Deirdre Lord, who owns the Megawatt Hour, said her company has come a long way since it began operating in December 2011. Back then, it offered just one product to help its commercial and industrial clients manage, track, and forecast their energy usage and expenses. But Ms. Lord said the company learned more about its customers’ needs through conversations that provided important feedback. “It’s not one-size-fits-all,” she said. As a result, the company now offers three products.
She is also pleased that the Megawatt Hour identified sales channels that should help it get new customers more quickly. For example, it formed partnerships with energy consultants who will use the the company’s products with their clients. She estimated that the number of customers using the original product has tripled in the last year but believes that the insights she has gained about her customers and the improved ways of reaching them are ultimately more significant. “None of that existed a year ago,” she said.
Still, she acknowledged it’s hard to feel satisfied. “I always want to grow more quickly, and feel more confident that the business is going to take off,” she said.
“The unending desire to want to grow, grow, grow can derail you,” responded Beth Shaw, the group member who owns YogaFit. “I think that a lot of the challenges that I’ve personally gotten into have been because I tried so hard to grow my business in a way that maybe it’s just not supposed to grow — unless some V.C. company comes in and gives us a bunch of cash.”
Susan Parker, who owns dress manufacturer Bari Jay, stressed the importance of taking small steps. “I know that we all have these big goals in front of us and we want to get there,” she said, “but if you don’t celebrate the little accomplishments along the way, you’re not going to get to the big ones.”
“That is totally true,” Ms. Lord said.
“You’re going to get burned out,” Ms. Parker said.
Ms. Lord said she has gotten better at saying, “Look at where we are compared to even six or 10 months ago.”
“I’m really bad at acknowledging the good stuff because I’m a worrier by nature,” said Alexandra Mayzler, who owns Thinking Caps Tutoring. To help counteract that, she said she introduced pizza parties to recognize team members who are doing good work and also began complimenting them openly during huddles. These practices help her remember what has been accomplished. “You can get lost in the day-to-day,” she said.
Ms. Lord said she could relate to “the worrying part.” One of her biggest concerns is her products’ high degree of technical complexity, which requires her company to hire top technologists. In this market, she noted, they can find work anywhere. “We’re not Facebook, and everybody likes the social media platform, so it takes a unique individual,” she said.
Jessica Johnson, who owns Johnson Security Bureau, jumped in to say she wanted to revisit Ms. Shaw’s comment about growth. “One of the lessons I’ve learned this year is sometimes you can grow by subtraction.”
“That’s what I’m trying to do right now!” Ms. Shaw said.
“We’re always so busy thinking about what we need to add that we don’t think about what we need to get rid of so we can do better,” Ms. Johnson continued.
At previous meetings, Ms. Shaw discussed her plans to cut much of her company’s underperforming clothing line. “I really feel that by simplifying, the business will grow and I can get rid of dead weight,” she said. She said she wants to find a level at which she can maintain the business until the day when an investor or partner might enter the picture. For example, she said, YogaFit is discussing a partnership with a large athletic equipment company.
For now, she is focused on an office move. Although she still hasn’t sold YogaFit’s building in Torrance, Calif., she said she was about to sign a lease for a building in Los Angeles to house YogaFit’s training center, store, and staff. She has high hopes that the new space, which will have an open layout, will foster more collaboration and better communication among her staff.
“We have a real communication issue,” she said. One example: at one point, three staff members within the same department were working, in isolation, on the same sponsorship deal.
Ms. Shaw said she also recently realized that YogaFit was focusing too much on operations — and neglecting sales. It took “some months that were really down in revenue,” she said, to force her to recognize the issue. She said everyone in the company should be trained to be a sales representative, from customer-service employees to yoga trainers. And when her chief operating officer recently left the company, Ms. Shaw decided not to replace her. Instead, she hired a sales manager who will manage every employee except for those in the accounting department.
Reflecting on why sales hadn’t previously been a higher priority, Ms. Shaw said that, on some level, selling seemed to “go against the nature of the business.” She added, “We’re in the yoga industry, you can’t really be hard sell.” Still, she said, she now realizes that YogaFit can’t be no-sell either.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment January 11, 2013
Bergeron has allied with Southern Waste Systems of Palm Beach County to compete against Waste Management, which has long been a power in the waste disposalbusiness in South Florida.
One of Waste Management’s leaders in the early years was Wayne Huizenga, who then went on to take Blockbuster and AutoNation (NYSE: AN) to success.
