- South Carolina's Horry County Solid Waste Authority reached agreement with Charleston County to process its recyclables, but completion of the contract hinged on support from Horry County Council. Nine council member votes were needed, but only seven gave approval.
Horry County is in need of revenue and considered raising fees for customers because of an expected $600,000 drop in sales revenue from recyclables. Charleston County was offering to pay Horry $70,000 per month.
Charleston was optimistic of a deal and had ended its contract with Sonoco at the end of July.
The counties are about 200 miles apart and have done business before. In 1997, Horry suffered a fire at its facility and Charleston stepped in to offer assistance.
Some Horry council members saw the deal that could bring the waste authority $1.6 million as a win-win, and others were upset that the request came at the last minute. "I don't like dealing with a gun to my head," said Horry County Councilman Gary Loftus. "When you rush things, they generally get screwed up."
Unfortunately for Charleston, its facility needs time and resources to be able to handle the volume of material being produced by residents and businesses. However, council members could change their minds and bring an immediate solution to both sides.
"If we don’t get [this agreement] passed, then we won’t be able to continue to operate the contract with Charleston County," said Lance Thompson, chairman of the authority’s board. "We hope there’s another way to somehow get that completed."