D4 News

Hello friends,

I hope everyone had a safe Independence Day holiday.
 
By now, many of you are aware that the City was forced to temporarily discontinue its recycling service.  By a 3 to 2 vote, the City Commission on Monday night did not approve a new recycling contract proposed by Waste Management.
 
First, some quick history about this issue.  The City's recycling contract with Sun-Bergeron expired on Monday, July 2.  The City took many actions to avoid this dilemma such as issuing a bid which had no responses. We also reached out to other companies to no avail. The global recycling market was impacted when China closed its markets to recycled products. Their closure created a significant lack of demand for recycled products. In addition, the State of Florida Attorney General and United States Department of Justice recently allowed Waste Management to purchase Sun's assets from our current vendor, Sun-Bergeron, which effectively re-created a Waste Management monopoly in Broward County by giving them control over a contract that they originally lost.
 
Under the Sun-Bergeron contract, the City was paying $51/ton to process its recycling.  The City had a 5-year renewal contract option effective for July 2, 2018 before Waste Management purchased the company's assets. Waste Management refused to sign the renewal agreement for many Broward County municipalities. Waste Management offered a new contract proposal with an increased rate of $96/ton with a potential for significant additional fees for contaminated materials. The City's estimated contamination rate is in excess of 10% or greater.
 
The reality is that the City used to earn money from its recycling.  The City now breaks even or even could pay more.  The profit associated with recyclables has greatly decreased.  For example, glass now has a negative value.  This is the trend for many other items as well. 
 
Waste Management's increased processing fee of $96/ton coupled with the potential of a "contamination" fee and with the ongoing decline of recyclable commodities could have resulted in an estimated $400,000 increase or more to the City's Solid Waste and Recycling Enterprise Fund budget.  The majority vote was unwilling to submit to what they considered extortion by Waste Management due to their monopolistic position.  The minority vote, of which I was apart, while also appalled by the terms of the contract, wanted to continue the recycling program knowing there was a four-month cancellation provision in the contract.  This would allow additional time for more exploration of alternatives.
 
No one is in favor of putting recycling into a landfill as a permanent solution.  We are vigorously researching new and better options including only collecting certain recyclables and better educating consumers to avoid needless contamination. 
 
In the meantime, the curbside collection of your blue recycling carts will temporarily cease on Monday, July 9.  Residents may continue to recycle clean (non-contaminated) metal, cardboard and styrofoam at the City's Central Campus located at 401 SW 4th Street just off MLK Avenue, south of Hillsboro Boulevard.

A quick tip

~Please avoid recycling pizza and other to-go food cardboard containers.~

 
I understand this issue is of great importance to you. The bottom line is that I remain committed to recycling and protecting our environment for future generations. I will continue to work tirelessly on a sensible solution. I only ask that you be patient and understanding during this momentary discontinuation.
 
Best Regards,

Todd Drosky

Commissioner



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