The hearing involved the city of Miramar awarding a contract to the Sun-Bergeron Partnership that Waste Management tried to usurp. The contract is widely expected to be used as a model by other Broward County cities and help lower rates for solid waste services, which are often a major expense for both households and businesses.
Bergeron is a developer, land owner, contractor and mine owner who often appears at social events wearing western garb, complete with a cowboy hat. He also speaks passionately about the Everglades, which are pretty much across the street from his western Broward ranch.
A few years ago, he lost the tip of one finger when he was giving a demonstration about alligator wrestling.Uncategorized | Leave a comment January 8, 2013
Under federal law, the failure to pay a minimum wage allows an employee to file suit in Federal Court. Under the State’s Constitution, the failure to pay a minimum wage allows an employee to file suit in Circuit Court. Now, as of January 1, 2013, an employee who is not paid earned wages within a reasonable time can file a complaint with Broward County.
The new Broward County ordinance, designated the “wage theft” law by pundits, is different from the federal and state law in that it does not have, as its threshold, any minimum hourly wage that must be paid. Instead, it provides a cause of action when an employer fails to pay any portion of wages due to an employee within a reasonable time from the date the compensation was earned. The minimum claim for relief that can be brought under the law is $60. The employee must notify the employer in writing within 60 days that wages are owed as a precondition to filing a complaint with the county. A claim must be filed within one year or it is barred. If the employee files a federal or state claim, the complaint is deemed withdrawn.
Like the federal and state laws, the ordinance is remedial in nature, meaning that its terms will be liberally construed in favor of claimants. In addition, a finding that wages are owed will result in a liquidated damages penalty to the employer, which doubles the amount of the award. Miami-Dade enacted a similar ordinance in 2010, which provides for treble damages. The Miami-Dade ordinance has similar thresholds and procedures. Both laws provide that a prevailing employee can be awarded attorneys’ fees incurred in obtaining relief. Employers, however, can only recoup their attorney’s fees upon a finding that the claim was frivolous.
Claims under the ordinance can arise when, for example, an employee alleges that time records are inaccurate or that he worked off-the-clock. Employees who allege they were denied commissions, or who assert that they were not paid accurately under a piece work or other unconventional pay arrangement will also likely have a cause of action.
Unlike the federal and state statutes, there is no right to a jury trial. The county, however, will appoint a Hearing Officer. Such officers must be members of the Florida Bar for at least five years. The County must attempt to resolve the claim prior to a hearing. If these efforts fail, the officer conducts an evidentiary hearing and issues a ruling. The burden to prove a violation rests with the claimant. Under the ordinance, however, where an employer is required to keep records of work hours and compensation (as all are under federal law), the burden of proof shifts to the employer if the records do not exist or are not accurate.
Final Lesson: Every employer, no matter its size, is subject to the ordinance. The attendant risk is that even a relatively small claim can quickly result in high stakes litigation given the fees provision in the ordinance. Creating and maintaining records showing time worked and compensation paid is therefore critical, whether one is defending claims under federal, state or the new ordinance.
Angelo M. Filippi, Esq. is a partner and director of employment law at Kelley, Kronenberg, Gilmartin, Fichtel, Wander, Bamdas, Eskalyo and Dunbrack, P.A. in Plantation.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment January 8, 2013
She may be a millionaire, but Yu Youzhen, a woman from China’s Wuchang District who works six days a week as a sanitation worker, believes being humble is integral to being wealthy.
China SMACK reports that Yu Youzhen and her husband had been vegetable farmers who, over the course of many years, rented out spare rooms in their home. They saved enough to build some apartments, only to have their land taken by the government. When they were finally reimbursed, they found themselves rich.
But Yu’s not living off the profits. Her job, which she’s had since 1998, isn’t some volunteer positionthat requires a few hours per week. She wakes up at 3 a.m., dons an orange jumpsuit and picks up litter along a 3,000-meter street for six hours a day. Her paycheck amounts to around $230 per month.
She spoke to a local paper about how she witnessed her neighbors squander similar fortunes on drugs and other vices. She feels that working hard will set a good example for her children and help to keep them out of trouble.
“A person can’t just sit at home and ‘eat away’ a whole fortune,” Yu explained. She said she told her kids that if they didn’t work she’d donate the apartments to the country.
