Michael J. Fernandez - Director
Michael J. Fernandez is the Director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management. He is responsible for the County’s integrated waste management system that includes the collection and disposal of solid waste from more than 340,000 households, as well as the disposal needs for over 2.8 million County residents. The department employs more than 1,100 employees and operates with a budget of approximately $685 million, making it the largest government owned and operated integrated solid waste system in the Southeastern United States and the 19th largest waste firm in the Country1. The waste collection operation includes automated curbside garbage and recycling collection; bulky waste collection, litter and illegal dumping collection services; management and operation of 13 Neighborhood Trash & Recycling Centers. Countywide disposal services include the operation of two Home Chemical Collection Centers for residential drop-off of household hazardous waste, and the management of over 1.8 million tons via three regional transfer stations, three landfills and a 4,000 ton-per-day Waste-to-Energy facility.
Mr. Fernandez has held numerous senior level positions in the Department of Solid Waste Management to include Deputy Director of Waste Operations, Assistant Director of Disposal Operations and Senior Division Director. Michael was also the Past Director of the Collection & Transfer Technical Division for the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and was recognized in 2018 as one of the Top 40 waste professionals in the country as part of Waste 360’s “40 Under 40” awards program.
The Department has achieved many accomplishments and just recently achieved having the first electric garbage truck powered by a Waste-to-Energy Facility. He was also instrumental in the development of the Department's Night Shift Transfer Operation and On-Board Scales for which the County received National Association of Counties (NACO) awards. The On-Board Scales initiative was also featured at the Florida 2014 Sterling Conference and received the award for “Best Use of Data.” Both programs have proven to be effective by improving efficiency in the department’s disposal operations. Other accomplishments include the collection of over 4.4 million cubic yards of storm debris after Hurricane Irma in 2017 and conversion of waste collection services for two cities (City of Opa-locka and City of Sweetwater). Mr. Fernandez is also responsible for the Department’s annual put-or-pay agreements with Covanta Energy and Waste Management, Inc. with a combined tonnage commitment of over 1.5 million tons.
Mr. Fernandez holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate degree from Florida International University. He is Green Belt certified in Lean Six Sigma and holds other certifications that include Manager of Integrated Solid Management Systems; Landfill Operator; Train-the-Trainer (Transfer/ Landfill); Transfer Station Operator; Recycling Systems Certification; Material Recovery Facility Operator; Spotter/Waste Screener; Heavy Equipment Safety from the University of Florida TREEO Center and SWANA; Emergency Response and Recovery from FDOT; and several Emergency Management Institute certifications from FEMA.
Fernandez began his career in the waste industry, over 25 years ago, working at Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI). After about 9 years at BFI, he transitioned into the public sector as the Solid Waste Superintendent for the City of Hallandale Beach. Michael has a proven track record of increasing productivity, efficiency and setting policy in the workplace. Michael’s professional experience in the waste industry has made him a valued leader and asset in the industry.
1Waste360 Top 50 Largest Waste & Recycling Firms in North America