808 tons of glass, plastic, aluminum, steel and paper.

The DSWM’s curbside recycling education program involves several components and is done in three languages — English, Spanish and Creole. Print and electronic advertisements, campaign literature, news articles, presentations, email alerts, educational videos and the Web are all some of the tools used to educate and inform residents about the DSWM’s single-stream recycling program.

The DSWM provides curbside recycling service to 348,000 single-family households in the unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County as well as all residences in 21 participating municipalities. South Dade areas include Cutler Bay, Florida City, Medley, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest and South Miami.

For more information on Miami-Dade County’s recycling program, visit the DSWM’s website at or call 3-1-1. For more information about NACo, visit

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