Three states ship treated human sewage to Midlands landfills - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

You asked, we found out: 3 states ship treated sewage to SC landfills

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

After more than 18 tons of treated human waste on its way to Columbia from out of state spilled Tuesday on Interstate 77 in Fort Mill, you wanted to know just how much waste is shipped to S.C and where it was coming from.

Our investigative team looked into the issue.

The sludge that spilled was coming from a Charlotte Waste Water Treatment Plant to a Midlands landfill. The waste is called different names: de-watered human sewage, sludge, or bio solids. 

Essentially it's treated sewage with the liquid taken out, making it a cake-like substance. The material was treated enough to not be hazardous and it was in South Carolina legally.

A WIS investigation uncovered North Carolina isn't the only state that sends its human waste into the Palmetto State. New York also sends its de-watered human sewage to South Carolina.

Where is it dumped? WIS found at least three different landfills in the Midlands that accept this type of sludge.

Waste Management's landfill in Elgin confirmed they accept the sludge, but we're also told the Lee County landfill and another in Richland County accept the waste, although neither have returned WIS' calls to confirm.

Georgia also send bio solids into the Upstate, to be used on some farmer's fields. But it's not just bio solids coming into South Carolina from other states.

Municipal Waste from five states, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia were allowed to be dumped in South Carolina's landfills in 2012, but now we're down to three states, Georgia, New York, and North Carolina.

South Carolina accepted just over 666,000 tons of out of state solid waste in 2013, down from the previous year.

There are also no permits needed in South Carolina to import solid waste, and it can be any type of waste imported as long as it's been appropriately treated and is no longer considered hazardous waste.

There's big money in out of state waste. New York City pays an average of $112 a ton to dispose of trash in South Carolina.

The state also deals with infectious waste which can also be imported but must go to an approved treatment facility.

Infectious waste is medical or bio-hazard waste.

Low level radioactive waste can be shipped into and through the state.

An agreement is pending for Germany to send nuclear waste to the Savannah River Site, a hearing will be held later this month.

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