The busy Socastee recycling center is about to move into a larger facility that Horry County Solid Waste Authority officials say has been a long time coming.
Located off Jones Road near the Horry Electric substation, the new recycling center will open to the public on May 23.
"We're excited about it," said Danny Knight, SWA executive director.
The current facility is located on two acres of land behind Socastee High School. Esther Murphy, SWA's director of corporate affairs, said the center is one of its smallest.
"It's truly not big enough," she said. "Socastee is our busiest center."
The numbers certainly seem to prove that. Murphy said the center averaged around 1,100 people a day. Factor in the seven-days-a-week schedule, and that's roughly 7,700 weekly.
On average, the center saw around 33,000 monthly, according to Murphy.
During the 2010 fiscal year, 61,000 tons of recyclables were collected by the SWA's 24 Horry County centers, Murphy said. Of that, 14,000 tons came from the Socastee location alone.
Murphy added that the search for property to build a larger facility started five years ago. Four acres of land off Jones Road was chosen, and construction began in November.
Additional space isn't the only advantage the new center has. Knight said there are paved roads and a stoplight at S.C. 544 to help people get into the facility with greater ease.
The center also has new equipment for handling bulk waste like couches, chairs and lumber.
Knight said these items have been going into open-top boxes. Now, they're looking to add compactors with more space to put at the new Socastee center.
One thing that won't change are the hours. The center will still serve residents seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Fee recommendation moves forward
The SWA's operations and planning committee met Friday to discuss a proposedprohibited waste load fee, which was unanimously approved to move on to the full board before being forwarded to the Horry County Council for a vote.
In a letter sent to the committee from Bill Hilling, director of operations and planning, the recommendation was that the fee be $100 per ton of out-of-county waste brought to the SWA landfill.
The $100 fee would be in addition to the normal $29 disposal charge.
The letter said the SWA has received loads containing out-of-county waste, which violates Horry County ordinance.
That ordinance states, "no solid waste that has been generated in, brought from or collected in an area outside Horry County ... shall be allowed to be deposited in the Horry County Solid Waste Authority sanitary landfill, unless specifically authorized."
The committee added a tier schedule for repeat offenses. A second violation would be a $125 fine, while the third would be $150.
Contact BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301.