So far, so good. Her two kids are both employed and earning a modest living. Her son works as a driver and her daughter is an office worker.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment January 6, 2013
When Gus Lopez was arrested in October on 63 charges ranging from money laundering to bribery, even the most jaded Miami Beach residents were amazed at the extent of his alleged corruption. For five years, the city’s procurement director had run a contract racket out of his office at city hall, prosecutors say. Lopez connived to award multimillion-dollar contracts to friends, who then funneled more than $600,000 to him, his model wife, and accomplice Pierre Landrin Jr.
- South Beach’s Corrupt Projects: From Bathrooms to Frozen Yogurt Stand
January 1, 2013
- Miami Beach’s Former Procurement Chief Arrested On Corruption Charges UPDATE
October 22, 2012
- BCS Championship in Miami: Official Party Guide
January 4, 2013
- Miami Beach Police Find Dead Man at Marseilles Hotel
January 2, 2013
- December 2012 Restaurant Openings and Closings
January 1, 2013
The scam was splashed all over the papers. But little has been written about the lasting consequences of Lopez’s corruption. His scheme not only cost Miami Beach taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars but also saddled the city with shoddy public works projects — many of which are over budget or years overdue.
Take, for instance, a project to build new bathrooms at 35th Street, which the city put out for proposals in August 2009. Despitebidding nearly $9,000 more than competitors, Harbour Construction was awarded the $405,055 contract. The reason: Lopez, through Landrin, had cut a deal with Harbour to steer the contract to the company in return for 3 percent, or roughly $12,000. No one at Harbour, which didn’t respond to requests for comment, has been charged over the alleged bid tampering. Even worse, Beach taxpayers forked over nearly a half-million dollars for what turned out to be two pastel-blue outhouses.
Just down the road, at the renovated Miami Beach Botanical Garden, the chief architect praised how the new plan improved “circulation” within the space at the October 2011 reopening. But the real circulation at work was the $44,000 that Harbour paid to Landrin and Lopez to land the $1.4 million contract. What better place for newlyweds to pose for photos than a garden rooted in graft?
On Dade Boulevard, construction workers have commandeered the road for the past yearto pour cement encasing Collins Canal. The seawall restoration project was supposed to be part of an ambitious plan to build a bicycle lane across Miami Beach. Twelve months later, there is no sign of a bike path. That’s because Lopez again conspired with Harbour, selecting the lowest of six bids to ensure the company received the $3 million contract. When Harbour didn’t have the credit to finance the project, Lopez and Landrin made another $30,000 by falsifying the documents. Whether or not the bike path is ever built, taxpayers are the ones taken for a ride.
But the most ridiculous remnant of Gus Lopez’s racketeering just might be one you can taste. According to prosecutors, Kim Pham, the owner of local frozen yogurt company Blissberry, paid Landrin $5,000 to help obtain a contract to sling dessert at South Pointe Park. Pham, who didn’t respond to requests for comment, hasn’t been charged with a crime, and it’s unclear if she knew her money was buying Lopez’s favor, but the scam is enough to sour your next scoop of fro yo.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment January 6, 2013
A Miami Beach man was killed at his apartment Saturday, and it wasn’t long before officers arrested the suspect, police say.
About 11:15 a.m. Saturday, police received a report of shots fired in the 1300 block of Euclid Avenue, situated in the southern part of Miami Beach, police department spokesman Bobby Hernandez said.
Officers found the victim, in his 50s, at his apartment, and witnesses told police they saw the suspect leaving the apartment, police said.
Witnesses “played a major role” in the arrest, giving officers enough information to quickly find and detain the suspect a few blocks away at Alton Road and 16th Street, Hernandez said.
The names of the victim and suspect haven’t been released. Detectives were questioning the suspect to determine what his relationship was with the victim. Police also will look into whether drugs led to the killing, police said.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment January 5, 2013
Regular Trash, Garbage and Recycling Pick Up on
New Year’s Holiday Tuesday, January 1, 2013, for
City of Miami Residents
(Miami, FL December 31, 2012) — The City of Miami Department of Solid Waste will
be conducting regularly-scheduled bulky trash, garbage and recycle pick-up on New
Year’s holiday Tuesday, January 1, 2013. Those residents whose garbage, trash and
recycling are always collected on a Tuesday should place their items out as they usually do.
Residents with questions or concerns are encouraged to call 311.
Residents are reminded to:
· Place garbage, recycle carts and bulky trash out in front of their home on
the public right of way and away from phones/cable/electricity lines, under
trees, utility poles, fire hydrants, fences, vehicles and/or 5 feet away from
· Prepare for the upcoming hurricane season by trimming any trees/palms
and placing it out in front of their home on the public right of way on their
regularly scheduled trash pickup day ONLY.
