Apr 24, 2024 - News

County weighs options for new trash incinerator plant

Workers remove garbage from a truck at the Miami Dade County North Dade Landfill in Miami Gardens, Florida

The Miami-Dade County North Dade Landfill in Miami Gardens. Photo: Marco Bello/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The site of the old Doral trash incinerator would likely be the cheapest and quickest location for a new incinerator plant planned by Miami-Dade County, according to a new report.

Why it matters: The county needs a plan for the 1 million tons of garbage the Doral facility used to burn every year before it was destroyed in a fire.

Catch up fast: The waste-to-energy facility blaze burned for over a week and led to reports of neighbors feeling sick.

  • The county is studying three proposed locations for a new plant: the existing Doral site, the former Opa-locka Airport West and a privately owned space near a landfill in Medley.

The latest: County consultant Arcadis released a report this month analyzing potential health and environmental impacts, and the feasibility of obtaining air permits from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

  • A new incinerator would cost at least $1.48 billion, per the report.

What they found: Each site would present a "low risk" to human health and "minimal" impact to the environment, Arcadis says.

  • Permitting for each site will be "challenging" due to close proximity to both existing emissions sources and the Everglades, per the report.

Zoom in: The Airport West location appears to be "more favorable for air permitting than the two other sites," Arcadis found.

  • The Doral location may offer advantages during the permitting process due to its history as an incinerator site, but it is the closest to the Everglades, per the report.
  • The report found that the Medley site "will likely be the most complicated and challenging" due to the large emissions produced at a nearby landfill and cement plant.

Friction point: The city of Miramar, located near the Airport West site, has launched a "Stop the Incinerator" campaign.

Of note: The owner of the Medley site has offered to sell the county the property to build the incinerator, though the county already owns the other two sites.

What's next: The county wants to do community outreach to communicate the findings in the report to impacted cities, communities and organizations.

  • The administration plans to bring a report with its recommendations to the County Commission in September.

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