Horry County Council is scheduled to discuss the latest revision to the Horry County Solid Waste Authority (SWA) Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) during its budget workshop next week.
According to information SWA Director Danny Knight provided to SWA board members recently, approximately 30 minutes has been scheduled for discussion of the SWMP and the county’s budget Fund 6 which provides revenue for the SWA convenience centers throughout the county.
The county’s SWMP needs approval from Horry County Council before it can be submitted to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. The SWA initially requested approval during an October county council regular meeting and council Chairman Mark Lazarus scheduled discussion for the budget workshop to give council members time to study the over 500 page document.
This is a good first step. However, 15-30 minutes during the council workshop is probably not nearly enough time to dig into the details of the proposed SWMP and the inconsistencies that seem to be contained therein.
The SWMP is an important guidance document in that it outlines the plan the county has for the handling of solid waste for the next 20 years. Prior to requesting a permit from DHEC for change or expansion of services, that change or expansion must be included as part of the SWMP.
Included in the current SWMP revision is a large expansion of space for the burying of additional municipal solid waste (MSW) in future years.
This is being planned despite the fact that the SWA has never studied alternatives to burying more and more waste in Horry County as it was charged to do in the county ordinance 60-90 that established the SWA.
According to DHEC reports, there are nine county owned landfills in South Carolina. The SWA buries approximately 99% of the waste generated in Horry County in the SWA landfill on Hwy 90. The average amount of county generated waste buried in the other eight landfills owned by various counties in the state is 35%.
Other than its pride in being called “The Independent Republic”, why do Horry County solid waste management practices diverge so widely from what is considered sufficient in the rest of the state?