Despite being issued an environmental hazard notice and fine by local authorities, the Museum of Ice Cream’s plastic sprinkles can still be found scattered around the City of Miami Beach.
Early in January, the often Instagrammed museum received a $1,000 fine from the city for the sprinkles, scattered throughout the streets along Collins Avenue, which were deemed an environmental hazard.
The museum issued a statement claiming that multiple cleaners had been hired to sweep the nearby area around the clock and that multiple blowers had been installed to blast loose sprinkles off attendees leaving the sprinkle pool.
A recent museum attendee, Jose Vargas, said that the sprinkle pool had no blowers. Instead, there was a single fan by the entrance and, once he left the pool, he was asked to shake vigorously to get rid of any sprinkles on his body. The loosened sprinkles were later swept up and returned to the sprinkle pool by an employee.
Another attendee, Diana Linares, cited a similar experience.
“I didn’t see any [blowers],” she said. “The people there did ask us to remove our shoes and try to remove leftovers [sprinkles].”
If consumed, plastic sprinkles can harm terrestrial and marine animals, said Kevin Boswell, a marine ecologist at Florida International University.
In an email responding to inquiries regarding sprinkle containment, a spokesperson stated, “In addition to re-training the staff, adding dividers, and hiring additional staff members and cleaners to maintain the grounds throughout the building, our reconfiguration will keep the sprinkles contained within the 15,000 square feet of the MOIC boundaries. MOIC’s cleaners are currently utilizing specially made $5,000 backpack vacuums to capture sprinkles in the crevices of the sidewalks around the clock.”
But on Sunday, Feb. 4, that was not the case. No designated employee was assigned to sweep up sprinkles, which were still being found in the nearby sewer grates, bushes, streets and beach.
On Tuesday, Miami Beach Code Compliance Officer Benjamin Nunez reported no sign of the sprinkles “in the cracks, sidewalk or street.” Upon contacting the museum’s manager, he said he was told an employee removes the sprinkles “from 7am – 12am.” A maid cleaning service, SUDS, was said to clean the area overnight.
The Museum of Ice Cream is scheduled to remain open until Feb. 26.