Keep waste and recycling carts five feet away from obstacles

By Gayle Love….
The Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM) converted to automated waste and recycling collection a few years ago in large part to operate more efficiently, reduce costs and deliver neater and cleaner waste service to residents.

Customers can help ensure that drivers can properly service the green waste carts and blue recycling carts by setting the carts away from each other and any obstacles on collection day.

“Some of our residents like to line up the green waste cart right next to the blue recycling cart at the curb on collection day,” said Solid Waste director Kathleen Woods- Richardson. “While that does make for a neat appearance, the automated arms that pick up the carts need at least five feet of space in order to work properly.”

DSWM customers should indeed place their green waste carts and blue recycling carts at least five feet away from each other and any other obstacles such as parked cars, trees, mailboxes, signposts and telephone poles. An easy way for customers to measure this distance is to spread both arms out to the side. For most adults, the distance comes to approximately five feet.

Carts should also be placed three feet or less from the street, but not in the street itself. And the cart’s wheels should always face the home so the lid can open and close properly as the collection truck’s automated arm lifts it.

“Speaking of lids, it’s also very important that the lid on the waste and recycling carts be completely closed for proper cart servicing,” Woods-Richardson said. “When the cart lid is not properly and completely closed, it can be damaged by the automated arm.”

For more tips on proper waste preparation and the waste collection and recycling programs, visit the department’s website at www.miamidade.gov/dswm or call the county’s Answer Center at 3-1-1.

The DSWM provides waste collection services to more than 320,000 households in unincorporated Miami-Dade County and nine municipalities; curbside recycling services to more than 350,000 households in unincorporated Miami-Dade County and 21 municipalities, and countywide disposal services.

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