Landfill closing comes with big price tag

Aerial of Horry County landfill (Source: solidwasteauthority.org)
Aerial of Horry County landfill (Source: solidwasteauthority.org)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) The Horry County Solid Waste Authority (HCSWA) needs a total of $42 million dollars to close their landfill by 2035.

According the HCSWA, an environmental corporation called TRC based in Massachusetts performed a peer review of the HCSWA and found that the $21 million dollars the HCSWA has saved for closure and post-closure landfill procedures which will include excavating landfill top-soil, monitoring landfill gas emissions, ground and storm water pollution and general de-construction costs is enough to get the job done.

"Twenty-one million dollars is a large sum of money, and I am pleased that the Authority has had the foresight over the years to start saving for the future of these closures," says Danny Knight, Director of the HCSWA. "When we begin the closing process, we are confident that we have the adequate funding reserved in order to maintain our waste containment systems and be able to monitor groundwater to ensure that our waste is not polluting our surrounding communities."

The HCSWA estimates that by 2035 when the landfill is schedule to begin to close it will need $42 million dollars in closure costs, and $13 million will be needed in post closure care costs.

Once the landfill stops receiving waste and begins to close, HCSWA must comply with federal standards

Landfill operators are also required to continue monitoring and maintaining the landfill once it is close to protect the release of hazardous materials into the environment. The required post-closure care period is 30 years from site closure which is expected in the next 25 years. The closure and post-closure regulations can be found at the EPA's website.

The HCSWA also sets aside other funds in designated accounts to pay for cost estimates associated with future landfill construction through 2025. These funds are revisited each year to make sure that adequate funding is available for future construction needs at the landfill.

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