Environmental Stewardship & Preservation

The Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County is dedicated to environmental quality and strives to achieve environmental excellence by maintaining compliance with governmental regulations and implementing innovative technologies. We are committed to preserving natural resources, preventing pollution, and seeking continuous improvements in environmental performance.

Good Neighbor

The SWA is devoted to environmental stewardship and preservation. The first step in being a good steward is being a good neighbor. The SWA goes beyond the curb and works together with citizens and regulatory agencies to bring benefits to the environment and surrounding communities. The SWA has extensive environmental monitoring programs to protect Florida’s valuable resources: air, water, soil and wildlife.

Best Management Practices

The SWA utilizes an Environmental Management System, leading the nation in integrated solid waste management. Through Pollution Prevention Plans, facility managers integrate best environmental practices into daily operations. An elaborate landfill gas collection system controls greenhouse gas emission from the landfill, which also helps prevents odors. A sophisticated network of wells is used to monitor ground water and surface waters at our sites.

Repurposing Landfills

A vital part of the SWA philosophy is to give back to the local community. Several closed landfills have been converted into natural areas, parks or golf courses. Dyer Landfill was transformed into a park with a large area of created wetland habitat. Plans for the current landfill include building a nature trail for residents to use and enjoy. Visitors may see deer, otters, alligators, birds, bobcats and much more.

Wetland Restoration

The SWA pledges to preserve Florida's environment and give back to the community. Through the wetland restoration projects the SWA relocated over 12,000 trees and created lakes to provide habitat for wildlife. Palm Beach Renewable Energy Park includes the SWA Greenway Trail System, which is open to the public from sunrise to sunset. This 300 acre area is home to thousands of native birds, including two imperiled species, the endangered Snail kite and the threatened Wood stork.

Each year these birds seek refuge in the SWA Rookery to roost, nest and raise their young. The SWA monitors the wading bird colonies to ensure the success of these protected species. The SWA is also active in controlling the spread of nonnative invasive species at our sites.

Did You Know

  • The SWA Rookery is listed in the top 100 wading bird rookeries in the State of Florida.
  • In 2009, there were 509 Wood Stork nests recorded in the SWA Rookery.
  • The University of Florida put satellite tags on SWA Wood stork chicks to learn more about their behaviors.
  • The SWA monitors air pollutants continuously at Renewable Energy Facilities 1 and 2.
  • Over 12,000 trees were relocated from the current landfill to create a park at a closed landfill.
  • Over 32,000 analytical water samples were taken this year at the active landfill.
  • There are over 200 groundwater monitoring wells around the landfill.