TAMPA - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) along with the
Southern Waste Information eXchange, Inc. (SWIX), the State Fire Marshal’s Office and Shoot Straight
Tampa collected more than 530 pounds of old or unwanted ammunition last weekend at an ammunitions
collection event in Tampa. This marked the fourth year DEP has co-sponsored the event, but the first
time it was held in the Tampa area.
“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
in Tallahassee, after he was unable to find a place to properly and safely dispose of some old
ammunition he had in his home. Tallahassee has hosted events for four years.
“I realized that a mechanism is needed where people can dispose of old and unwanted ammunition in
an appropriate manner,” Jones said. “We have experienced a lot of success over the last three years,
collecting nearly 5,000 pounds of old and/or unwanted ammunition in just Tallahassee alone. We were
pleased to be able to provide this collection event in the Tampa area with funding assistance from
Items that were collected from 31 participants include: 127 pounds of shotgun shells, 139 pounds
of bullets, 250 pounds of flares and 12 pounds of gun powder and black powder.
DEP and SWIX may 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
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. Images from the event available upon request.