Parkland residents will continue using the county facility for disposal of hazardous waste materials, for another year at least.
Neighboring Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Tamarac, Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale have joined hands to organize hazardous waste disposal events on their own, thereby cutting costs, but Parkland officials do not think the city would benefit from being a part of the new system. The city can, if it wishes, join the other cities in the future.
The program costs the city about $35,000 to $40,000 annually, but with the county modifying the program, the projected total annual cost to the city would be about $50,000. The cost could go up by 3 percent annually during the course of the contract, but the city can opt out if it notifies the county by March.
Staff were in favor of the city signing the joint-use agreement with the five other cities. Under the agreement, each city organized two events a year; residents from any of the five cities can go to the events.
“Tamarac is close; Coconut Creek and Coral Springs are close too,” said Brian Archer, director of public works. “Coral Springs is one of the cities I talked to. The program is working pretty well in that city.”
The commission also considered the option of the city organizing hazardous waste disposal events on its own. Commissioner Mark Weissman was in favor of the city trying that option for a year.
“We estimate about a 1,000 visits; only 4 percent of our population is showing up. Less than 1 percent of people who show up are repeat visitors,” he said. “We are talking 10 people going more than once a year. Let us do two events on our own and see what the cost is. We know the top cost is $50,000 to $60,000, but it may be substantially less. There is also a convenience factor.”
Mayor Michael Udine has a different view. “If the city did three to four of these events a year, it is going to cost more than we are spending now with the county,” he said.
Commissioner Dave Rosenof was the one who suggested staying with the county. “We know the worst-case and best-case scenarios,” he said. “Further, the county contract also has the advantage of electronics recycling. We need to be urging our residents to use the service more. We have to educate our residents that this resource is out there.”
Officials will take another look at the issue in next January. The city will consider signing the joint-user agreement with other cities if the cost for the county’s service increases. If more cities opt out, the cost for local bodies that remain part of the county program would increase.