Horry County looks for relief in electronic waste disposal

On the Horry County Council’s agenda for Tuesday’s meeting is a resolution requesting support of local state delegates to help take the burden off cities and counties having to float the bill for disposing of all electronic waste.

Mike Bessant, governmental affairs director for the Horry County Solid Waste Authority, said he recently met with the local delegation, who expressed hopes to have laws in place to help cover the costs associated with e-waste disposal.

“We need something done as soon as possible,” Bessant said.

Horry County’s bill for disposing of old electronics could spike from $30,000 a year to around $300,000.

Bessant said that’s money that could go toward two more county recycling centers.

When the state legislature passed a bill that took effect in July 2011 and prohibited electronics such as old televisions and computers from ending up in local landfills, it did so without setting up proper procedures that called for electronics manufacturers to bear the burden of those additional recycling programs.

After the state renegotiated its contract with Creative Recycling, of North Carolina, to handle its electronics recycling, the service that had only cost Horry County in processing fees is now costing all cities tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“The changes that were made in the state’s contract with Creative Recycling Systems have had a tremendous negative impact on Horry County as well as every municipality in Horry County at a time when local governments can ill-afford any increases in expenses,” the county resolution stated.

Bessant said there were 930 tons of electronics kept out of the local landfill in the 2012 fiscal year.

Danny Knight, executive director of the SWA, previously told the Horry County Infrastructure and Regulation Committee they were being charged around $400 per ton for the electronic recycling.

He wants to see electronics manufacturers help offset the local cost.

“I think it’s their responsibility to help cover the cost of products that they have sold,” Knight has said.