Horry County Solid Waste Authority officials plan to be at the next county Infrastructure and Regulation committee meeting to answer any further questions committee members have regarding the five-year recycling contract the authority is trying to get the county to sign.
Danny Knight, executive director of the authority, said Horry County is the largest hauler of recyclables to the Material Recycling Facility, and is one of the last government entities to sign an incentive package that would save county taxpayers $40,000 annually. The incentive refunds a percentage of tipping fees to garbage haulers based on the amount of refuse brought to the county landfill.
“Somebody’s going to ask what sense does it make that the county does not save the money and be part of it,” Knight said after Tuesday’s solid waste authority board meeting. “I’m just hoping that they will see that it’s a big savings to their budget. The more they save there, the more they’ve got money to do other things with. But, that’s totally up to them whether they take it or don’t take it.”
The issue was discussed at a county Infrastructure and Regulation committee meeting earlier this month. Although most committee members voiced support for the incentive, they had questions about why the county had to essentially sign a contract with itself.
Solid waste authorities have been questioned through the federal court system about who and how it bills. The final ruling, Knight said, is that authorities must treat every customer, including the county, equally. There is also an exit clause in the contract that allowed them to break the contract with ease.
Emma Ruth Brittain, attorney for the authority, said the clause is “the standard” and “not an unusual clause.”
Knight said the authority is trying to abide by county efforts in the past to encourage recycling instead of mandate it.
“Council didn’t want to fight that battle on mandating recycling, but encourage recycling,” he said. “Part of our by-laws is to encourage recycling and set up incentives and set up contracts.”
“I hope that we can, by answering their questions, that they’ll go ahead and feel comfortable passing it. I don’t know if that’s a County Council wide situation or just one or two people.”
Earlier this month, Councilman Jody Prince asked County Attorney Arrigo Carotti to explore options the county has to dissolve the Solid Waste Authority and transform it into a commission or committee. Carotti is expected to bring those options to the next committee meeting.
The next Infrastructure and Regulation committee meeting is in September, but an exact date was not known late Tuesday because the county’s website was down for maintenance.
“We’ll be there to answer questions,” Knight said. “We’re not pushy.”
Contact JASON M. RODRIGUEZ at 626-0301 or follow him at Twitter.com/TSN_jrodriguez.