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Commercial Waste Requirements

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Waste management and collection in the commercial sector are governed by a variety of local, State and Federal laws and guidelines. Some of these apply across industries, and others are particular to type of business. Some apply regardless of business size, and others allow flexibility. In general, all businesses based in or operating within the City of Fort Lauderdale are required to comply with all applicable rules and regulations pertaining to the types of waste generated in the course of business.

Establishing Service

The City of Fort Lauderdale does not provide waste collection service for the commercial sector. Business must contract directly with a waste hauler which has authorization to operate within the City of Fort Lauderdale. These haulers are granted a franchise within the City, and must reapply at intervals. New haulers may be granted franchise at any time, and existing haulers may lose their franchise if they do not meet the City's requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that the haulers you contract with remain authorized to conduct operations here.

We cannot recommend one hauler over another. However, we can provide you with a Licensed Haulers granted franchise to operate with the City of Fort Lauderdale.

Dumpsters and Collection Containers

It is in your best interest to monitor the amount of waste that your business generates and to "rightsize" your dumpsters and collection containers. In many cases, businesses pay for dumpsters that are bigger than they need. You can potentially lower your overhead and beautify your surroundings by having a discussion about container size with your hauler. Additional information, including a helpful calculator, can be accessed here

All dumpsters and collection containers and carts for all manner of waste must be placed out of the public right of way. To maintain the beauty of our City, we also encourage that they be positioned so that they are not visible from sidewalks and other public walkways.

Dumpsters and collection containers must be equipped with a lid to prevent litter from blowing out and onto the street, or the business owner must provide an additional means for preventing litter in the public space.


Recycling for Businesses

Recycling in the commercial sector is not required at this time in the City of Fort Lauderdale. However, we strongly encourage businesses based in or operating here to support our goal to recycle 75% of waste by the year 2020. It's good for our City, and it can be good for your business too.

Increasing recycling reduces garbage. Because haulers get paid for recyclables, but pay to drop garbage at the landfill, these savings can be passed on to you and recycling can be more cost effective. In addition, if you generate large quantities of certain types of recyclables, you can contract directly with a processor, potentially creating a revenue stream for your business. Finally, surveys show that employees are increasingly loyal to companies which invest back in communities and demonstrate a sense of social responsibility. Recycling is one way that you can do that.

Hazardous Waste Services for Business

The City of Fort Lauderdale cannot accept hazardous waste generated by businesses at any of our Hazardous Waste Drop-off Events. This is because we are not equipped to handle the volume, nor some of the specialized waste that businesses generate, and because commercially generated hazardous waste usually requires more frequent collection.

Hazardous waste generated by businesses may include, but is not limited to:

  • Electronic waste
  • Medications, medical waste and biohazards
  • Chemicals
  • Paint, solutions and solvents
  • Flammables, fuel, and fire extinguishers or chemicals
  • Motor oil and other automotive fluids
  • Pesticides and fertilizers
  • Florescent lighting
  • Items containing mercury, lead and a variety of other hazardous elements
  • Batteries or all sizes and types

Businesses must keep current on and adhere to all guidelines applicable to the type of hazardous waste generated, must contract directly for timely collection of hazardous waste, must ensure that their hazardous waste haulers are licensed and follow all rules and regulations, and must take all precaution to protect the general public. 

Information for Businesses Operating Out of Residential Properties

If you work out of a single-family home or an apartment, in most cases your solid waste will be collected as if you were a resident. Certain restrictions may apply depending upon whether your business generate hazardous waste, an excessive amount of waste, is located in sections of the City where we do not provide service, or other conditions. Please check our Property Information Reporter to determine whether your location is serviced by the City or must be privately arranged.

Information by Industry

Certain industries generate specific waste. We encourage you to consult industry associations for advice on reducing waste in your supply chain and in your operating environment.

It is also of vital importance that all waste be kept our of our canals, rivers and other waterways. Waste generated by businesses presents a particular risk for run-off through our stormwater management system. Please familiarize yourself and your employees with Stormwater Pollution Prevention guidelines in general and for your particular industry.

Reducing Waste in the Public Arena

The City of Fort Lauderdale collects waste and recycling in public areas such as sidewalks, bus stops, parks, and the beach. We ask our business community to help us to reduce waste in the public space by considering what happens to your products or their components once they are in the hands of the consumer. Review the 10 questions here. Your goal should be to answer "yes" to as many of them as possible!

  1. Is your product used up completely, or is it recyclable or compostable?
  2. Is the packaging recyclable or compostable?
  3. Are you able to reduce or eliminate difficult-to-recycle items such as polystyrene foam, single-use bags and hangers? Or, can you provide a means for customers to return these to you for bulk recycling?
  4. Do you provide recycling containers for your customers to use and redirect recyclables there when customers use the wrong container?
  5. Do you encourage customers to bring their own bags and containers?
  6. Do you partner with a charity or other organization that can re-use items? And allow customers to participate?
  7. When working at a residential property, do you follow guidelines for disposing of waste in our residential containers?
  8. Do you haul away the waste that you generate and dispose of it properly according to all rules and regulations?
  9. Do you select your suppliers in part by how they support waste reduction?
  10. Do you keep the exterior of your property litter free?


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