· Residents can place their Christmas trees separate from their regular
trash. The Solid Waste Department will pick up the trees and convert it
into mulch, which will be recycled and available for city residents.
Christmas trees will be picked up during the regular trash day from
through January 31, 2013.
The City of Miami’s Department of Solid Waste has free mulch available for anyone
interested at our Virginia Key Mulch Facility located at:
3851 Rickenbacker Causeway
Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
For information call (305) 960-2801For more information, please contact Customer Service 311.
The cranes are coming back to Miami.
The battered construction industry is going higher in the new year after showing strong signs of life in 2012. Will Miami feel more like Manhattan in a few years? It just might.
So far, there has been more talk than action, fewer shovels in the ground than grand announcements. Even so, construction is underway on a dozen new condominiums in Miami-Dade County — something that seemed beyond the realm of possibility not so long ago.
Commercial building is picking up, too, particularly in Miami’s hot new urban core.
The construction sector, which posted 62 consecutive months of job losses in Miami-Dade as of November 2012, is expected to finally begin adding jobs in 2013.
By far the centerpiece project to date is Brickell CityCentre, a $1.05 billion shopping and mixed-use project that broke ground in June 2012 and will span three blocks just west of Brickell Avenue to the south of the Miami River.
The 5-million-square-foot mega-project by developer Swire Properties will include a department store, luxury shops, restaurants, a hotel, office towers and condominiums. It is expected to be connected with bridges and covered walkways and to cement downtown Miami’s emerging image as a trendy place to work, live and play.
In Brickell alone, three new condominium projects already are under construction: Jorge Perez’s Related Group is building Millecento, a 42-story tower with 382 units, and MyBrickell, a smaller project with 28 stories and 192 units shoehorned onto a 0.4-acre site. Newgard Development Group is building BrickellHouse, a 46-story, 374-unit project.
More building, much more, is coming.
“We’re going to see a lot of cranes popping up in the first and second quarter, and a year from now, we’re going to see cranes all over the skyline,” said Tom Murphy Jr., chairman and CEO of Coastal Construction, a large Miami builder that is involved in various projects, from hotels to condominiums. “I believe we as a community — South Florida, especially Miami — will build more in the next 10 years than we did in the last 15.”
Among a long roster of projects, Coastal was tapped by developer DACRA for a major renovation project in the Design District, which in 2012 marked the arrival of luxury fashion retailers such as Cartier, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Celine, Christian Dior and Prada, adding a new dimension to an area already known for home furnishings and restaurants.
DACRA president and CEO Craig Robins has a broader plan to bring in 40 to 50 luxury brands to the Design District by 2014. The area will have a pedestrian promenade, rooftop gardens and public plazas, in keeping with Miami’s emerging urban scene.
The focus on commercial development in Miami’s urban core, is all about providing more services to cater to the new residents who want everything within walking distance.
Spanish developer Espacio USA will break ground in 2013 on the first phase of a $412 million mixed-use project at 1400 Biscayne Boulevard. Starting with one 103,000-square foot office tower, the project will eventually include retail shops and residential units.
“It’s becoming much more of a New York lifestyle, and we’ll continue to see that,” said Ron Shuffield, president of Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors in Coral Gables.
Construction starts in Miami-Dade County posted strong gains in 2012, rising 62 percent through November to $3.16 billion from the same period of 2011, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. The recovery in 2012 followed six consecutive years of dramatic declines from the 2005 peak when construction starts hit $7.94 billion in Miami-Dade.
Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction, said because construction starts lead the pace of construction spending by about a year, “The substantial increase for construction starts in 2012 for Miami-Dade county means that construction spending in 2013 will increase, and along with it, construction employment.”
Brickell CityCentre, for example, has about 100 people working, but their ranks will swell to 300 in the next six months and eventually reach up to 3,500 workers, according to Chris Gandolfo, senior vice president of development for Swire. There will be 11 cranes on site this year.
“I would expect 2013 to see a significant increase in construction employment,” said Brad Meltzer, president of Plaza Construction, which has lined up apartment, condo, hotel and shopping-center work around Miami-Dade and has been staffing up.
“We’re cautiously optimistic,” Meltzer said. “We have a significant amout of work under contract currently, but you never know if that is going to stay — like last time.”
When the financial crisis hit, many projects were abruptly shelved or canceled.
