Name: Mike Fernandez
New title: Vice president of post collections, Waste Pro
Previous title: Director, Miami-Dade Department of Solid Waste Management
Florida-based Waste Pro hired Fernandez after he spent 15 years with the Miami-Dade County agency, which he led from 2019 to 2023.
In his new role, Fernandez will assist with landfill, transfer station and recycling processing assets across Waste Pro’s footprint in 10 states. In recent years, the privately-held company has looked to expand across the Southeast largely through bolt-on acquisitions. The company projects annual revenue of $1.1 billion this year, and serves over two million residential and 100,000 commercial customers, according to the release announcing Fernandez’s hire.
Waste Pro President and CEO Sean Jennings praised Fernandez’s leadership in a statement, noting “Mike’s values align with ours.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Mike to the Waste Pro family. Mike’s reputation as an industry leader and impressive career in solid waste management will foster growth and drive operational excellence within the post-collections umbrella at Waste Pro,” Jennings said.
Fernandez drew headlines when he resigned from his Miami-Dade post in July, later telling Waste Dive that he felt his department no longer had the ear of Mayor Daniella Levine Cava at a time of upheaval for the county’s waste disposal.
Fernandez steered the department in the immediate aftermath of a February fire that brought down the county’s long-time waste incinerator, operated by Covanta. The crisis necessitated rerouting the county’s waste via a short-term disposal plan that grappled with Miami-Dade’s limited options.
Keith Banasiak, chief operating officer of Waste Pro, acknowledged Fernandez’s leadership through that crisis, as well as his experience with managing waste after it’s collected.
“Post-collections in our company is really becoming a more integral part of what we're doing,” Banasiak said in an interview. “As we grow and have grown it's become a larger portion of our business. We have a vibrant pipeline and Mike is going to play a really integral part in developing that pipeline for us."
Banasiak said the company’s post-collection pipeline could include acquisition and contract opportunities.
In addition to his public sector roles, Fernandez also spent time in the private sector, including a stint from 1996 to 2004 with Browning-Ferris Industries, which is now known as Republic Services. During his time at Miami-Dade, Fernandez also saw the county through three successful rate increases, a cell expansion at the South Dade landfill and a transition from dual-stream to single-stream recycling.
Cole Rosengren contributed to this story.