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Solid Waste Authority discusses landfill expansion on Highway 90 with residents

By Ruben Lowman

The Solid Waste Authority held an initial public meeting last week to discuss the Horry County landfill after officially filing a permit for its expansion. 

Residents met with the board of the Horry County Solid Waste Authority (HCSWA) on Wednesday, April 6, in order to give their opinions and concerns about the possible expansion of the landfill, which sits on the rapidly-developing Highway 90 corridor. 

Currently, the county’s landfill is able to collect 265,000 tons of waste annually, with the height at the moment standing at 110 feet above sea level. HCSWA officials are proposing to alter those figures to allow them to collect 750,000 tons of waste per year, and see the potential height of the landfill rise to 284 feet above sea level. In order to do so,  they filed a permit with South Carolina Department of Environmental Control (SCDHEC) that would see the life of the landfill be extended for nearly 30 years to 2051.

Residents along Highway 90 discussed their views at the meeting, which was being held in order hear their concerns for the expansion. Councilmember Danny Hardee, who represents District 10 which includes Green Sea and the communities around Loris, was present at the meeting. His district is comprised of much of Highway 90 where the expansion would take place. 

Hardee worked for HCSWA for nearly a decade and said the expansion of the landfill was a necessary inconvenience for the county and its residents. He said the growth of the area and the large number of visitors each year makes it vital to extend the life of the landfill now.  

“Not only do we have the citizens that live here but we got millions of people that visit,” Hardee said. “And I don’t believe you can find a person that comes that doesn’t produce some kind of trash.”

Safety issues, highway concerns with heavy trucks on the road, a potential uptick in traffic and congestion, and questions about how the landfill expansion would affect their homes’ property values were all given by residents who live along Highway 90. 

Another major alteration they would like to see take place with HCSWA is to have a committee comprised of local residents that would be able to discuss these sorts of issues more openly with the authority. 

“We request a permanent citizen’s committee to be able to meet with you and to let you know how the community at large feels about what’s happening here,” said area resident David Lukeson. 

Andrew Rosaforte, another resident along the highway, commended the authority, saying the way the landfill is being run is perfect and that they were doing a fantastic job. But he still wanted to see the HCSWA add the committee for residents. 

“I think it’s important that we have some kind of community activist organization, or whatever you want to call it, that lets the community of Horry County know what’s going on with the solid waste authority,” Rosaforte said. 

Along with about a half dozen other residents, Rosaforte and Lukeson make up the facilities issue negotiating process, which is an advisory committee of locals who are working with the authority’s board to navigate through the landfill expansion.

Ultimately, the meeting was held for initial public input, with the next HCSWA meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, at 6 p.m., to assess how to proceed with the proposed expansion plans.

About Polly Lowman