If South Carolina residents only had to worry about disposing of their own trash there would be very little talk about landfills and out of state waste. But, for years we have been accepting other states’ trash and if H. 3290 passes we’ll only get more.

How much do you know about trash in the Palmetto State?

How does the so-called 75-mile rule affect H. 3290? If it passed, would more landfills open in South Carolina?

Many years ago, lawmakers passed legislation that made it illegal for two private landfills to be built within 75 miles of each other. On the surface, it looked like a good idea. It meant that no one had to worry about landfill after landfill opening in their county. As the map below shows, there are really only two places in the entire state where new landfills could be opened.

But one of the offshoots of the law is that is nearly impossible for a new company to open a landfill in our state, which means that the two private companies that control waste in South Carolina, Waste Management and Republic Services, would have no competition.

So, given the 75-mile rule and the fact that there is no other private competition, Waste Management and Republic Services would want to make their existing landfills even bigger and the way they would do that is by bringing in more out-of-state trash.

 

How much garbage was buried in solid waste (Class 3) landfills last year?
Almost 5.5 million tons.

 

What percent of solid waste in SC goes to private landfills owned by out-of-state waste corporations?
75 percent.

 

How many tons of garbage comes from out-of-state each year?
Almost 700,000 tons.

 

How much trash did New York send to South Carolina last year?
215,248 tons. North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia also sent our state hundreds of thousands of tons of their trash.

 

Which state sends de-watered human sewage to SC?
New York.

 

Which landfill in SC buries de-watered human sewage?
Republic’s Lee County “Trash Mountain.”

 

How much of SC’s solid waste stream is controlled by two out-of-state waste corporations?
Waste Management & Republic control 70 percent of the solid waste stream in South Carolina.

 

What percentage of trash does SC aim to recycle by 2020?
40 percent = Reducing the average disposal to 3.25 pounds per person per day.

 

Which county had a recycling rate above 40 percent?
Greenville.

 

How many lobbyists were working in South Carolina for ‘big trash’ last year?
18+.

 

At the current rate of disposal, how long will the currently permitted trash landfills last?
30 years.

 

According to a recent poll, what percentage of voters opposes out-of-state waste?
88 percent of South Carolina Voters oppose additional out of state waste.

 

What percentage of households in SC has access to curbside recycling?
Less than 30.