By Paul Gable
Horry County Solid Waste Authority (HCSWA) officials are raising the level of absurdity at the Highway 90 landfill well above its normal limits with a discussion Thursday about land planning for after the landfill closes in 2035.
Some would say its good business to plan for 22 years hence and it may be if sufficient planning for the period within those 22 years had already taken place.
But, alas, it hasn’t. There has been no planning for what will happen to trash generated within the county after the landfill closes – the HCWSA’s primary function.
There has been no planning for ways to extend the life of the landfill beyond 2035. As you will see in a minute, there is one easy solution here.
But there has been plenty of planning for horse trails, picnic areas and a golf course after the landfill closes.
The HCSWA is scheduled to open its piggyback Class III, Subtitle (d) landfill expansion next year. The average cost of building a Class III landfill is approximately $300,000 per acre, according to industry statistics.
The average cost of building a Class II construction and demolition landfill, by those same industry statistics, is approximately $30,000 per acre – one-tenth of the cost of a Class III landfill.
Yet, when the piggyback opens next year, plans call for construction and demolition debris (Class II trash) and municipal solid waste (Class III trash) to be commingled in the piggyback expansion.
This is absolutely absurd – wasting $300,000 per acre landfill space with $30,000 per acre trash.
Approximately one-third of the waste the HCSWA buries is construction and demolition trash.
The HCSWA could extend the life of its new landfill expansion by nearly 7 years (til 2042) just by finding somewhere else to dispose of the C&D waste.
It wouldn’t be hard to find C&D landfills to take this waste to, but the HCSWA flow control monopoly prohibits it from going there.
While the planning for after the landfill closes moves along at considerable cost, planning (or lack of same) for while it remains open seems to concentrate on shortening the life of the facilities through very expensive misuse of them.
Yet, they want us to believe the HCSWA is an indispensable agency for the county. Go figure!