TAMPA, Fla. - With Hurricane Dorian no longer a concern for Florida residents, many are left with sandbags after the storm. But before you throw those sandbags away, here are some important tips for what you should and should not do with all that sand.
Hillsborough County recommends keeping and storing clean sandbags in a dry place so you can be prepared for the next storm or potential flooding.
Those who don't want to keep the bags should spread the sand on lawns or landscape beds. But, as officials from the city of Hallandale Beach in Broward County pointed out, sandbag sand is different from beach sand, and should not be dumped on Florida's beaches.
"Sandbag sand and beach sand are not compatible," the city tweeted. "Sandbag sand can cause issues for turtle nesting."
The state of Florida regulates and protects sand on the state's beaches. It is also worth noting that it is illegal to remove sand from the beach; those who do can be fined or even arrested.
Hillsborough officials said any sandbags that have come in contact with floodwater should not be reused in ways that would involve direct human contact, such as in sandboxes, gardens or playgrounds. Floodwaters can be contaminated with sewage, oil, bacteria or other hazardous materials.
Those with sandbags that may have been contaminated should dispose of the bags at a permitted solid waste collection site or landfill. Sand or full sandbags should not be thrown in your regular trash or yard debris.
Starting November 1, residents in Hillsborough County can dispose of sandbags at no charge at any of the county's five community collection centers.
LINK: For more information, visit Hillsborough County's website.