Dumping debate goes to state senate

By Greg Argos - bio | email

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - After trash is dumped and recyclables are sorted and removed, hauling companies must take the remaining waste here to the Horry County Solid Waste Authority Landfill.

The process, called flow control, is part of an ordinance the Horry County Council passed in 2009 requiring all debris hauled in the county be brought to the SWA.

"It is a monopoly," said EZ Dump owner Chris Burroughs, who wants to see the county ordinance overturned.

Burroughs says the Solid Waste Authority is free to charge whatever price they want per truck, even if nearby landfills in other counties may be charging less.

"The first thing we learn in government is that monopoly is illegal," he commented. "And I feel that this is a government-run monopoly."

It could soon be coming to an end. State legislators are debating a bill that would overturn the county ordinance and allow haulers to choose where to dump.

"It could have a major impact on all the recycling programs," said Mike Bessant, the governmental affairs coordinator for the SWA.

A portion of the tipping fees go towards the county recycling and education programs. Without the county's flow control law, Bessant says Horry County will have to look for other ways to pay for the programs.

"The only way we'd be able to do it is with funding through the taxpayers of Horry County," he said. "Currently it's through tipping fees, but it would have to be through a tax or fee on the residents of Horry County."

A decision on whether the senate will send the bill to the house is expected by May 1.

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