At the South Miami City Commission meeting on Oct. 21, our commission voted unanimously to approve an ordinance to authorize a franchise agreement with Miami-Dade County to provide solid- waste management services.
The current contract is not due until Oct. 1 of next year. The county uses a Resources Recovery Facility in Doral. This facility is an incinerator which has been cited by the federal Environmental Protection Agency many times. It spews pollutants into the air that Doral residents are forced to breath. Evidence brought by experts reveals that dioxins and furans are known to cause cancer and suppress the immune system. Heavy metals and carbon dioxide contribute to global warming. The EPA cited failure to report several explosions, including one that badly burned a worker.
When this item came up for discussion by the South Miami commission, Mayor Philip Stoddard stated that the County should make it easier to dispose of light bulbs, paint cans etc.; organic matter should be separated from trash and more studies should be done. Paul Mauriella, deputy director of the county Waste Disposal Department, stated that the county already started a home-composting plan. Commissioner Gabriel Edmond expressed a desire to investigate options.
I say the city should not have approved of this franchise agreement, given the serious reservations that were expressed, and because there is almost a year left to explore other options. The city could also use that time to dialogue with the county and all involved parties to reduce the amount of pollution.
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Our city manager, Steven Alexander, loves to push contracts on our city prematurely and with the county. Why did our commission, which loves to espouse green ideals, vote unanimously for a 10-year contract with one of the worst polluting incinerators in Florida? The South Miami Commission has demonstrated a lack of will to do the right thing for our city and our planet.
If we cannot find a more sustainable way to run our city, why bother to stay incorporated as a city.
Antoinette B. Fischer, South Miami
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