- South Carolina's Charleston County is hesitant about building a new recycling facility due to environmental concerns with the site and challenging commodity prices, as reported by The Post and Courier.
- The material recovery facility would cost between $18-25 million. It would be built on a former landfill site which some council members are concerned may have environmental damage that needs to be remediated.
- At least one council member has advocated for waiting until RePower completes a waste-to-energy facility in nearby Berkeley County because the recycling market remains soft.
Since Charleston County declined to renew a contract with local recycler Sonoco, it has been shipping recyclables to Horry County for $5,000 per day which is currently seen as a temporary solution. The closure has also affected other municipal governments which utilized the facility.
The planned RePower facility, which would extract some recyclables and turn the remaining material into fuel pellets for coal plants, is not expected to be operational until 2018. While some view the company's technology as untested it also has plans for a facility in Virginia. This model of mixed-waste processing with an energy extraction or a fuel product has also begun to gain traction lately in other parts of the country despite some continuing skepticism.
Charleston's City Council is set to vote on the recycling facility decision Oct. 4. The plan's approval is currently uncertain in yet another sign that local governments are still struggling to view recycling as a given regardless of the cost.