HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A debate over trash got heated between county leaders Monday; the council had their third and final reading of a flow control resolution that's garnered a lot of controversy. The council ultimately passed the resolution to change the county's flow control ordinance and drop rules concerning construction and demolition debris.
We've heard about it time and time again, but for all the arguing back and forth, what is flow control all about?
"Flow control tells us we can manage our waste stream, and that's what we're trying to do," said Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus.
Put another way: flow control lets the Horry County government dictate where the trash in your garbage can go: right to the Solid Waste Authority landfill on Highway 90.
"We're trying to increase the life of our landfill," Lazarus said. How does Horry County want to keep the landfill open longer? By getting rid of "special trash," or Construction and Demolition Debris.
Under flow control, which became law after the economy turned in 2008, any trash in Horry County, whether it was "C and D" or normal trash, went to the landfill. And any garbage company, like Waste Management, E-Z Dump, or city waste departments paid a special fee, called a tipping fee, to dump it.
You paid the fee indirectly through your garbage company, or if you live in a city, through a sanitation fee.
"It's good for the environment, it's good for the taxpayers, and it's good for the citizens as well," said concerned citizen Jeff Spivey.
A resolution passed 7 to 4 by county council Tuesday night gets rid of the C and D rules, meaning waste companies can take that trash anywhere, as long as it's a licensed landfill. That means the Solid Waste Authority misses out on that tipping fee.
The big debate that's raged for over a year boils down to this: no C and D means the SWA loses close to a million bucks a year, according to the SWA itself. This could possibly lead to a shutdown, which could cause big garbage companies to come in, and cause your sanitation fees to go up.
But the county council doesn't see it that way. Even without the law, there's nowhere else to take the trash.
"Where are we located? Close to the beach - where most of the homes and the buildings and the hotels are being torn down," Lazarus said. "So I can't see a lot of people driving past Highway 90 to go out of town to take any construction and demolition debris."