By Paul Gable
The Horry County Solid Waste Authority staff was crying gloom and doom last week, because of a possible loss of flow control, when it rolled out its projected budget for FY 2014.
The authority projects a loss of $715,000 in landfill revenue if the S.C. General Assembly outlaws the county’s flow control garbage monopoly before the end of this year’s legislative session.
The overall projected budget for disposal and recycling operations is $13.55 million. When Fund 6, the county tax dollars from the unincorporated areas that go directly to the SWA to pay for the convenience centers, is added in, the budget approaches $20 million.
By crying ‘foul’, the SWA is saying it can’t tighten its belt by 3% to make up for a minor loss of revenue. Maybe if it hadn’t wasted about $2 million over the past couple of years in lobbying, public relations and lawyers.
By the way, we believe the projected loss of $715,000 is approximately four times what it will really be if flow control is outlawed.
The one thing the SWA does well is cry ‘wolf’. We’ve heard it over and over through the years and we’re still waiting for all those garbage barges to come floating down the Intracoastal Waterway bringing solid waste from New York City to Horry County.
That’s the old line of BS we hear whenever the SWA wants to ramp up public opinion for its latest line of propaganda. We are hearing it again as the SWA, the conservationists and the S.C. Association of Counties warn about large trash companies like Waste Management and Waste Industries just waiting to gobble up county landfills and fill them up with out of state garbage.
This line of lies would make Joseph Paul Goebbels proud. It’s directly out of the Nazi propaganda playbook of tell the big lie often enough and the people will believe it.
But, I don’t think the people are buying it this time. They know that a government imposed monopoly on any part of the marketplace is wasteful and inefficient.
They know that New York City’s garbage is not going to wind up in Horry County.
They know that even $715,000 in lost revenue isn’t going to sink the SWA.
After all, the liberal spending on lobbying, etc. over the past couple of years hasn’t stopped the SWA from adding to its $35 million reserves in the bank.
The $500,000 per year spent for several years funding a Clemson research project attempting to reduce organic solid waste, one that didn’t work out by the way, didn’t sink the SWA.
And, the millions spent on land the SWA doesn’t need (read the 1187 acres of mostly swamp adjoining the SWA, the 30+ acres on Pine Island and the land in Green Sea) didn’t sink the SWA.
Flow control does not protect the SWA from losing money or the citizens from paying too much for waste disposal. All it does is hurt small, private businesses and their employees.