Palm Beach County has a problem – too much horse manure. And that’s not because presidential candidates keep coming here.
No, the county has a vibrant equestrian industry. But some of the waste from those horses is dumped illegally, threatening the environment.
More companies that recycle or process that waste have wanted to set up shop in the county, but residents, wary of the potential odorous effects of such an operation, have shouted NIMBY (not in my backyard).
County officials now hope they have a solution.
Commissioners have given preliminary approval to an amendment of the county’s comprehensive plan that would allow an equestrian waste recycling pilot project to operate in an area called the Glades tier, a large swath of unincorporated farming land west of Wellington and east of Belle Glade.
The goal is to have the operation located close enough to the equestrian hot spot of Wellington but not close enough to Wellington (or to cities in the Glades, for that matter) for it to foul the air of neighborhoods and depress property values.
Commissioner Priscilla Taylor initially expressed concern that the operation would be foisted upon already economically depressed cities in the Glades, but Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, whose office has been working on the issue, assured her that is not the case.
McKinlay’s district includes the Glades, and she bristled at the suggestion that she would support foisting anything on the area.
Ultimately, commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the amendment, which must be reviewed by state officials before it comes back to the county for final approval.
McKinlay viewed the amendment as a step in the right direction.
“We’ve got hundreds of thousands of tons that need to be disposed of,” she said.