Introducing The Miami Beach Recycling Ordinance And Condominium Ombudsman


Cuevas, Garcia & Torres, P.A..

Tel: (305) 461-9500.

Fax: (786)362-7127.

The City of Miami Beach has two new municipal developments that will impact community association ownership on the Beach. First, the City recently adopted its new recycling ordinance, 12-3768, and Condominium Associations on Miami-Beach with more than 9 units are all affected. Recycling is a worthwhile cause, and the final adopted version of the ordinance strikes a fair balance to both ensure compliance and respect potential challenges associations may have in implementation. Second, Miami Beach Commissioner Jerry Libbin was successful in having a new position of Condominium Ombudsman established for the benefit of condo owners, their boards, their management firm and their law firms. The Ombudsman will be available to assist with issues with the building department, code and fire. Barbara Hawyack has been named to this important new position. Commissioner Libbin and the new Ombudsman are available to speak at community meetings about this new service. To schedule an appearance at their building, associations may call Commissioner Libbin’s office directly at 305-673-7106.

The following is a brief summary of some of the recycling ordinance provisions:

  • The ordinance creates a comprehensive recycling program that must be strictly implemented and adhered to by all associations, An education and outreach period commenced on June 1, 2012, and Associations should review their obligations.
  • By January 1, 2013, Associations will have to enact and provide to the City an approved recycling program. A six (6) month warning period will commence on January 1, 2013. Penalties for failing to submit an approved recycling program are significant, starting at $350.00 for a first offence and going to as much as $2,500.00 for a fourth violation.
  • Associations must be serviced by a licensed recycling contractor.
  • The association will have to use a single stream recycling process to separate the five (5) designated categories of recyclable materials from regular non-recyclable waste. The penalties for not separating recyclables, which were severe in previous versions of the ordinance, have been reduced substantially. Rather than the prior version’s $5,000.00 fine for fifth and subsequent violations, the fine has been reduced to $100.00 per violation from the second violation on. The ordinance provides that injunctive relief may be sought if a violation becomes a public safety issue, and after four (4) offences the city may also seek to revoke the association’s Certificate of Use in addition to any other penalties. There are also fines of $250.00 for all other violations of the ordinance outside of the separation of recyclables.
  • For the sake of comparison, the fines in the previous version of the ordinance:
    • First 6 months after the education period – warning.
    • 1st Violation thereafter – up to $350.00
    • 2nd Violation – up to $500.00
    • 3rd – up to $1,000.00
    • 4th and all subsequent violations: up to $5,000.00 per violation.

This firm would like to acknowledge Commissioner Jerry Libbin’s efforts in actively seeking association participation and input in the recycling ordinance drafting process, advocating for the fine reductions from the prior version of the ordinance, and making the Condominium Ombudsman a reality for Miami Beach community association residents and owners.

The Law Office of Cuevas, Garcia & Torres, P.A.. is providing this newsletter as a brief summary of certain aspects of community association law. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this news letter does not create any attorney-client relationship between the reader and Cuevas, Garcia & Torres, P.A. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this newsletter. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.