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Beach Recycling & Litter Removal

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Spectacular ocean views. Sidewalk cafes. A distinctive wave wall. These are what make the City of Fort Lauderdale’s beach an urban tropical paradise, and one we want to preserve by keeping it healthy and clean.  At the end of your glorious beach day, you should have only left your footprints behind.

City maintenance crews combing the beach for litter

Recyclables make up more than half of disposable beach trash.

Plastics are especially important to recycle on a waterfront.  Every year, hundreds of thousands of birds, sea turtles and marine wildlife are killed because they get entangled in plastics or mistake them for food.
Kids Recycling at the Beach

The City has a beach recycling program to help you do your part to keep our coastline vibrant, beautiful and inviting.  Bright blue or concrete recycling containers are available along the City’s recreational beachfront and broadwalk.  Use them to recycle bottles, cans, drink boxes, newspapers, magazines and other recyclable items.  Please be sure not to throw anything that still has food or drink in it into the containers.  For those items, trash containers are usually located nearby, or even attached to the recycling bin.  And, while glass is recyclable, we hope that you will avoid bringing it to our beaches.  Broken glass and bare feet do not mix.

In all cases, if you cannot get to recycling and trash containers, please take your trash and recyclables with you.  If you see litter left by others on the beach or in the water, and if you can safely remove it, please do.  You may save the life of a marine animal by doing so.  

Recycling Right at the Beach

In the Blue Recycling Containers or Special Openings of Dual Containers


In the Trash Cans

Aluminum and steel cans

Cigarette butts (please put out all flame prior to putting butts in the trash)

Plastic bottles and containers

Plastic bags

Glass bottles and jars

Plastic 6-pack can holders

Drink boxes


Cardboard containers (empty and not oil-soaked)

Paper (better yet, take it with you to recycle)

Paper cups (empty, no lids or straws))

Other food wrappers and containers


Trash of any other kind


For Cigarette Smokers

We do allow smoking on our beaches, but we ask our neighbors and visitors who smoke to take extra precautions to make sure that the beach is not used as an ashtray. Contrary to popular belief, cigarette butts do not decompose quickly, and most have parts that are non-organic and are not compostable. Because of their size and color, they can mistaken for food by shore birds. The result can be sick or dead wildlife on our beaches.  

Cleaning up the butts that are left also presents a great cost to the City.  We use special vehicles and staff to comb the beaches each morning.  If you smoke, please carry a small container to store cigarette butts in while on the beach, then discard or empty that container in a trash can when leaving.  To learn more, click here.

Get More Involved

Visit our Green Your Beach Routine page to learn more.  If you would like to do even more to protect our wildlife and preserve the beaches for everyone, you can volunteer to participate in a local waterway and beach cleanup event or become a Green Your Routine volunteer.  



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