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Home > Solid Waste Management > Disposal Tips

Recycling and Waste Disposal Tips

The proper way to recycle and dispose of common household items varies from country to country, state to state and county to county. 

Miami-Dade County residents have a number of options to properly and safely recycle or dispose of used or unwanted things. Also, visit Earth911 for a list of retailers that may accept these items.

  • What to place in the recycling cart

    • Paper products 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
    • Metals: aluminum (cans and bottles only) & steel (cans only) food and beverage containers
    • Aseptic containers: polycoated drink boxes, juice cartons and milk cartons
    • Glass: glass food & beverage containers (clear, brown and green)
    • Plastic containers (bottles only): bottles, milk, water, detergent, soda and shampoo containers (flatten and replace cap)

    More Tips

  • Do not put these in the recycling cart

    • Plastic bags: do not place recyclables in plastic bags or place loose plastic bags in the recycling cart - they jam the machines and create significant delays and problems
    • Pizza boxes
    • Paper or cardboard soiled with liquid or food waste
    • Batteries: dry cell batteries, lead acid batteries. See what to do with batteries
    • Certain plastics: plastic bags, cups, utensils and plates, polystyrene (foam) products, egg cartons and trays, margarine and butter tubs, yogurt cups, plastic hangers
    • Certain glass products: window or auto glass, light bulbs, mirrors, glass cookware or bakeware, ceramics
    • Other non-recyclables: wire coat hangers, small appliances, microwave trays
    • Home chemicals: paints, pesticides, pool chemicals, fertilizers and other household hazardous waste
    • Garbage/food waste or other nonrecyclable waste: gas cylinders, tanks, rocks, dirt, building debris, garden hoses, flammables 
    • Medical waste and pharmaceuticals
    • Electronic waste and accessories: PCs, monitors, televisions, printer cartridges, keyboards, cell phones, CDs and DVDs
    • Textiles: clothes, shoes, bedding, pillows, etc.
  • Batteries

    Dispose with household garbage
    • Alkaline (manganese) and Carbon Zinc – AA, AAA, C, D, 6V, 9V
    • Reusable (rechargeable) Alkaline Manganese – AA, AAA, C, D

    Dispose at a Home Chemical Collection Center

    • Button batteries – C-type 3V Lithium is the most common
    • Lithium / Lithium-Ion – 3V, 6V, 3V button
    • Nickel-Cadmium (rechargeable) and Nickel Metal Hydride (rechargeable) – AA, AAA, C, D, 6V, 9V
    • Sealed Lead Acid (rechargeable) – Multiple of 2 volts: 2V, 6V, 12V
    • Silver Oxide

    Return to place of purchase

    • Lead Acid Vehicle batteries – 6V, 12V

    More tips

  • Cooking Oil

    Reuse or recycle
    • Allow the oil to cool and decide if it can be reused
      • For reuse: Deep-frying oil such as peanut oil can be used several times; Strain the oil and store it in a sealable container
      • For recycling: Some stores sell pots to recycle oil. Large amounts an also be recycled with the help of a local restaurant or at a Home Chemical Collection Center (Commercial businesses cannot use the Home Chemical Collection Center for disposal)

    Dispose with household garbage

    • If it’s a small amount of oil, carefully pour it into a strong sealable container, or an old plastic or glass jar, then dispose with your garbage
  • Electronics

    Dispose at a Home Chemical Collection Center. Eight of the 13 Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers also accept electronics.
    • Computer monitors and televisions
    • Personal computers, keyboards, hard drives and printers
    • VCR's, audio and video equipment
    • Communication equipment such as cellular telephones and hand-held radios
  • Gasoline

    Dispose at a Home Chemical Collection Center
    • If it’s not old and you can’t find someone to give it to, you can drop off up to 10 gallons, in approved containers, at a Home Chemical Collection Center
  • Grasscycling

    Reuse grass clippings at home
    • Leave clippings on the lawn after mowing to decompose, releasing nutrients back into the soil
  • Household Chemicals

    Proper disposal of home chemicals
    Certain chemical products can be brought to a Miami-Dade County Home Chemical Collection Center for proper disposal. When preparing to deliver a chemical product, remember:
    • Pack all containers upright in sturdy boxes
    • Tighten lids and caps on all containers
    • Place leaking containers in a larger container, along with an absorbent material such as newspaper
    • Make sure all containers are labeled. If the original label has fallen off, re-label it with the contents or any information you have, or label it "UNKNOWN CHEMICALS"
  • Light Bulbs

    Dispose at a Home Chemical Collection Center
    • Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) and traditional long-tube fluorescent lights

    Dispose with household garbage

    • Standard incandescent light bulbs
    • Halogen bulbs
    • LED bulbs
  • Medicine

    Dispose with household garbage
    • Keep medicine in original container and cross out your name and prescription number
    • Add water or soda to dissolve pills; Add something inedible to prevent ingestion for liquids
    • Secure the container with tape, place it in a larger bottle or container, seal it then throw it in the trash
    • Do not flush expired or unwanted medication down the toilet or drain
  • Sharps

    Dispose at a Florida Department of Health location

    Items include syringes, needles, lancets and other sharp medical utensils. Place them in approved biomedical waste sharps containers or heavy duty plastic that can be secured and closed. Seal the top or lid with heavy-duty tape.

    • West Perrine Health Center – 18255 Homestead Avenue, Tel. 305-234-5400
    • Health District – 1350 NW 14 Street, Tel. 305-575-3800
    • Environmental Health & Engineering – 1725 NW 167 Street, Tel. 305-623-3500
    • Little Haiti Health Center - 300 NE 80th Terrrace, Tel. 305-795-2100
  • Used Motor Oil

    Dispose at the Golden Glades, Moody Drive or Snapper Creek Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Center
    • Bring oil in a durable, tightly-closed container; Up to 5 gallons are accepted
    Visit the Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Center page for locations and hours for Golden Glades, Moody Drive or Snapper Creek.

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