Recycling and Trash Collection in Miami-Dade County

A Guide to Miami-Dade's Waste Management System

A pile of black rubbish bags.
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When your garbages needs picking up in Miami, its the Miami-Dade Department of Solid Waste Management who is the exclusive provider for residential refuse, recycling, and bulky item collection.

The department leads the "Keep Miami Beautiful" campaign with a goal to enhance environmental awareness, beautify the public right-of-way, deter illegal dumping behavior, and ensure code compliance. Also, the department is responsible for mosquito-control initiatives throughout the city.

Trash Pick-Up System

City Department of Solid Waste sends garbage trucks to residents twice a week and recycling pickup once a week using a manual collection or an automated collection system. You can look up your neighborhood's collection days .

Residents in the pickup areas are entitled to receive two bulky waste pickups each year. Each pickup may consist of up to 25 cubic yards.  You may schedule this pickup online or by calling 3-1-1.

You need to notify the city if you want to start a new waste collection service account, order a new waste or recycling cart, or report illegal dumping. Illegal dumping can occur in any neighborhood at any time of the day or night. Never confront an illegal dumper. Instead, write down details like the description of the vehicle, vehicle markings, or a license tag number and provide this information when reporting the crime. If you witness an illegal dumping incident, visit the report problems portal to report it online or call 3-1-1.

To report damaged or stolen waste and recycling carts, if your waste or recycling cart is damaged in the collection process, call 3-1-1 and Miami-Dade County will repair or replace your cart free of charge. If your cart is stolen, call the police department (non-emergency number) and obtain a case number. Contact 3-1-1 with the police case number, and a replacement cart will be delivered to you at no charge.

About the Department of Solid Waste

The Department owns and operates one of the most technologically advanced waste-to-energy facilities in the world. This facility, which is supported by two landfills and a regional transfer system, is the anchor of the county's disposal system. In all, the disposal system handles more than 1.3 million tons of waste each year.

The department collects refuse from roughly 320,000 households. Those households are located in the unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County including the cities of Doral, Miami Gardens, Miami Lakes, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Sunny Isles, and Sweetwater. If you live in another area, your trash pickup is handled by your local municipality.

There are a number of trash and recycling centers for a do-it-yourself dropoff disposal option that is open every day with the exception of some holidays.

The county operates two home chemical collection centers that accept oil-based paints, pesticides, solvents, pool chemicals, unbroken fluorescent light bulbs (including older, long-tube fluorescents, modern compact fluorescent light bulbs [CFLs] and other fluorescent types), and other electronic waste.

History of Sanitation

When ancient Rome reached 1 million people, it no longer became feasible to throw human waste out of windows or doors. This unsanitary method of disposal was credited with spreading disease. And, it was a smelly, unsightly mess. The ancient Romans invented a sewer system.

In mid-19th century London, the garbage was piling up in the streets. An outbreak of cholera spread throughout the land. A city committee created the first organized, municipal trash pick-up system. America followed suit.

New York City, became the first American city in 1895, with a public-sector controlled garbage collection system. More American cities adopted a similar system, including the Miami-Dade Department of Solid Waste Management in the 20th century.