The Loxahatchee Groves Town Council on Tuesday directed its staff to draft an ordinance similar to the town’s manure ordinance, or possibly add provisions to that ordinance prohibiting the dumping of dangerous Class 3 waste in town, in response to complaints that truckers have been dumping large quantities of trash in town claiming that it is mulch.
Josh Lininger of D Road said a neighboring property was accepting hundreds of truckloads of what appeared to be yard trash mixed with plastic bags of trash or garbage.
“We have a situation going on that borders our farm, our property with hundreds and hundreds of semi-truckloads of trash,” he said. “It has definitely been identified as household trash and mulch, not just yard trash, that was brought in. I’d estimate 300 truckloads, and my wife and I have to live next to this every day. My concern is there’s Class 3 materials. What’s going to happen when it floods?”
Lininger estimated that the material is about 4 feet high, and the property owner had only been required to remove trash that is visible on top of the piles.
“Our concern is this isn’t agriculture,” he said. “These guys are probably getting paid to dump. It’s a problem, and it’s ruining our town.”
Vice Mayor Ron Jarriel made a motion to stop all mulch from coming into town.
“We need to see that that stuff does not come back into Loxahatchee Groves,” he said.
Councilman Tom Goltzené said the town is dealing with a similar situation on E Road, where the property owner did not have an agricultural exemption, and he suggested dealing with the property owner on D Road in a similar manner, through aggressive code enforcement.
He pointed out that the waste coming onto the property is classified as Class 3 waste and should go to a Class 3 landfill.
“We have two operations that make mulch,” Goltzené said. “We have mulch-making operations allowed in our ULDCs, so that is not necessarily the way to deal with this.”
He pointed out that there are people who legitimately use mulch for agricultural and landscaping purposes.
Jarriel said his motion was not intended to stop legitimate mulch from coming into town.
“I’m talking about these tractor-trailer loads, just like the horse manure and stuff,” he said. “We stopped them from coming in.”
Jarriel’s motion died for lack of a second, and Goltzené made a motion to stop Class 3 waste from coming into town, which carried 5-0.
Councilman Jim Rockett asked whether the ordinance could be modeled after the manure ordinance, and Goltzené suggested simply adding Class 3 waste to the manure ordinance. Town Attorney Michael Cirullo said that might be a viable option.