Meltzer said investments in Miami by prominent national real estate investment firms like LeFrak, LNR and Simon Properties bode well for the area: “It’s great to see big strong clients in South Florida.”
Leading the surge in new development: nearly 100 condominium projects have been proposed in South Florida since the downturn, according to Bal Harbour-based Condo Vultures, which tracks the market. Most experts predict only a fraction of those will come to fruition.
A key driver will be the availability of financing. Lenders, still leery in the wake of the real estate crash, are balking at backing new condos. So far, nearly all the new condominium projects are being financed by the unit buyers, who typically put up 50 percent to 80 percent of the purchase price over various stages of construction.
That financing model — which essentially amounts to an unsecured loan to the developer — has attracted almost exclusively foreign buyers, primarily Latin Americans drawn to Miami as an investment safehaven. Political uncertainty in countries like Argentina and Venezuela fuel the trend.
Even so, many people doubt that foreign demand for fancy condos will be sufficient to sustain the many projects that are being talked about.
“Are there going to be enough people to fund the construction of those units? I’d be surprised,” said Jack McCabe, founder and CEO of McCabe Research and Consulting. “I think 25 percent to 33 percent of the projects announced actually will get built.”
Many of the proposed projects are ultra-luxury towers along the ocean, from South Beach to Sunny Isles and Aventura with amenities such as wrap-around terraces, private pools and individual elevators.
Coconut Grove is also a magnet for luxury development, albeit at lower density. “There isn’t a square inch of the Grove that isn’t being looked at,” Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, managing partner of Cervera Real Estate, which markets new condominiums for developers, said at a real-estate roundtable in November.
The new condominium projects are rising in a sort of parallel universe even as the suburbs remain burdened by thousands of distressed homes. Miami-Dade Circuit Court has a backlog of 53,000 foreclosure cases, and new filings have been rising since a settlement last spring between big banks and 49 state attorneys general over lenders’ practices provided clearer ground rules.
As more foreclosures and short sales are processed, they are sure to constrain housing prices, which have been rebounding off recession lows.
While lenders are generally skeptical of condominium projects, they are readily lending for the construction of new rental apartments, an area expected to grow solidly.
Rents are rising; occupancy is strong. For many people, buying a home isn’t financially feasible. Others simply prefer to rent. At the same time, the supply of rental apartments in Miami-Dade was gutted during the boom when many were converted to condominiums.
Miami developer Armando Codina, who previously focused on commercial projects and industrial parks, and Miami-based Adler Group, a major commercial developer, both are pursuing rental apartment projects in Miami-Dade to capitalize on the robust demand. Institutional lenders — insurance companies, real estate investment trusts and pension funds — drawn to the steady income from rental projects, have been eager to invest long term, making banks comfortable with financing construction.
Industrial construction has also picked up. With industrial real estate sale prices in Miami-Dade County hitting record levels and vacancy rates dropping, last year marked the beginning of a mini building boom under way in the warehouse district west of Miami International Airport.
After several years when industrial warehouse construction ground to a halt in Miami-Dade, there is now nearly one million square feet of warehouse space under construction, plus another two million square feet planned. Much of the space is being built without tenants because the owners are so confident in the market’s future.
“Institutions with a lot of capital tend to go in areas that have the highest potential for growth,” said Steve Medwin, managing director of South Florida for Jones Lang LaSalle. “Miami is really the shopping cart for Latin America. The growth of international trade is giving us a leg up on the recovery compared to the rest of the country.”
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/03/v-fullstory/3166853/the-return-of-the-cranes-miami.html#storylink=cpy
Miami Dade spots to recycle trees:
City of Miami residents:
Leave tree on the curb before Jan. 31 and the Solid Waste Department will pick it up to be mulched.
Miami-Dade County residents:
Includes unincorporated Miami-Dade, Aventura, Cutler Bay, Doral, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Miami Gardens, Miami Lakes and Sunny Isles Beach.
Take tree to one of the recycling centers:
North Dade – 21500 N.W. 47 Ave.
Norwood – 19901 N.W. 7 Ave.
Palm Springs North – 7870 N.W. 178 St.
Golden Glades – 140 N.W. 160 St.
West Little River – 1830 N.W. 79 St.
Snapper Creek – 2200 S.W. 117 Ave.
Sunset Kendall – 8000 S.W. 107 Ave
Chapman Field – 13600 S.W. 60 Ave.
Richmond Heights – 14050 Boggs Dr.
West Perrine – 16651 S.W. 107 Ave.
