Don’t private landfills operate more efficiently?
No. The average tipping fee for putting a ton of garbage in a public landfill is $38.12 and the average tipping fee at a private landfill is $38.42. This is remarkable when you consider that public landfills typically handle much smaller volume and do not get the economies of scale or have the added transport cost that the private companies and private landfills do. The chart below is a real-world example of how private landfills aren’t always a better deal for taxpayers.
The chart shows how Waste Management steadily increased the price per ton of trash in Beaufort County. When the County began looking into a transfer station that would reduce its dependence on Waste Management, the company lowered the price. That was in 2008. Now, the price is creeping back up again.
Wouldn’t this bill create a government monopoly?
Far from it. If there is any danger of monopoly, it is that private landfills will become the only option in South Carolina. There are currently nine public landfills and eight private landfills in South Carolina. In fact, private waste companies are currently “permitted” for (67%) and dispose (74%) of the majority of the waste in South Carolina.
Out of state waste doesn’t appear to be in the bill, so why do you say that it is?
Government cannot prohibit a private landfill from accepting out of state waste under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The only way to prohibit out of state waste is for the public to own the landfill. This bill would make it very difficult to issue bonds for a public landfill and possibly more expensive. If your local government cannot build and support a landfill, it cannot prohibit out of state waste. The bill’s name was strategically crafted to hide the fact it is, in fact, specifically about “out of state waste.”
Doesn’t “flow control” mandate that all waste go to a government landfill?
Flow control is simply the mechanism by which waste is directed to a landfill. In many instances, that mechanism directs the waste to a private facility or transfer station. Private waste company operations are essential to achieving the purposes of public solid waste plans and flow control is not an assault on them, it’s simply the process by which it occurs.
Why should public facilities get a competitive advantage over private companies?
Public landfills don’t exist because of a competitive advantage over private companies. They exist because the State legislature mandated that counties enter into the solid waste business to protect the health and safety of its local citizenship. That is the goal of public operations.
Why do you support more government regulation of private industry?
This bill deals with the solid waste industry and the majority of SC voters (76.4%) have been clear. They want a say in what comes into their state and community. County involvement in the solid waste field is the only way for those citizens to have that voice and to provide a real measure of accountability. If this bill passes they will lose it.