The Path to a Greener Broward

By Cooper City Mayor Greg Ross, Chair of the Solid Waste Working Group and Commissioner Bob Mayersohn, President of the Broward League of Cities

As printed in the October 10, 2022 print edition of South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Click here to link to the the Path to a Greener Broward on the Sun Sentinel website. 

There’s no getting around the fact that every community in Broward is thriving, however, the amount of waste we generate, 4 million tons annually, has serious effects on our environment. From our inland suburbs to our coastal cities, we need a comprehensive countywide solution for our solid waste and recycling services. If we don’t act soon, the future of a sustainable Broward may be unattainable. To support a sustainable and fiscally smart future, we need to unite as ONE community to form a cooperative and cohesive group to develop a system that maximizes recycling opportunities and provides for progressive solid waste disposal.

To that extent in 2019, a memorandum of understanding, approved by Broward’s municipalities and the County, created the Solid Waste Municipal Delegates Task Force to bring representatives from all 31 cities and the county together to collectively identify solutions to our solid waste and recycling issues. The Solid Waste Working Group (SWWG), a representative group comprised of members from the Task Force, has since drafted an Interlocal Agreement (ILA) that will provide all 31 cities and the County with direction on increasing recycling, including education and information and a comprehensive solid waste disposal system – with a focus on affordably and sustainably- to everyone who lives, works, and plays in Broward. Following input on and the adoption of the ILA, a Master Plan will outline the steps we will take as ONE community to address our collective waste and recycling needs for generations to come.

To provide background, a waste generation study will take a deeper look into the types of waste being produced countywide, the percentage of waste coming from commercial versus residential properties, and what facilities are needed to dispose of the waste. As we continue to move this effort forward, we are asking all 31 cities to critically review and provide comments on the ILA.

Some cities are concerned about buying into a new recycling program and transitioning away from Waste-to-Energy (WTE) incineration because of the potential cost each city may incur. Some are not recycling now because it’s so expensive for each city to go about it on their own, but if we buy in as ONE Broward community, it will make it more affordable for every city, every resident, and ultimately support a greener Broward.

The responsibility of a more environmentally conscious community falls on all of us to make an investment that will serve future generations. If you are in favor of embracing a more environmentally sustainable future and reducing your garbage and recycling fees, please take the time to reach out to your city’s mayor or commissioners and let them know that you support the ILA. Our goal is to have all 31 cities and the county review and provide feedback on the ILA by 5 p.m. on October 14, 2022. As a taxpayer or business owner, your opinion matters. Together we can meet and hopefully exceed our garbage and recycling needs. Together, we are ONE BROWARD.