By Paul Gable
By a vote of 8-3 Tuesday night, Horry County Council tabled consideration of a contract with the Horry County Solid Waste Authority (HCSWA). Harold Worley, Paul Prince and James Frazier voted against tabling and for the authority.
In simple form, the contract would have reduced the landfill charges to the county based on the amount of recyclable materials sent to the landfill.
But, it’s a county owned landfill and all the waste sent to it from the county comes from the convenience centers spread throughout the unincorporated areas. The county charges residents, in the unincorporated areas, property taxes of slightly over $6 million per year, which it pays to the HCSWA to operate those centers.
The crux of the question is why should the county sign a contract with itself?
No one has answered that question to council satisfaction to this point.
Even more, why should anyone using the landfill be forced to sign a contract for reduced tipping fees?
If, based on recyclables, a public agency or private hauler qualifies for reduced tipping fees, they should get them without the need for a contract.
The HCSWA was created by county council to efficiently run the landfill, and to put in place other programs to extend the life of the landfill, at the lowest possible cost to county residents.
The HCSWA was not created to become a massive bureaucracy that concentrates on perpetuating itself. It was also not created to become a monopolistic business.
However, it has become both of those while losing sight of its initial purpose.