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AZ Company Brings NJ Trash to SC PDF Print E-mail
Conservation Issues - Conservation

More news about northeast trash coming to South Carolina.

landfill_-_130726_1051

When a legislator asks reporters to stop calling him, you know that a bill is aboveboard (see below).

You can read the original article here.

Trash from NYC, New Jersey sent to South Carolina

GREENVILLE, S.C. —WYFF News 4 Investigates learned out-of-state trash is coming to a South Carolina landfill for a huge amount of cash.

People who live near the Lee County Landfill in Bishopville, S.C. say the trash includes human feces. WYFF News 4 Investigates found Upstate lawmakers have signed off on a bill that some critics say would bring even more out of state trash to South Carolina.

"It smells.  It smells very badly," said Bishopville resident Brooke Raley.

The Lee County Landfill is owned by a company called Republic Services, based out of Arizona.  Republic Services wouldn't confirm that human waste is sent to the landfill, and wouldn't answer any questions about the landfill.

WYFF News 4 Investigates learned the Lee County Landfill took in almost 225,000 tons of trash from other states in 2012.  According to the South Carolina Solid Waste Management Annual Report, 215,000 tons came from New York in 2012.

Lee County Landfill and others in South Carolina including Palmetto Landfill in Spartanburg County and Twin Chimneys Landfill in Greenville County also take in trash from New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia.

WYFF News 4 Investigates learned that New York City's Department of Sanitation pays an average of $112 a ton to dispose of trash at the Lee County Landfill.  In 2012, that added up to about $24 million.

A group called the Coalition Against Dumping on South Carolina is against a bill that would make it tougher for counties to keep out other states' trash.  The bill passed in the House last session.  The group has launched a TV ad against the bill.

"Leave the waste management decision-making where it belongs -- in the hands of the citizens and local communities and counties," said JoAnne Day of the S.C. League of Women Voters and a member of the group.

WYFF News 4 Investigates learned some Upstate lawmakers took campaign money from private waste companies that bring out-of-state trash to South Carolina.

According to South Carolina's State Ethics Commission, Seneca Rep. Bill Sandifer received $2,750 from Waste Management since 2010 and $250 from Republic Services since 2010.
According to South Carolina's State Ethics Commission, Honea Path Rep. Mike Gambrell received $1,500 from Waste Management since 2010 and $250 from Republic Services since 2010.

Local lawmakers cannot accept more than $1,000 in contributions from people or companies during each term of office.

Sandifer asked WYFF News 4 Investigates to stop calling him.  Gambrell did not return phone calls.

House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister, who represents Greenville County, also signed the bill.  Records show he did not accept campaign money from private waste companies.

"I don't want any New Jersey trash here.  I don't want any New York trash here," Bannister said.
WYFF News 4 Investigates asked Bannister why his name is on the bill.  He said he was told the bill would impact an isolated issue in Horry County and was unaware of statewide implications.
"I read it and I did not understand all of the complicated issues between public and private landfills," Bannister said.

"I don't know, if that same bill came back, if it would pass the House. I don't think it would pass the House a second time because now all of the landfills that are going to be affected or would be are aware and are saying, 'This is not a good idea,'" Bannister said.
The bill now goes to South Carolina's Senate when the legislative session begins in January.