The Department of Solid Waste and Environmental Program Management Delivers First Cart of Beads to the MacDonald Training Center for Bead Reuse Collection Program

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The City of Tampa’s Department of Solid Waste and Environmental Program Management and MacDonald Training Center, a local non-profit working to empower people with disabilities, are continuing the bead reuse collection program for a second year. The program’s intent is to reduce the amount of bead waste generated from local parades entering into the waste stream, while providing a creative reuse opportunity.

Although the beads are not recyclable through curbside recycling, they can be reused. Gasparilla revelers are encouraged to drop their unwanted beads off at any of the established bead reuse collection sites located at: Port Tampa Community Center, Kate Jackson Community Center, Loretta Ingraham Recreation Complex, Copeland Park Center and the MacDonald Training Center starting February 4, 2019, during regular operating hours. Beads collected will be sorted by MacDonald Training Center students and redistributed back to parade crews. In 2018, approximately 3,000 lbs. of beads were delivered to the MacDonald Training Center, sanitized and packaged to be reused in this year’s parade.

Tampa is committed to protecting our environment and this added effort will further protect our marine life and advance our commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle. “In an effort to keep the streets of Tampa and the waters of Tampa Bay clean, we reuse the beads that are collected at the parade. Volunteers in collaboration with City of Tampa Solid Waste and the MacDonald Training Center are able to reduce the environmental impact these beads may have on our marine ecosystems” said Mark Wilfalk, Department Director.

For additional information on the Bead Reuse Collection Program, please call the City of Tampa’s Department of Solid Waste and Environmental Program Management at (813) 348-1146, or visit our website at