Update: Debate On Mount Trashmore’s Future Delayed A Month





Debate on the future of Broward’s smelly Mount Trashmore landfill was delayed a month until the swearing-in of newly-elected Commissioner Mark Bogen, who represents the neighborhood around the dump.

Bogen, who will take office in January, spoke from the audience and asked that the issue be delayed.

“Since District 2 (North Broward) has no representative, I’m going to ask it be postponed,” Bogen said.

Commissioners voted 6-2 to postpone the issue until mid-January. Commissioners Stacy Ritter and Barbara Sharief were the only votes to debate Mount Trashmore immediately.

Ritter and Sharief, who have ties to a garbage company’s chief lobbyist, wanted their colleagues to approve a new contract “in concept” governing the landfill along Florida’s Turnpike. The proposed document potentially could allow more trash to be dumped in Mount Trashmore.

Ritter pointed out that she was seeking only a preliminary vote and final action would take place after Bogen took office.

But commissioners decided to put all discussion of the issue off.

Long an eyesore that blanketed parts of North Broward with the smell of decaying garbage, the Mount Trashmore site has two components:

(1) A landfill owned by the refuse disposal firm, Waste Management.

(2) A plant that burns waste to generate energy owned by a Waste Management subsidiary, Wheelabrator Environmental Systems.

The proposed contract changes were prompted by Waste Management’s pending sale of its Wheelabrator waste-to-energy plants to another company.

Wheelabrator’s key lobbyist in Broward is Mike Moskowtiz, a former Broward Democratic state committeeman and lawyer. He has significant ties to Ritter and Sharief.

Moskowitz is particularly close to Ritter. For instance, she chose him to introduce her at her re-election kickoff two years ago at Kings’ Point condominiums.

The lobbyist, acting as a lawyer, also was chosen by Sharief earlier this year to defender her against an ethics complaint. She pleaded guilty in November to mistakenly filing false financial disclosures over three years and agreed to pay a $3,000 fine.

The proposal that the two commission friends of Moskowitz suggested would dramatically alter business at the Mount Trashmore site.


Mt_Trashmore_panorama_01Mount Trashmore from Sample Rd. 



It would allow the company to close its waste-to-energy plant next to Mr. Trashmore.

The new contract would potentially increase the garbage dumped at the landfill by more than a half million tons annually.

Ritter guaranteed that the new proposal would provide benefits to the county once it was completed.

According to one calculation under the proposal, Wheelabrator would pay the county $22 million. This would would help offset a $32 million price tag on a pending settlement of a law suit by various cities.  The cities contended they were owed money from the close of the countywide Resource Recovery garbage disposal system, which the county controlled.

“We wanted to get this on the table and go from there,” Ritter said. “In the end it will have some parts that Wheelabrator wanted and some that the county wanted.”

Any added garbage at Mount Trashmore  is sure to spark renewed complaints from North Broward residents.

The landfill, more than 200 feet high, has been criticized for its foul smell described by residents and businesses as similar to a leaking septic tank.  Waste Management has paid repeated fines for environmental violations.

Many of the complaints were generated by Coconut Creek residents.  As a public relations gesture in 2011, the company renamed the landfill Monarch Hill because Coconut Creek styles itself “The Butterfly Capitol of the World.” But the former nickname Mount Trashmore and the smell refused to go away.

The landfill management and Coconut Creek are in a new dispute. On November 14, Coconut Creek City Attorney Terrill Pyburn accused Waste Management in a letter of being in violation of an agreement that limited Mount Trashmore disposal. Pyburn alleged that the landfill was accepting more refuse than was allowable under a three-year old agreement with the city.

The agreement between the waste firm and Coconut Creek was designed to curb odor.

During the next month, commissioners will field calls and e-mails from North Broward residents, business owners and city officials looking for guarantees in any new contract that curb the smells and growth of Mount Trashmore.



On Monday, Mayor Becky Tooley of Coconut Creek sent the e-mail below to residents. The decision being made tomorrow is not the final decision.  A final vote will come sometime in the future, after the neighborhood’s newly-elected Commissioner Mark Bogen is sworn in. (The links to e-mail commissioners does not work in this version)


December 8, 2014

Broward County Commission to Vote on Item that Could Affect you!

The City of Coconut Creek would like to notify our residents of a very important item that is going before the Broward County Commission tomorrow, Tuesday, December 9th at 10:30 am. It is important to note that the Broward County District that Coconut Creek belongs to (District 2) is currently without representation and will have no voice in this vote.

County officials are set to make a decision on the closure of the North Broward Wheelabrator Waste-to-Energy facility, located at the landfill. If approved, this action would especially affect the residents of North Broward, especially Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Coral Springs, Margate and Parkland.

The City of Coconut Creek currently has an agreement in place with Waste Management that all processable waste is to be diverted from the Monarch Hill landfill into a waste to energy plant. We believe that the approval of this proposed amendment will permit Waste Management to dispose of processable waste in the landfill in contradiction to our agreement.

