Garbage and yard trash pickup, backlogged by preparations for Hurricane Matthew, should be caught up by this weekend, staff said at Tuesday’s meeting of the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County’s governing board.
The authority reported last week that volume was about 40 percent higher the Monday and Tuesday after Matthew’s Oct. 6 near-miss than it was for Sept 26-27, before the storm became a threat.
The authority said Matthew knocked down a lot of vegetation but people also took the opportunity during preparation and cleanup to do mini-spring cleanings. The problem grew geometrically when pickups were canceled for Oct. 6-7.
Matthew generated about one day’s worth of additional garbage and three to four days of additional yard trash, Chief Operating Officer Mark Eyeingtontold county commissioners sitting Tuesday as the authority’s board.
“We’re slowly getting back to normal,” John Archambo, the authority’s director of customer relations, told the board. He said garbage pickups are caught up and yard pickups should be caught up by Saturday.
None of the extra yard waste went to the landfill, Eyeington told the board. He said all of it was burned in the authority’s garbage burning plants. Eyeington said the large piles of yard trash were “a shock to the system.” The authority, which now pays a contractor to grind mulch, will dip into its contingency reserves for the extra cost. Chief Administrative Officer Marc Bruner said that if the county can get federal declarations, the authority might get some federal money.
The authority board also voted Tuesday to renew for one year its $250,000-a-year agreement with the Palm Beach County Office of Inspector General. The new agreement allows for two 1-year extensions.
And the authority’s board agreed to a 3.5 percent merit raise for Mark Hammond, executive director for the past nine years. He currently earns $199,971.