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- About abandoned drums and containers
- Reporting an abandoned drum or container
- Do's and don'ts of abandoned drums and containers
As the Miami-Dade County community has grown more aware of the needs of our environment, we pay attention to the actions of those around us. Environmental crimes are crimes against us all.
The most common crime against the environment that we experience in Miami-Dade County is abandonment of drums or similar containers. Potentially dangerous chemicals are left by roadsides, in ditches, or hidden from scrutiny on empty lots, or in abandoned warehouses. These drums of toxic chemicals are "abandoned" by people who, most likely, are attempting to avoid the cost of proper and safe disposal.
Miami-Dade County's Emergency Response Coordination Unit works in cooperation with the Miami-Dade County Police Department's Environmental Investigation Section to investigate cases of drum abandonment and similar crimes and tracks them back to their origin. These environmental sleuths then prosecute the offenders.
Environmental criminals can spend up to five years behind bars, and have to pay for the cleanup of the dumped materials.
Miami-Dade County takes drum abandonment very seriously because of the risk to the public's drinking water supply, and the risk that someone may come into direct contact with these abandoned drums and their contents with potentially fatal results.
Illegally dumped drums often contain hazardous and toxic materials, including flammable liquids, poisonous materials and many other chemical hazards. Drums have even contained rotten eggs, Freon (an illegal ozone depleting compound) and septic waste.
These drums create a potential health risk for individuals who accidentally ingest or touch the contaminated surface water, groundwater, sludge or soils around the drum. In addition, drums of waste chemicals that are dumped on the side of roads or on private property cost thousands of dollars each week to clean up.
The illegal abandonment of drums is a way for companies or individuals to reduce their waste disposal costs; however, it is also a very simple way to increase pollution and health hazards within the community.
So, if you see an abandoned drum, please report it promptly!
Call 911 if the drum or container is actively leaking, releasing a vapor cloud, or there are adjacent dead animals. To Report an Environmental Crime or Complaint in your neighborhood call the 24-hour hotline at 305-372-6955.
Or call Crime Stoppers, a community project supported only by voluntary contributions of money, goods, or services, at 305-471-TIPS. The majority of information received by Crime Stoppers is via telephone. The 305-471-TIPS hotline is staffed daily from 7 a.m. to 7 pm by members of the Crime Stoppers Unit. At night and on weekends an answering system is used to record information. Crime Stoppers WILL accept toll calls.
Callers remain anonymous.
You may be eligible for up to $1,000 reward for tips leading to arrests! (Callers must call in periodically to track the status of the case. The Crime Stoppers Unit does not call back since names and numbers are not recorded to guarantee the caller's anonymity.)
Approach the drum
Kick it, shoot it, or touch it
Try to figure it out its contents
Keep the information to yourself
Call 911 if the drum or container is actively leaking, releasing a vapor cloud, or there are adjacent dead animals.
Call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS
Get a professional to check out the drum
Inform your neighbors of the drum
Make sure no one approaches the drum
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