Eureka Drive – 9401 S.W. 184 St.
South Mia. Heights – 20800 S.W. 117 Ct.
Moody Drive – 12970 S.W. 268 St.
Or one of the Home Chemical Collection Centers:
West Dade – 8831 N.W. 58 Street
South Dade – 23707 S.W. 97 Ave., Gate B
Mulch will be available beginning in mid-January:
West Perrine – 16651 S.W. 107 Ave.
Eureka Drive – 9401 S.W. 184 St.
Moody Drive – 12970 S.W. 268 St.
Sunset Kendall – 8000 S.W. 107 Ave.
West Little River – 1830 N.W. 79 St.
North Dade – 21500 N.W. 47 Ave.
Or the Virginia Key Mulch Facility at 3851 Rickenbacker Causeway
For more information:
Call 3-1-1 or go to http://www.miamidade.gov/publicworks/library/flyers/christmas-tree-recycling-2012.pdf
Broward County spots to recycle trees:
C. B. Smith Park, 900 N. Flamingo Rd., Pembroke Pines 33028; 954-357-5170
Easterlin Park, 1000 N.W. 38th St., Oakland Park 33309; 954-357-5190
Fern Forest Nature Center, 201 Lyons Rd. South, Coconut Creek 33063; 954-357-5198
Markham Park & Target Range, 16001 W. State Rd. 84, Sunrise 33326; 954-357-8868
Plantation Heritage Park, 1100 S. Fig Tree Lane, Plantation 33317; 954-357-5135
Quiet Waters Park, 401 S. Powerline Rd., Deerfield Beach 33441; 954-357-5100
Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park, 2520 N.W. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale 33311; 954-791-1036
Snake Warrior’s Island Natural Area, 3600 S.W. 62nd Ave., Miramar 33023; 954-357-8776
Tradewinds Park & Stables, 3600 W. Sample Rd., Coconut Creek 33073; 954-357-8870
Tree Tops Park, 3900 S.W. 100th Ave., Davie 33328; 954-357-5130
T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park, 3300 N. Park Rd., Hollywood 33021; 954-357-8811
Vista View Park, 4001 S.W. 142nd Ave., Davie 33330; 954-357-8898
West Lake Park, 1200 Sheridan St., Hollywood 33019; 954-357-5161
More information: http://www.broward.org/PARKS/THINGSTODO/Pages/Chip-a-TreeProgram.aspx
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment January 3, 2013
The presents have been opened and family pictures have been taken. Now it’s time to throw away the trees that filled South Florida living rooms with festive lights and the smell of Christmas.
Rather than putting the tree out with the trash, residents in some parts of Miami-Dade County have the option to turn their tree into mulch. Think of it as a seasonal circle of life. December’s holiday cheer will help nourish spring flowers of the new year.
“It’s good for the environment,” said Miami-Dade Public Works spokesperson Gayle Love. “This is really the best way to manage these trees.”
Residents in unincorporated Miami-Dade County and nine participating municipalities can take their trees to one of the 13 trash and recycling centers or two home chemical collection centers that are open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The trees will be mulched in the middle of January, and the sweet-smelling mulch will be available for free on a first-come-first-serve basis. People must bring their own containers to pick up the mulch.
In Broward, residents may take their trees directly to a participating park where it will be mulched and used for park landscaping.
The “Chip-a-Tree” initiative received more than 9,000 trees last year, and this year will be accepting trees until Jan. 21. Hours vary, so call the park before taking the tree.
In Miami-Dade, more than a hundred trees had been brought to that one center in the past few days, said Miami-Dade spokesman Frank Calderon, speaking from the Eureka recycling center Wednesday. He said total numbers would be hard to predict, but people had been coming in with a tree “every few minutes.”
Trees destined for the mulcher must be free of lights, tinsel and ornaments, Calderon said.
In Miami-Dade County, trees that are chopped up and put in green waste carts or left on the curb will go to the Resource Recovery Facility in Doral to be converted into biomass fuel.
Residents in the City of Miami can leave their trees on the street, separate from regular trash, and the Solid Waste Department will pick them up until Jan. 31. These trees will also be recycled for mulch, which will be available for free at the Virginia Key Mulch Facility.
Even though Christmas is over, come mid-January, the smells of the season will come back, this time in South Florida gardens.
“It’s very fragrant when it’s mulched,” Love said. “It keeps the Christmas spirit alive.”
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/02/3165164/what-to-do-with-leftover-christmas.html#storylink=cpy