Horry County Council will hold a workshop Thursday on the new Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) being proposed by the Horry County Solid Waste Authority (SWA).
The new plan includes a proposed further expansion of the landfill on Hwy 90 in addition to an already approved expansion that, according to previous projections, was supposed to be accepting waste in 2017 but has not been constructed or needed yet.
Since its creation by Horry County Ordinance 60-90, the SWA has been tasked, “There is a need in Horry County to develop an acceptable alternative method of solid waste disposal and to reduce tonnage of solid waste disposal in sanitary landfills due to the County’s high water table and other geologic characteristics that make utilization and expansion of the existing landfills and development of new landfills especially expensive and difficult.”
Throughout its nearly 30 year existence, the SWA has failed to live up to this task. The latest proposed SWMP clearly demonstrates this failure by planning an expansion on top of an already approved expansion of landfill facilities.
The SWA staff and board members have been pushing for approval of the new SWMP since October 2018 so the authority can go forward to the S. C. Department of Health and Environmental Control with an application for a permit for the newly proposed expansion.
But, rushing approval through council so application can be made to DHEC for approval of a second landfill expansion when one expansion is already approved but not begun seems questionable.
The burying of solid waste is expensive. It becomes even more expensive when proposed expansions are built on top of former landfills which are already closed, which is the basic plan in the approved and proposed expansions.
In addition to construction and daily operations, much of the expense associated with a landfill is the cost requirements of both the state and federal governments to properly close exhausted landfills (closure costs) and to monitor what is happening in the buried waste for 30 years beyond closure (post closure costs).