Another Broward landfill to expand by 20 acres to meet increased demand

As Broward gets ready to debate the expansion of a privately-owned landfill, it has already made plans to grow its own — and some residents could pay for the increased demand.

A 20-acre expansion is planned for the Broward County landfill on unincorporated land off U.S. 27 and Sheridan Street near Pembroke Pines.

Vehicles wait to enter the Broward County Landfill on Thursday, May 16, 2024. A 20-acre expansion is planned for the Broward County landfill on unincorporated land off U.S. 27 and Sheridan Street. (Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

(Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Vehicles wait to enter the Broward County Landfill in Southwest Ranches on May 16. A 20-acre expansion is planned for the Broward County landfill on unincorporated land off U.S. 27 and Sheridan Street. (Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

The county would expand by 10 acres now, at a cost of $1 million per acre, because a study showed the landfill only had four years left to add to it before running out of space, Notosha Austin, interim director of the county’s Solid Waste and Recycling Services, recently told county commissioners.

The remaining 10 acres would start to be prepped now at a cost of $200,000 per acre for future expansion.

The expansion will be funded by revenues collected from the landfill.

It’s required for continuity of operations, Austin told the South Florida Sun Sentinel in an email. “It will allow us to provide our customers with continued service by accepting the same materials as we do today including bulk waste and construction and demolition. However, we do not bury yard waste or vegetative waste. Also, we do not accept household garbage or food waste at our landfill,” she said.

County Commissioner Beam Furr said the move is expected to come “pretty soon” although no date has yet been set.

The landfill is also the possible future site for a trash-burning incinerator, rankling neighbors who fear environmental hazards. The landfill is on a 588-acre parcel, which includes wetlands.

While household trash gets routed through Waste Management’s landfill in the northern part of the county, this county-owned landfill accepts residential drop-off in three locations. It also accepts hazardous waste — like paint, chemicals and batteries —and electronics, such as TVs and computers, from more than a dozen cities. And it accepts bulk, like furniture, and yard waste from nine cities.

Pembroke Pines Mayor Angelo Castillo said his city was unaware of the pending expansion.

“Construction debris is something they’ve been doing there for a long time,” he said. “If they want to expand it to include more construction-related debris that doesn’t generate any environmental risk or harm to the surrounding communities, we would take a look at it, but we haven’t been informed by the county of any such plan.”

County officials said the upcoming budget request for the next fiscal year will include:

— $50,000 to be used toward a new residential drop-off center in Pompano Beach to replace the early 1970s building that is “in very poor condition.”

— There will also be a request for nearly $1 million in new equipment that includes dealing with switching from manual to automatic leachate-monitoring, what’s known as “garbage juice.”

— There’s also $236,000 toward the south county residential drop-off center in West Park.

— $500,000 for two new transfer stations — at the county landfill, and the northern residential drop-off center in Pompano Beach — to get the garbage to its final destination.

And, Austin said her department is requesting a special assessment increase of $20 to help the agency meet the demand for property owners who are within the Broward Municipal Services District, formerly referred to as unincorporated Broward.

The 4,571 households are still considered unincorporated. Property owners there now pay $350 is solid waste fees on their property taxes; that would increase to $370.

That is limited to the neighborhoods of Boulevard Gardens, Broadview Park, Franklin Park, Hillsboro Pines/Hillsboro Ranches, Roosevelt Gardens and Washington Park.

Another proposed expansion

The discussion about county-owned landfill expansion comes at the same time Waste Management is seeking to grow 100 feet taller — and wider, too, on 24.2 acres at its landfill. That vote is expected to come before the County Commission within months.

Waste Management warns that if its plans don’t go through for the expansion at the Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park, located at 2700 Wiles Road which borders Coconut Creek, it will be forced to truck garbage elsewhere, which will come at a price increase for residents.

Lisa J. Huriash can be reached at lhuriash@sunsentinel.com. Follow on X, formerly Twitter, @LisaHuriash

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