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Abandoned Drums

About 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.

One of 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. Illegally dumped drums often contain hazardous and toxic materials, including flammable liquids, poisonous materials, waste oil, and many other chemical hazards.

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.

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.

Reporting an abandoned drum or container

Call 911 if the drum or container is actively leaking, releasing a vapor cloud, or there are adjacent dead animals. You can also report an abandoned drum in your neighborhood by calling the 24-hour Environmental Complaints hotline at 305-372-6955.

Another option is to 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, and callers remain anonymous.

Callers remain anonymous.

You may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 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.)

Do's & don'ts of abandoned drums and containers


  • Approach the drum
  • Kick it, shoot it or touch it
  • Try to figure 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
  • Call the 24-hour, seven-day a week Environmental Complaints hotline at 305-372-6955
  • Get a professional to check out the drum
  • Inform your neighbors of the drum
  • Make sure no one approaches the drum
Back to Top Page Last Edited: Fri May 15, 2015 4:21:55 PM

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