Council moves closer to approving contract to take Charleston's recyclables

Council moves closer to approving contract to take Charleston's recyclables

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County is one step closer to taking on Charleston County's trash. Horry County Council has gone back and forth after leaders at the Solid Waste Authority signed a contract with Charleston, without including the county.

On Thursday, certain topics were pressed: the costs and return of taking Charleston's trash, litter it could leave on our roads, and reporting progress to county council on a monthly basis. 

In the end, a recommendation was given to county council to pass a "yes" vote.

The contract agreement was brought up to council in August, along  with an ordinance to change the SWA budget to include the cost and profit involved in processing Charleston's recyclables. After passing two readings, the council wanted leaders to take a closer look at the contract while considering the impact of amending the budget.

Essentially, trucks will bring loads of recyclables from Charleston to Horry County to be sifted through and sold for a profit. The contract provides the ability to amend the budget for things like hiring temporary employees and adjusting revenue. The budget amendment will come with an add-on: the SWA must present a monthly report to council looking at the total tons moved, breaking it down by month, and looking at costs.

While it will have to initially buy the trash from Charleston, the SWA says it could net $70,000 in profits each month - more than half of what it currently banks from recyclables.

"Any shortfall we have, our contract was structured that Charleston County would make up any differences," explained Lance Thompson, Chairman of the Board for the Solid Waste Authority.  "We don't stand to lose money. And if it doesn't work, then we have a termination clause if we decide not to do that. But Charleston County would have to make up any deficit that we would have."

The Solid Waste Authority board members also assured county leaders that litter would not be an issue as trucks are secured. The budget amendment ordinance will go to Horry County Council for it's third and final reading October 6.

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