We would like to encourage residents to attend this meeting on December 9th and/or to contact your County Commissioners to object to this agreement until such time as a County Commissioner representing our district is sworn into office.

If you are unable to attend this very important meeting tomorrow, please click this link to the Broward County Commission and send an email that simply says:

Subject: Oppose Agenda Item #76 regarding Wheelabrator

“I object to the closing of the North Broward Wheelabrator Waste-to-Energy facility. I strongly urge you to object to, or at a minimum, table this agreement until such time as our new County Commissioner Mark Bogen, representing our district, is sworn into office and has ample time to review it. This item has dire quality of life consequences to the residents of my community.”

You may also contact each Commission member individually with the information below:

County Commissioners:

Tim Ryan, Mayor

Martin David Kiar, Vice Mayor

Stacy Ritter

Chip LaMarca

Lois Wexler

Beam Furr

Barbara Sharief

Dale V.C. Holness

The Commission meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 9th at 10:30 AM at the Broward County Governmental Center located at 115 S Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, room 422. Please be at the meeting by 10:00 AM.

Attached to the bottom of this message is the draft of an amendment that is scheduled to be heard and approved by the County Commission regarding the closure of the North Broward facility.

For more information on this item and the backup information go to the county’s website www.broward.org/Commission/Meetings/Pages/AgendasAndMinutes.aspx .

With best regards,

Mayor, Becky Tooley, City of Coconut Creek

18 Responses to “Update: Debate On Mount Trashmore’s Future Delayed A Month”

  1. creekywheel says:

    The County negotiated this for nine months and no one knew about it? Who negotiated the secret deal? Sunshine violations???


    Mike Moskowitz and others from Wheelabrator have had three meetings with County Manager Bertha Henry since July and the subject was “waste.” Meetings with the county manager are not covered by the Sunshine Law, but I wonder if the commission was being kept in the loop?

  2. We Know says:

    The Broward Commission has been in the pocket of Waste Management since 1990. They made all the waste go to Waste Management’s electric plant. I would watch carefully how they hand over the store to this company and its lobbyists like Moskowitz again.

  3. The Guess Who says:

    Welcome to Mark Bogen’s County Commission District! Good luck!

  4. Shitty Activist says:

    Deerfield should sign on to the deal if the county allows them to annex the landfill. It is win-win for them as they would get a huge windfall in property tax revenue and the smell is really negligible on the north and east side, where Deerfield lies.

    The county is two faced on annexation where it comes to the landfill. They demand cities absorb all unincorporated areas,EXCEPT the landfill. Deerfield surrounds the landfill so that is where it should go.

  5. Watching the wheels says:

    Where is aspiring Coconut Creek Candidate Jim Waldman on this issue? Tough spot for Jim down the road, either way could be detrimental in a Senate race.

    Sniff Sniff, the smell of a bluff is getting more pungent…..

  6. Nevins Fan says:

    Buddy, this article was an excellent analysis of a very complicated situation, Buddy. Waste Management has gottten away with contract violations for years. For exmple, they made agreements not to expand and to close the landfill as far back as the 80s and 90s.
    I intend to speak at the Commission meeting Tuesday the 9th, though I suspect they will postpone that agenda item to another date, most likely a date designed to minimize the number of citizens attending. Nevertheless cities and individual citizens need to bulldog this one. It is in the best interest all of all of us to do so. It involves huge bucks and quality of life.

  7. Just Say No! says:

    This landfill was supposed to close in 1993 and then again in 1998. This stinks. Waste Management is going to sell Wheelabrator that now owns the incenerator for hundreds of millions of dollars that the citizens paid for long time ago. Is Waste Management going to give the proceeds back to the citizens that paid for initially? I smell a class action lawsuit in the works that Waste Management will settle. Who wants to take bets that this landfill will still be operating 20 years from now. You think they will still have lobbyist? You think they will still be contributing to politicians?

  8. Lamberti is a Criminal says:

    You people keeping re-electing these criminals to the commission. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?

  9. you must be kidding says:

    thank kristin jacobs for her asleep at the switch staffers and whether out of town by design but this was hatched years ago when she “Missed” a big meeting …..and they rewarded her with a Tally gig!
    All nine now on the dais need trash to vgo somewhere as they keep approving more and denser development.
    What are we supposed to do?
    eat our trash?
    When winds are from north, east or southwest,those in the path know it.
    For once I would like to citizens really incensed and speaking up. But 8% voted in the district 2 race so we know how strong disinterest runs in Broward.
    GFL folks!

