Home Chemical Collection Centers: A safe way to dispose of chemicals

By Lee Stephens….
Miami-Dade residents looking for a safe way to dispose of household chemicals have made good use of the two Home Chemical Collection Centers operated by the Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM).

And, residents looking to reuse household chemical products — and save some money in the process — have taken advantage of the DSWM’s “Chem-Again” program.

“For the most recent fiscal year [Oct. 1, 2009 through Sept. 30, 2010], we had 4,175 patrons use our two Home Chemical Collection Centers,” said Kathleen Woods- Richardson, Department of Solid Waste Management director.

Patrons dropped off 509,301 pounds of household chemicals, 1,155 units of compact fluorescent bulbs and 7,452 linear feet of fluorescent tubes at the DSWM’s two Home Chemical Collection Centers during fiscal year 2010. When it comes to used electronics, 829 Home Chemical Collection Center patrons disposed of 4,430 pieces of electronics at the centers.

“Some of the items we collect at our Home Chemical Collection Centers can be reused — that’s where our Chem-Again program comes in,” Woods-Richardson said.

Chem-Again is a DSWM program that offers Miami-Dade County residents, free of charge, new or almost new home chemical products collected at the Home Chemical Collection Centers. In fiscal year 2010, Miami-Dade residents saved an estimated $19,065 through the Chem- Again program, based on the estimated retail cost of items residents received through the program.

“Thanks to Chem-Again, we help save the environment, we save on disposal costs, and our residents save money too,” Woods-Richardson said.

Products offered under the Chem-Again program are subject to availability, and can be obtained only by Miami-Dade residents on a first-come, first-served basis. Household chemical products often available include items such as good quality latex paints, spray paints, sealers, motor oil and pesticides. A list of items available is posted weekly at www.miamidade.gov/dswm on the Chem-Again Program page.

The Home Chemical Collection Centers are available for non-commercial Miami- Dade residents. The centers accept a wide variety of materials, including automobile batteries, used electronics, used motor oil, old paint, fluorescent light bulbs (including CFLs), pool chemicals, tar and more.

The Home Chemical Collection Center in South Miami-Dade is located at 23707 SW 97 Ave., Gate-B. Normal hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A brochure of the DSWM’s Home Chemical Collection program is available at DSWM facilities in print form or online by clicking on the Publications tab at www.miamidade.gov/dswm.

For more information on the DSWM’s Home Chemical Collection Centers, including a more comprehensive list of items accepted at the centers, residents may visit the DSWM website at www.miamidade.gov/dswm or dial 3-1-1, the county’s Answer Center.

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