Miramar Gets Better Waste Deal Than County


Miramar has discovered that competition really works in the waste business.

It’s a lesson that the county has yet to learn.

Miramar’s example should encourage competition in the waste industry to spread across Broward.

No more no-bid deals!

No more automatic renewals of long term contracts!

There should be competition in the collection of waste and the separate largely-hidden function of disposing it in a landfill or incinerator.

At stake is billions that home and business owners pay annually through property taxes and utility charges.

“Besides tourism, perhaps the largest business in Broward County is the waste business. It is an economic generator up there with the airport and the seaport,” said one long-time Florida waste expert who asked his name not be used.

Knowing that there was a lot of residents’ money on the line, Miramar Mayor Lori Moseley and a forward-thinking commission acted.  The city rejected the no-bid waste disposal deal that the county Resource Recovery Board had with Wheelabrator, a subsidiary of the giant Waste Management.

Miramar dropped out of the Resource Recovery Board process — most cities accepted the Board deal with Wheelabrator blindly — and put the contract out for bid.

Now the bids are in.

The county under a Resource Recovery deal is paying $57-per-ton to use the Wheelabrator facilities to dispose of waste collected around Broward.

The same Wheelabrator offered Miramar a price of $52.50-per-ton.

That’s a saving of $4.50 per ton, or millions a year that Miramar residents won’t pay to use the same disposal facilities!

Competition gave Miramar a better price.  Wheelabrator finds itself having to bid against a joint venture between Bergeron Recycling and Sun Recycling, rather than be handed a no-bid deal.

Bergeron/Sun’s bid was for $53.85 to $46.20-per-ton depending on how much waste is gathered.

Bottom line: Miramar residents and businesses stand to save literally millions annually.

Taxpayers need to ask themselves why the county got such a bad contract?

Some county source blame County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman — nicknamed the “Queen of Waste” because of her domination over that industry through the Recovery Board.

One source says that Wheelabrator took advantage of the situation when Lieberman became distracted by being caught up in the corruption scandal in Tamarac and the county.  Another says Lieberman has been too close for years to Wheelabrator, which has had a county contract for disposal since the late 1980s. A third source says she was misled by the county staff.

Whatever the reason, a change is on the way.  There are others willing to offer competitive bids for Waste disposal in Broward.

Take a look at that Miramar savings.  Does anybody need further proof that competition in the waste industry is a good thing?

11 Responses to “Miramar Gets Better Waste Deal Than County”

  1. Wayne Arnold says:

    Change is good!

  2. Jerry says:

    The Resource Recovery Board was unable to get a good price from Waste Management for the Interlocal Agreement in Broward without Competition.
    This is a clear signal that competition in this industry is needed.

  3. S.O.B. says:

    Change may be good, but savings is BETTER!!

  4. TamaracTalk says:

    Tamarac just recently changed their company from Republic to Waste Management. This goes into effect October 1st. This contract includes residential and commercial. Every single family home will get the new trash cans that are picked up by the automated trucks. Very good news for Tamarac. Read more here: http://tamaractalk.com/2011/tamarac-trash-talk/

  5. Getyourfactsright says:

    Hey Buddy, get your facts straight. The deal that Lieberman got was for about $48 a ton. Last time I checked, $48 a ton is less than $52.50 a ton. The $57 was the agreement the County got for a 2 year extension of the contract.


    Different deal. Different day. It is comparing apples to oranges.

    The original no-bid Lieberman plan, as you call it, gave Wheelabrator control of Broward’s garbage for decades. We don’t know what other companies would have bid for such an arrangement.

    Also, Bergeron/Sun’s bid was $46.20-per-ton for large quantities — lower than $48-per-ton.

  6. Getyourfactsright says:

    You are wrong again. The $48 a ton deal was for 10 years, not decades.


    Not really, my friend.

    The Browardbulldog described it as “a lucrative new inter-local agreement (ILA) that envisions handling trash for 26 Broward cities for 10 years, with an option for 10 more years after that.”

    That’s decades in my book, especially since Wheelabrator already had 20 years handling Broward’s waste at a much higher rate.

    As Oakland Park Mayor Suzanne Boisvenue was quoted when presented with the Wheelabrator no-bid proposal: “I’m outraged that 20 years have gone by without a bid, and they want to do it again for another 10 years? And another 10 years after that? You tell me how that’s in the best interest of the residents of Broward County.”

  7. Smart Move says:

    I can’t see how the County program works anymore. Why would any city go with the county instead of going RFP now unless the county gets Wheelabrator to beat Miramar’s rate. The next move it seems to me in this saga belongs to the county.

    As to competition to whatever county program ends up being offered, the alternatives clearly involve transfer stations taking trash elsewhere in Florida. Nobody is going to build a duplicate incinerator so there’s no other disposal choice except burying garbage which nobody should want.

    You mention Bergeron as a new player. What is the status of him building a transfer station to compete against the incineration deal? Is that going to happen?

    The proposal presented to Miramar does not include any new transfer station. Here is what it says:

    “Sun/Bergeron will utilize one of the following facilities for disposal; The Southwest Regional
    Landfill (Broward County), Wheelabrator North and/or South (Broward County), The Reuter Facility (Broward County),
    Central Landfill facility (Broward County), Okeechobee Landfill facility (Okeechobee County), The Solid Waste Authority
    of Palm Beach County (the landfill and/or the Waste Energy facility), J.E.D. (St. Cloud, Florida).”

    Interesting that Sun/Bergeron states they may use Wheelabrator’s own facilities.

  8. Getyourfactsright says:

    You seem to love to bash Lieberman whenever you can, but you are dead wrong on this. You can’t blame Lieberman for the original contract 20 years ago. She wasn’t even a commissioner then. If you read the new agreement it clearly says it’s only for a 10 year term and can only be extended if all the cities and the county agree. Otherwise, this contract ends in 10 years, period.
    It’s a joke if Sun/Bergeron thinks it can deliver waste every day to the Southwest contingency landfill. Not gonna happen. Also, to get the lower rates, the cities have to send 1 million tons of waste to Sun/Bergeron. They are not sending anywhere near that now.

  9. Keep Us Country says:

    They had better not reopen that landfill. Are you listening Commissioner Shareef? That’s all I have to say. We here will not stand for it and you will learn that soon enough.

  10. Give Me A Break says:

    Keep Us Country: sounds like you just don’t have a clue. Nobody wants a landfill next to their house or in their community…I don’t recall any county commissioner taking a public position on this issue as it may come up soon…instead of making subtle threats, try being proactive and meeting with all county commissioners, as Commissioner Sharief is ONLY 1 OF 9 votes…she doesn’t carry 9 votes

  11. Keep Us Country says:

    Hey Shareef this is real clear. You represent SW Ranches and the Pines people out here through Miramar and Weston. If you let that dump reopen and stink up this area you are GONE sister. Make no mistake. Diana would never have allowed that to happen and you need to measure up in that same way. Get ‘er done or be gone. No dump.