Waste Management wants deal with Broward to allow Monarch Hill dump to rise as much as another ten stories

monarch hill
Monarch Hill
Monarch Hill dump

By Dan Christensen,

After Waste Management’s four-year push toward a significant expansion of its Monarch Hill dump was yanked from the Broward Commission’s Tuesday agenda, the immediate question was why?

The answer now appears to be that the $20-billion, Houston-based garbage disposal company is looking to make a deal.

While nothing’s been said on the record at a public meeting, County Commissioner Beam Furr – who also serves as vice chair on the newly constituted Solid Waste and Recycling Authority – and Coconut Creek Mayor Joshua Rydell both told Florida Bulldog Tuesday that WM’s lobbyists have recently suggested the company was willing to stop putting municipal solid waste, which generates methane, into the landfill in exchange for raising the ceiling on how high the landfill on unincorporated property astride Florida’s Turnpike in North Broward can go.

How high? No numbers were mentioned. But earlier this week, WM spokeswoman Dawn McCormick said, “Our engineers believe that a max height would be in the 325-to-340-foot range.”

That would be like piling on 10 more stories of trash. Today, the dump is fast approaching its 225-foot limit.

monarch hill
Lamar Fisher at Tuesday’s commission meeting

County Commissioner Lamar Fisher requested the removal of the Waste Management agenda item. He did not return Florida Bulldog’s phone calls asking him to explain.


Tuesday’s postponed hearing on Waste Management’s application to redesignate the permitted usage for the site of a decommissioned waste-to-energy plant on company property adjacent to Monarch Hill, from electrical generation to industrial, was immediately reset for consideration at the commission’s May 21 meeting.

“I’d like to postpone it for 20 years,” Commissioner Mark Bogen, whose district includes Coconut Creek, said in an interview.

McCormick, who previously told Florida Bulldog that Monarch Hill would reach capacity in six years, said Tuesday that Waste Management agreed to postponing the item “because the staff and commissioners wanted more time to review the land use plan amendment [which was proposed to be changed] and for all parties to seek input from the community.”

McCormick declined to discuss whether new height proposals have been made to the county.

“I’m not going to detail anything that’s being discussed in a private meeting…but there are several proposals that the county can consider,” she said.

Likewise, McCormick would not say Tuesday whether WM would apply to the county for a height variance.

Coconut Creek Mayor Joshua Rydelld

“Waste Management believes it’s in the county’s best interest to maximize the horizontal footprint and the vertical airspace of Monarch Hill landfill. So, we’ll continue to discuss that with our county commissioners, the county staff and with the public at large,” McCormick said. “We want to be a partner in providing solutions for Broward County.”


Coconut Creek Mayor Rydell, whose city has long endured the stench and sight of the nearby bulging Monarch Hill, opposes increasing the landfill’s height.

“I believe what they’re coming to the table with is they just want to put construction and demolition [C&D] debris and vegetation in the landfill in exchange for going higher,” he said. “But the problem with that is drywall is some of the most noxious smelling material you can have. And it’s also the most recyclable … So they should be committing to build a C&D recycling facility as opposed to seeking a rezoning of the land” to expand the dump.

Broward Commissioner Beam Furr at Tuesday’s meeting

McCormick said that currently “only about 10 percent of what comes into Monarch Hill is municipal solid waste, or MSW.”

County Commissioner Furr, whose district in Broward’s southeast corner is miles away from Monarch Hill, said, “I’m more interested in what’s going into the landfill than how big it is because I don’t want to see any additional solid waste or organics going in there because of the amount of methane that it emanates. I want to reduce methane. That’s the main culprit in global warming.”

Furr noted that Broward generates 10 million pounds of garbage a day, and 4 million tons every year. What he hopes is that much of that trash, its huge component or organic MSW, will eventually be composted.

Today, there is no significant composting in Broward. And Furr acknowledged, “I don’t know where that would be” located.

“We’re really kind of trying to push away at Waste Management to be better environmental stewards. Not just have these landfills be giant methane factories,” he said. “Although for the people in Coconut Creek and perhaps Pompano and Deerfield Beach, too, they would be concerned about a significant height increase in that place no matter what’s there.”

Still, Furr said that the elimination of methane-generating organic trash at Monarch Hill would result, in about five years, in a significant lessening of the noxious odor.

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Latest comments

  • I’m not in favor of increasing the height or width of this site. I still on occasion smell the dump. I also don’t want it towering over me as I drive on Wiles Road as I anticipate they will move the outer limits closer to Wiles Road eventually. And across the street on Wiles the land there has been cleared of everything and I am wondering if they are eventually going to begin dumping there. If so, we’ll be driving through a tunnel of trash on both sides of Wiles. Let Monarch find another dump site or figure out a way to recycle much of what is dumped there. It’s unsightly as it is now and a shame it is in the center of a busy city.

  • Massive landfills all over Florida. Private companies buying up all the springs for pennies in the dollar.
    Welcome to FLORIDA.
    Since our governor has been booted off the presidency trail, MAYBE he will actually turn his attention to the significant problems we currently have and certainly will face in the future.
    All that garbage leaches into the aquifer at some point. WE ARE POISONING OURSELVES AND THE EARTH.
    Think garbage mounds SMELL bad??
    Wait until you’re TASTING IT.

  • Another big dump on society by the crooked monopoly, Waste Management. Recall how the late mobster Wayne Huizenga and Waste Management managed an illegal buyout of Sun Systems years ago. They enjoyed the legal cover of State Attorney General Pam Bondi in secretly approving the buyout in violation of State Antitrust Laws. But who was going to enforce those laws when both the Governor and State Attorney were in on the illegal buyout?
    Allowing Waste Management to takeover Sun Systems pulled the rug out from under Ron Bergeron and his Waste Hauling company that was a thorn in Huizinga’s waste hauling empire. Bergeron was the last holdout in the nation to keep competing with Waste Management, and do so successfully. The key to Bergeron’s success was he held a partnership in Sun Systems that provided Bergeron with the resources to efficiently RECYCLE waste in Broward County. The loss of Sun Systems would immediately drive Bergeron out of business.
    Waste Management did not have a recycling center and preferred to haul Broward waste to landfills in Broward and Palm Beach, even as far north as Martin County.. Huizinga knew all along that their gaining control of Sun Systems would lead to the end of efficient recycling and power generation thru burning waste, since Waste Management had no intention to keep recycling. And with Bergeron out of the picture Waste Management had no competition or incentive to recycle thus sticking it to Broward Cities with 50 to 1oo percent increases in trash hauling fees to pay for hauling all that garbage north. That is the purpose of a monopoly, one that Governor Rick Scott and his Consigliere Pam Bondi approved. Screw us and the pile of garbage will grow higher because where else can Waste Management put it? That was their plan all along. Screw the environment, maximize profit.

  • That item you just threw into the trash didn’t just disappear. It had to go somewhere. That place is a growing mountain of garbage right here in Broward County. It will last for thousands of years.

  • That eyesore is already a detriment to the population that live here in Broward. Now for waste Management seeking to increase the size is shameful another 10 stories are they out of their minds that’s absolutely ridiculous.

  • Waste Management isn’t in the recycling business, they want large costly landfills. Note their comment, ” we’ll continue to discuss that with OUR county commissioners..” bought and paid for by big business. Just like our corrupt GOP governor and the entire party. We need a radically new state government. Make it a mandate that all methane generated must be reused, not simply flared and you will quickly see waste management change their tune on organics recycling.

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