Legislation in the works to change where your garbage goes - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Legislation in the works to change where your garbage goes

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(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

It might be the last thing you think about once meals are devoured and gifts open this holiday season. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans will generate 25 percent more trash, about 1 million extra pounds of garbage between now and New Years Day.

Soon state legislation could change where that garbage goes.

"It's a multi-million dollar enterprise for sure," said Shawn Drury with the Conservation Voters of South Carolina. "Just in the time we've been here, we've seen 30 trucks come in and out."

And several of the nation's largest waste corporations have taken their fight for a piece of that profit to the state legislature. A house bill would allow private waste companies to compete with counties for your trash.

"They dispose of about 75 percent of the waste, so I don't' see how we are hindering their operations," said Josh Rhodes with the SC Association of Counties.

Lobbyists for those waste companies declined to comment on our story but did defend the bill earlier this year.

"We're here to do one thing," said Jason Puhlasky with Republic Waste. "Disallow county government from mandating to every business owner and individual in the state, where they haul their garbage."

Rhodes said it's an effort by a few large out of state waste companies to essentially increase their profits on the backs of South Carolina tax payers.

The Association of Counties, along with conservation groups worry this legislation could open the door for increased taxes as traffic and business at the nine public landfills in the state may decrease with more competition.

"It would hinder their ability to direct waste into the landfill, which pays for those systems," Rhodes said. "The only other way to pay for those systems is to raise taxes on the citizenry which is a very unpopular thing to do."

Although lobbyists for those large waste companies say out of state trash coming into SC has decrease over the years, opponents of the bill predict resurgence.

"The incentive there is to bring in out of state waste because it's worth more money," Rhodes said. "Whereas public landfills are more worried about saving capacity."

A lobbyist for Republic Waste Services tells WIS a vote may be held in Horry County regarding the repeal of their controversial flow control ordinance.

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