ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department's Hazardous Waste Collection program was awarded the "The Public/Private Partnership Award" at the annual Florida Chapter of the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association's (NAHMMA) Workshop in Daytona Beach on May 29, 2008. The award recognizes companies, government agencies, non-profits groups, and political entities that have worked together successfully to accomplish a goal that is supportive of NAHMMA's mission and its Florida Chapter to promote pollution prevention and reduce the toxicity of municipal waste streams. The Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Program was recognized for two outstanding projects: the Unwanted Pharmaceuticals/Medicines collection and disposal project which provides Alachua County residents with an environmentally responsible service for the disposal of unwanted medicines through local pharmacies and the partnering efforts with local retailers to collecting fluorescent and compact fluorescent lamps for recycling.
Since 2005 local pharmacies have distributed information to residents and have made available collection container locations for unwanted medications. When the collection containers are full they are collected and transported by County staff to the Hazardous Waste Collection Center at the Leveda Brown Environmental Park and Transfer Station on N.E. Waldo Road for proper disposal.
The collection of fluorescent lamps at retail locations began in 2000 and since then the program has grown to include eight retail locations throughout Alachua County. The locations distribute information about recycling the mercury containing lamps and how to properly manage broken lamps. Alachua County provides the collection containers and picks them up when full.
As stated during the award presentation, "These two public/private partnerships offer residents more convenient options for pharmaceutical and fluorescent lamp recycling and disposal. Also, they show that when public and private entities work together, everyone wins."
Both of these services are funded by Alachua County and the pharmacies and retailers incur no cost in providing these outstanding services to the residents of Alachua County.
For more information, please contact the Alachua County Hazardous Waste Center at 352-334-0440.