Palm Beach County Inspector General: Solid Waste Authority panel broke Sunshine Law

Solid-Waste-AuthorityOIGThe Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County, if inadvertently, violated Florida’s public meetings and records laws in the handing out of grants for a beautification program, the county’s Inspector General said in a report issued Wednesday.

The report said a committee set up to award the grants did its work in private and didn’t take minutes.

Authority Executive Director Mark Hammond wrote the Inspector General, arguing the committee fell within “fact-finding” exemptions to Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Law.

The Authority did reconvene the grant committee following its June 8 regular meeting, with public notice and with minutes taken, this to meet requirements of the Sunshine Law that an entity which takes actions in violation of the law must hold a “cure” meeting at which it cannot just rubber-stamp its original decisions but must reenact the entire process.

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Pahokee plant that burned last fall surrenders permit

Courtesy PBC FIre-Rescue

The yard trash collection plant that caught fire last year and smoldered for weeks has surrendered its Solid Waste Authority permit to operate.

Palm Beach County Commissioners, sitting Wednesday as the Authority board, were notified as they prepared to vote to pull the permit of the Sunshine State Biomass Cooperative.

At the board’s Feb. 10 meeting, it voted to suspend the permit and start the process of revoking  it.

Had the board done so, the firm would have been declared an “irresponsible applicant,” which would effectively have barred it from ever obtaining a permit again, Authority Chief Administrative Officer Marc Bruner said after the meeting.

County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, whose district includes the Glades, told representatives of the firm at Wednesday’s meeting that she hopes they can “straighten things out” and return, bringing jobs and revenue back.

Sunshine State had started operations in March 2015 on 25 acres near a now-closed farmer’s market. A fire — operators blamed spontaneous combustion — started Nov. 14; its owners later conceded it burned for three days and smoldered for several weeks.

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Solid Waste Authority: Don’t put pool chemicals, pesticides, propane at curb

David Yost, 10, Boynton Beach, competes in the cannonball pool jump during Wacky Water Day sponsored by the City of Boynton Beach Recreation and Parks Department. Activities included family friendly games like Sponge Bob pass, water shootout, diving for rings and water relay races at the Denson Pool in Boynton Beach, Florida on June 13, 2015. Safe swimming information was also available from the Palm Beach County Drowning Prevention Coalition. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
(Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Summer is gearing up and the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County reminds people to be careful what items they put at the curb.

Pool chemicals, pesticides and propane tanks can’t go out with the regular garbage, the Authority says. Instead, they must be taken to one of the Authority’s Home Chemical and Recycling Centers, where they can be dropped off for free and will be recycled or disposed of. For hours of operation, go to http://www.swa.orgor call 561-697-2700 or 866-SWA-INFO.


Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority: dump nautical junk properly

061507 npl cppier 3.jpgNext week is National Safe Boating Week. But that’s not just about how you skipper. It also is about what you do with your nautical junk.

Here are some items that you can’t just toss in the trash or overboard; they must be disposed of properly: flares, fire extinguishers, deep cycle batteries, mercury float switches, fuels and oils, cleaning products and boats themselves.

Palm Beach County residents can take these items to one of seven Solid Waste Authority centers where they will be recycled or disposed of properly at no cost:


Any boat to be discarded must be taken to the Authority landfill, 6330 N Jog Road, where it will be inspected for hazardous materials before it will be accepted.

For more detail, including collection center hours, visit or call 561-697-2700 or 866-SWA-INFO.

Palm Beach County Solid Waste board cancels April 13 meeting

Solid-Waste-AuthorityThe Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County has canceled its April 13 meeting. The authority said its executive director met with county commissioners — the commission sits as the Solid Waste Authority board — and determined there wasn’t enough business on the agenda. The next scheduled meeting is June 8.