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Ammunitions Collection Event Makes Environmental Stewardship Easy

September 16, 2009

ammunitions-1~DEP, SWIX and others partner to dispose of more than 770 pounds of old or unwanted ammunition~

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), along with the Southern Waste Information eXchange, Inc. (SWIX), the state of Florida Fire Marshal’s Office and Kevin’s Guns and Sporting Goods collected more than 770 pounds of old or unwanted ammunition last weekend at an Ammunitions Collection Event in Tallahassee. This marked the fourth year DEP has co-sponsored the event.

“Improper disposal of ammunition has potential environmental, health and safety risks,” said Mary Jean Yon, Director of DEP’s Division of Waste Management. “This event made it easy for hunters and other residents to safely remove potentially dangerous ammunition from their homes and prevent it from ending up in Florida’s landfills.”

The proper disposal of old or unwanted ammunition can save lives by preventing it from getting into the hands of young children, and can also help protect the environment by keeping lead and other contaminants from seeping into the groundwater.

Gene Jones, Executive Director of SWIX, first proposed holding a pilot collection event in 2005, after he was unable to find a place to properly and safely dispose of some old ammunition that he had in his home.

“I realized that a mechanism is needed where people can dispose of old and unwanted ammunition in an appropriate manner,” said Jones. “We have experienced a lot of success over the last three years, collecting nearly 5,000 pounds of old and/or unwanted ammunition just in Tallahassee alone.”

Items that were collected from 84 participants include: 442 pounds of shotgun shells, 260 pounds of bullets, 38 pounds of roadside flares, 20 pounds of black powder and 11 pounds of miscellaneous ammunition.

DEP and SWIX will be holding other ammunitions collection events around the state later this year. For more information about the Ammunitions Collection Events, contact SWIX at 1-800-441-7949 or e-mail info@swix.ws.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the state’s principal environmental agency, created to protect, conserve and manage Florida’s environment and natural resources. DEP enforces federal and state environmental laws, protects Florida’s air and water quality, cleans up pollution, regulates solid waste management, promotes pollution prevention and acquires environmentally-sensitive lands for preservation. The agency also maintains a statewide system of parks, trails and aquatic preserves.

For more information on solid waste disposal and recycling, please visit DEP’s Web site at www.dep.state.fl.us/waste.

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