De Groot: Broward County Is Full Of Garbage

The latest from John de Groot, the king of interesting statistics. Here you have a lifetime's supply of information about trash. No wonder the mafia loves the carting business so much.


And you thought that smell was coming only from our politicians?


It jumps. 



Serious Shit In Earth Day Aftermath;

Ala the Late George Carlin

By John de Groot


NOTE: While the following post has a decidedly satirical bent*, the hard data are totally accurate and sourced. (*Like there ain't no Vinnie Bustagumbah.)


Green huzzahs and tree hugging were called for last week as South Florida residents celebrated Earth Day - never mind the sordid fact that we're generating more and more solid waste than ever before.


Solid waste, of course, is the technical term for trash - or what the late George Carlin accurately called worthless shit, society's good shit being what we collect and keep as opposed to paying someone to haul it away.


Of South Florida's three urban counties, Broward is Number One in producing worthless shit, according to Florida 's Department of Environmental Protection which tracks trash state-wide.


Annual Pounds of Worthless Shit Per Capita

                                    1998               2006               increase

Miami-Dade              3,270             4,004              22%

Broward                    2,956             4,088              38%

Palm Beach            3,051              3,150              3%

Florida                       3,314              4,051              22%


"You're talking some serious shit here since local government pays us to haul this stuff," says Vinnie "The Envelope" Bustagumbah, Director of Governmental Affairs for Total Waste Management..


"Like billionaire Wayne Huizenga started out hauling worthless shit and now he can't go anywhere without people kissing his ass, he's so rich," Bustagumbah chuckles. "But then worthless shit ain't chopped liver."  


However, notes Bustagumbah,"Nobody knows what's up with Palm Beach and their worthless shit numbers, which are way off. Could be Palm Beach is more into good shit than Miami-Dade and Broward."


Most of South Florida 's worthless shit is piled atop soaring mountains of solid waste called landfills, environmental experts report.


"Recycling and incineration ain't nothing compared to the trash mountains we're like building for the ages," says Bustagumbah. "We keep it up and tourists will be paying to climb our landfills for sport."  


Annual Tri-County Worthless Shit Output - In tons

                                    1998               2006               increase


All Worthless Shit      3,419,768      4,878,337      43%

Piled in Landfills        1,706,794      3,290,231      93%


All Worthless Shit      2,159,989      3,583,264      66%

Piled in Landfills        886,197          2,018,959      128%

Palm Beach

All Worthless Shit      1,556,820      2,029,451      30%

Piled in Landfills        623,143          1,016,793      63%


All Worthless Shit      24,857,959    35,039,875    41%

Piled in Landfills        14,108,142    22,742,125    61%


Naturally, just as all of us are against global warming, we're unanimous in our support of recycling our trash.


But then there is South Florida ...


"There's a way better profit margin piling shit in a landfill," explains Bustagumbah Total Waste Management. "Recycling worthless shit is a real labor intensive mother.


"In our business, the real money's in what we call humping and



Which should explain the following:


Trends in Recycling Worthless Shit - Total Tons

                                    1998               2006               increase


All Worthless Shit      2,090,314      4,878,337      43%

Recycled                    793,695          918,696          16%

% recycled                 38%                19%


All Worthless Shit      2,159,989      3,583,264      66%

Recycled                    558,776          716,585          28%

% recycled                 26%                20%

Palm Beach

All Worthless Shit      1,556,820      2,029,451      30%

Recycled                    544,648          554,084          2%

% recycled                 37%                27%


All Worthless Shit      24,857,959    35,039,875    41%

Recycled                    6,877,297      8,567,929      25%

% recycled                 28%                24%


Naturally, one might wonder why Florida 's government and media failed to mention the above startling - and decidedly non green - numbers during the pro-environmental love fest that marked last week's Earth Day celebration.


"Only a putz fart's in church," notes Bustagumbah. "Or talks about the bride's mustache at her wedding. Which is why all our dump trucks are painted tree-hugger green.


"Plus there's no way the media's gonna look at the freakin' numbers for newspapers and magazines," Bustagumah adds.

For example:

Trends in Trashed Newspapers and Magazines - Total Trends

                                    1998               2006               increase

Miami Dade

Old Newspapers       183,229          254,269          39%

Recycled                    56,800            71,195            25%               

% recycled                 32%                28%


Old Newspapers       92,809            153,977          66%

Recycled                    67,775            63,130            (6%)

% recycled                 73%                41%   

Palm Beach

Old Newspapers       120,761          111,620          (8%)

Recycled                    60,440            63,623            5%

% recycled                 50%                57%


Old Newspapers       1,363,410      1,588,764      17%

Recycled                    601,482          615,118          2%

% recycled                 44%                39%


"Look at the numbers," urges Bustagumah. "In Florida , the only green that counts is the paint on our trucks and the color of money people pay us to get rid of their worthless shit.


"You wanna talk recycling and cleaning up the environment, better you should forget about it  - Earth Day, or not."


Trends in Worthless Shit by Type - Total Tons

                                    1998               2006               increase

Miami-Dade Pop.    2,090,314      2,437,022      17%

Glass                          101,964          130,155          28%

Recycled                   40,785            22,126            (54%)

Plastic Bottles           37,182            51,759            39%

Recycled                   7,436              7,764              4%

Broward Pop.          1,460,890      1,753,162      20%

Glass                          57,289            82,484            44%

Recycled                   42,967            10,724            (75%)

Plastic Bottles           8,937              61,400            587%

Recycled                   8,132              4,298              (47%)

Palm Beach Pop.    1,020,521      1,287,987      26%

Glass                          51,682            54,795            6%                  l

Recycled                   13,437            4,384              (67%)

Plastic Bottles           25,135            28,412            13%

Recycled                   2,765              3,125              13%


Glass                          742,482          772,096          4%

Recycled                   224,641          117,811          (48%)

Plastic Bottles           250,422          468,901          87%

Recycled                   44,612            57,225            28%

SOURCE ALL DATA : Florida Department of Environmental Protection

                                         Solid Waste Annual Reports 

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Bob Norman
Contact: Bob Norman