Officials with the Horry County Solid Waste Authority can breathe a little easier for the next several months, as a pair of bills that would have effectively killed the county’s flow control ordinance didn’t pass before the end of the state legislative session on Thursday.
Mike Bessant, governmental affairs director for the SWA, said House Bill 4721 didn’t get past second reading and wasn’t attached to another bill on Thursday, thereby ending its chances to become law during this legislative session.
“We’re glad that the general assembly saw fit not to take up the legislation this year,” Bessant said.
The flow control ordinance requires all Horry County waste to be disposed of in county landfills and prevents out-of-county waste haulers from using local dumps.
Horry County’s tipping fees – the fees paid by trash haulers – are $29 a ton, among the lowest in the state. Fears were that if flow control disappears, so will the educational and recycling programs those fees support.
For now, those fears can be set aside; however, the thought is that the debate will resume.
“I anticipate a similar bill being again introduced by the national waste haulers next year, and a similar battle being undertaken again,” said John Weaver, former Horry County administrator.
He added that national haulers and their lobbyists have plenty of money at their disposal, and “all the time in the world” to take over the county’s landfill.
Opponents of flow control say the measure creates a monopoly that is harmful to private garbage haulers in Horry County.
Rep. Nelson Hardwick, R-Surfside Beach, for one, has been vocal in his opposition to flow control.
“I see that as a monopoly,” Hardwick previously said. “When you have no choices, it’s a monopoly.”
Contact BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301.