  10. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    7:24 a.m. on the Tuesday am Prague to Ostrava Express for the local train to Opava Czech Republic. Mr. Lamberti is a Criminal says: has the probem in a nutshell. Why do people elect creatures like Ritter and Sharief who then are pawns for even worse characters like Mike Moscowitz? Because in my native Florida, where my family has lived for 4 generations, people are only concerned about a). how much their rent or taxes areand b)). how much they can sell their condo or house for. The richer you are, the more likely you have a REAL HOME elsewhere in New York, Latin America, Europe, or North Carolina. You will notice all these places but North Carolina have HEAVY ESTATE TAXES which Florida does NOT have, which is why South Florida is flooded with rich people who ignore local government because except for taxes it doesn’t effect them.
    Let’s be honest, my fellow Jewish Democrats vote like lemmings for Jewish Democrats, the Irish Catholics vote for other Irish Catholics, Blacks for Blacks, Hispanics for Hispanics. No one cares whether X is a crook, as long as he or she “is one of us”. I could complain about Seiler not screaming bloody murder and Trantlis and Roberts voting for a PLANTATION RESIDENT to be on the FORT LAUDERDALE CITY COMMISSION, but my fellow Jewish Democrats INCLUDDING FAMILY MEMBERS voted for a Jewish Democratic Congressman FOR DECADES who NEVER LIVED IN FLORDIA! I mean the problem is THE PEOPLE who DONT CARE about honesty and don’t even know how sleazy Ritter and her forkocka husband the “lobbyist”and Sharief and her ethics challenged business is!!!!!!!
    Remember the blogging on the School Bonds? I was so happy Miss Greenbarg was “educating” us about the School Board. and what happened? A group of rich lobbyists gota huge win for the school bonds.

    I mean its great people on this blog try to improve the government, but frankly, again, ITS THE PEOPLE STUPID who are the PROBLEM.

  11. Well Said says:

    @10 / The Count………you are spot on…..Well Said…….

  12. Floridan says:

    “thank kristin jacobs”

    Then why did they wait until she was off the commission? I would be surprised if any District 2 commissioner would support this as it stands.

  13. just sayin' says:

    I don’t get it. They want to close the incinerator near Mt Trashmore and send the waste to burn to another location they have in the southern part of the county. Wouldn’t that be a good thing for the people in Coconut Creek?

    Actually, doesn’t matter. It’s a private company and they can do pretty much anything they want. And the County (and the cities) can only hold them to what the contract says.

  14. Rosy Cheeks says:

    All citizens in the northern part of the County should remember this name – Stacy Ritter.

    Whenever she runs to replace Nicki Grossman (who happens to be irreplaceable) or for any other elected office in Broward County, your vote should be NO!!!!!!

    Today’s attempt to allow Waste Management to profit at the expense of Coconut Creek, Deerfield, Pompano, Coral Springs and other Cities is enough for anyone in Broward County to make sure she doesn’t get elected in Broward County again.

    Her actions on today’s agenda item were shameful.

    Although she lives in Parkland, she failed to represent the northern Cities.

    Remember – Vote NO for on Stacy Ritter

  15. Broward Voter says:

    We expected tactics like this from Ritter. But Sharief? Wow. Both are now exposed and Bogen holds all the cards.

  16. Jim Miller says:

    The commission will roll over Bogen on this as soon as he gets sworn in. He is a political dunce. Ritter, Sharief and Kiar tried to help him yesterday and he made a bad political move. He gets eaten alive.

  17. Whats really going on? says:

    No mention of Bergeron? Who do you think is paying the lobbyists on the other side. This is about Bergeron trying to get more of the garbage business. So much for in depth reporting.


    Sun Bergeron, a joint venture between investor/developer Ron Bergeron, Bergeron’s sons and Southern Waste System’s affiliate Sun Recycling, indeed paid lobbyists to promote delaying the approval of the changes for Mount Trashmore.

    The lobbyist team was lead by Aleida “Ali” Ors Waldman, Ron Bergerson senior’s general counsel and also his girlfriend. The team included Bernie Friedman and former County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, who was hired due to her expertise on waste disposal that she gained during years being the commission’s point person on solid waste.

    Sun Bergeron is a long-time competitor of Waste Management and its subsidiary Wheelabrator. In the last few years, Sun Bergeron broke Waste Management’s almost complete monopoly on Broward waste disposal and now has about 37 percent of the solid waste disposal in Broward.

  18. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    I know I commented before, BUT I REALLY MUST SUGGEST MR. NEVINS YOU CREATE THE “RIP OFF OF THE YEAR” AWARDS and consult the bloggers here on having a PRESDENTATION DINNER where the RIP OFF KINGS AND QUEENS of Broward County get their Annual Awards,

    I think you could have a mail in vote for


    a). DIRECTLY

    2. MOST OUTRAGEOUS EXPENSE BILLED TO THE TAX PAYER THAT HAS NO USE OR POINT TO IT except to help an elected or appointed official.



    5.WORST COST OVERRUN THAT THE COUNTY MANAGER NEVER TOLD THE COMMISSION or PUBLIC ABOUT (award to lobbyist to got the cost overrun and succeeded in getting it concealed from everyone)

    These are just suggestions.