The Case Against Flow Control


By Paul Gable

A bill that would make flow control illegal in South Carolina currently rests in the S.C. Senate Rules Committee awaiting a majority vote to put it on the calendar for full Senate vote.

Flow control is the term that means establishing monopoly control over the flow of the solid waste stream in an area, in this case a county.

It is illegal for private companies to establish flow control over a waste stream, but, currently, not for county government to do so. Horry County currently has a flow control ordinance in place that makes its Horry County Solid Waste Authority the monopoly arbiter over county waste.

In a country whose president Teddy Roosevelt led the fight against monopolies in the form of trusts over 100 years ago and whose Justice Department must still pass on company mergers that would put a majority of business in any market in the hands of one company, the concept of flow control seems absurd.

But, a 2007 ruling by a majority conservative U.S. Supreme Court allowed two counties in New York state to establish flow control over their waste for monetary reasons. This ruling was used by Horry County to establish flow control in South Carolina, even though monetary survival of the SWA was not an issue.

Greenwood County is currently considering establishing flow control for reasons that more closely mirror the New York case.

Yet, the Greenwood Index-Journal recently ran an editorial opposing such a move. The article makes a good analogy to the car market.

Grand Strand Daily and SC Hotline have long opposed the concept of flow control in general and in Horry County specifically.

Government monopoly control of the marketplace is a communist concept that did not work in the former Soviet Union or in Communist China. And, it is frankly, un-American.

Read the Index-Journal editorial here:

One Comment

  1. so right: Glad we have one on the board that uses common sense Dan Gray: He is our only hope for local representation on this issue