Waste companies push for the right to compete for your trash - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Waste companies push for the right to compete for your trash

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

It's a fight that began in Horry County with the passing of an ordinance ordering all solid waste to be disposed of in the county landfill.

Multiple lawsuits and four years later, large waste companies are pushing for legislation that would give them the right to compete for your trash.

The state's nine remaning public landfills may be a feast for crows, but running the ventures only allow for a small profit.

"Most of the counties operate at a loss rather than seeing any profit," said Wes Covington, attorney for the state Association of Counties. "About $55 million is the net cost for counties and taxpayers in the state."

But a bill moving steadily through the state legislature would cut into those already small margains.

"We're here to do one thing: disallow county government from mandating to every business owner and individual in this state where they have to haul their garbage," said Jason Puhlasky, a lobbyist for Republic Services.

If county dumps lose their promised trash flow, taxpayers may be on the line to make up the cost.

"That would impede on our ability to finance those facilities," said Covington.

Another consideration: who's waste will end up in your backyard?

"There is no way for county or state government to reject out of state waste if a privately owned landfill chooses to accept it," said Covington.

County landfills accept up to 30,000 tons of out of state trash per year. Private landfills accepted up to 600,000 tons last year.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.

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