By Paul Gable
Almost five years after solid waste flow control was made county government policy, Horry County Council moved to take control of that policy as a management tool rather than the hammer it has been until now.
By a 7-4 vote, council amended its flow control ordinance to allow construction and demolition debris to go to SC DHEC approved landfills, both public and private, outside of the county rather than mandating all C&D go to the Horry County Solid Waste Authority landfill on Hwy 90.
The final vote was not without several desperate, last minute attempts to delay it, which included the spreading of HCSWA propaganda that had become quite old.
Once again, we heard about the revenue the HCSWA would lose (a totally unconstitutional argument) and of the specter of large, private waste companies salivating over the prospect of taking over the county landfill (totally bogus).
However, a majority of council was not intimidated or fooled by these attempts. Instead, they remained steadfast in their determination to do what is best for the county.
The HCSWA worked out a lobbying strategy after first reading of the ordinance amendment, but it was never able to turn one vote to its side and actually lost a vote (Marion Foxworth) on third reading.
The work is not done in reining in this totally out of control public agency. County council must insist on new by-laws for the HCSWA, ones that give oversight of the operation to Horry County Council instead of the HCSWA board.
Additionally, action must be taken on the contracts the HCSWA was trying to get everyone to sign in the spring, which have the county now paying higher tipping fees at its own landfill than several of the cities and private haulers.
Much work is left to be done, but county council took the first, important step in bringing an out of control HCSWA to heel. Congratulations to the seven who voted for the flow control amendment.