Post Tagged with: "Charleston County"

SWA to Ship More Trash Out of County

March 6, 2017 5:22 AM
SWA to Ship More Trash Out of County

The Horry County Solid Waste Authority (SWA) will be shipping more construction and demolition trash out of the county in the coming months to meet requirements of Horry County Council.

When the SWA received council permission to change its budget in order to process recyclables from Charleston County, Horry County Council told the SWA that no airspace at the SWA landfill on Hwy 90 could be lost to Charleston trash.

Since the SWA landfill is the only facility in which Horry County municipal solid waste (household garbage) is disposed, council’s concern was that the full landfill capacity be saved for Horry County residents.

In approximately five years, MSW and C&D waste from Horry County will be commingled in the SWA landfill, according to SWA officials. The landfill’s available disposal volume for Horry County trash is currently projected to run out in 2042.

In order to meet council’s requirement, SWA executive director Danny Knight told council the SWA agreed to ship C&D waste, currently disposed at the SWA, out of county in an amount equal to Charleston residual trash resulting from the SWA/Charleston County recycling contract.

“We have structured a program where we (SWA) will match ton for ton, day for day, however you want to do it, we will send that much material out of our landfill to a landfill across the river,” Knight told the Horry County Infrastructure and Regulation Committee at its September 24, 2015 meeting.

SWA then board chairman Lance Thompson reiterated Knight’s statement at the same meeting, “This will be a net neutral effect. Anything that’s coming to our landfill from the direction of Charleston County, we’re going to send out (of county) the same amount of C&D…”

After an extensive study of SWA reports related to the Charleston County recyclable contract, Grand Strand Daily determined that requirement was not being met.

Read more ›

Horry County Council Looking at Deficits

March 10, 2016 6:15 AM
Horry County Council Looking at Deficits

Horry County Council is taking a close look this week at projected deficits in the Horry County Solid Waste Authority and Horry County Department of Airports.

The HCSWA board heard of a revised projected deficit of nearly $600,000 for the coming fiscal year earlier this week.

The deficit comes mainly from higher costs, including personnel pay and benefits and increased construction cost projections for the authority’s landfill expansion.

However, the recycling agreement with Charleston County also continues to operate in the red.

The airport deficits all come on the general aviation side of operations, according to a report by HCDA to the Horry County Transportation Committee earlier in the week.

According to HCDA statistics, Grand Strand Airport is losing approximately $304,000, Conway Airport approximately $200,000 and Loris Airport approximately $100,000. The only thing keeping the fixed base operations at Myrtle Beach International profitable are fuel sales to military aircraft using the facilities.

The above number for Grand Strand Airport does not include approximately $165,000 spent in legal fees during the current fiscal year for the ongoing lawsuit with Skydive Myrtle Beach.

Read more ›

Charleston Contract Costing HCSWA

January 15, 2016 4:33 AM
Charleston Contract Costing HCSWA

The contract between Charleston County and the Horry County Solid Waste Authority for the HCSWA to process Charleston County recyclables is costing Horry County money.

With five months (Aug thru Dec) of solid numbers behind us, the HCSWA has lost approximately $130,000 processing Charleston County recyclables.

When the HCSWA entered into the contract with Charleston County, it was estimated the contract would bring a profit of approximately $1 million per year. That certainly does not seem to be the case with revenues from sale of recyclables over those five months totaling approximately $1.860 million and expenses totaling approximately $1.990 million.

The only thing saving the HCSWA from even greater losses was a three month amendment to the contract, which allows Horry County to not pay Charleston County for transportation costs related to bringing the Charleston County recyclables to Horry County.

The contract calls for Horry County to pay Charleston County $425 per truckload of recyclables shipped from Charleston County. These payments have been suspended for December through February. The suspension allowed the HCSWA to realize a modest $20,000 profit in December.

Several other line items are puzzling from the HCSWA’s latest report. Expenses associated with Charleston recyclables are less than expenses associated with Horry County recyclables. However, Charleston County recyclables are approximately double the amount of Horry County recyclables.

Additionally, a total of 21,382 tons of recyclables have been processed in the five months while only 13,192 tons have been sold. This leaves 8,190 tons of recyclables unsold.

Read more ›

HCSWA Moves to Cut Charleston Losses

December 18, 2015 5:05 AM
HCSWA Moves to Cut Charleston Losses

The Finance Committee of the Horry County Solid Waste Authority board heard Thursday of moves to cut the losses the authority has sustained from its deal to process Charleston County recyclables.

According to HCSWA staff, Charleston County will pay the cost of transportation of its recyclables to Horry County for November, December and January in an attempt to allow the HCSWA to recoup its current losses.

In addition, any amount above 14.5% of residuals will be shipped back to Charleston for disposal.

But, even if the excess of 14.5% is shipped back to Charleston, that won’t solve the other key assumption in the contract that must be met if the HCSWA is ever going to turn a profit from the deal.

Every ton of recyclables above the 14.5% residual threshold means lost revenue that is needed for a profit to be realized.

The estimated profit of $1 million per year is based on a residual rate of not more than 14.5% and the ability to realize an average of $135 per ton revenue from the remaining 85.5% of recyclables processed.

One other problem is the amount of recyclable waste going to the HCSWA landfill.

Horry County Council made it specifically clear that it did not want any Charleston recyclables going into the HCSWA landfill. That space must be saved for Horry County trash and extended as much as possible.

The HCSWA told council it had an arrangement to send C&D waste out of the county in an amount equal to the excess recyclable residual amount realized. This was an airspace neutral arrangement.

The HCSWA claims a historic 14.5% residual rate for recyclables from Horry County.

Read more ›

HCSWA Losing Money on Charleston Recyclables

December 16, 2015 7:02 AM
HCSWA Losing Money on Charleston Recyclables

Four months into a contract to process Charleston County recyclables at its material recovery facility, the Horry County Solid Waste Authority is losing money.

When the contract was being negotiated back in the summer and when it was presented to Horry County Council, the Charleston County deal was estimated to bring in $1 million per year in profits to the HCSWA.

Instead, the HCSWA is on track to lose at least that much by the end of the fiscal year.

Over the last two months (October and November) when all costs including trucking are reported, the HCSWA is losing approximately $125,000 per month.

The major reason appears to be false assumptions on how much of the incoming tonnage of recyclables would be sold.

In October and November, the total amount of recyclables arriving at the MRF was 4,386 and 4,238 respectively. The tons sold in those months were 2801 in October and 2,430 in November.

This left unsold recyclable tonnage of 3,383 (39% of the total) over the two months. The assumptions during the summer were that approximately 14.5% of incoming tonnage would be unsold residuals.

Horry County Council told the HCSWA it didn’t want any Charleston County trash to go into the HCSWA landfill. The HCSWA told council it would send an equivalent amount of construction and demolition debris (equal to the Charleston residual amount) out of the county.

According to sources familiar with the processing, approximately 700 total tons of C&D debris was sent to a landfill in Marion County in October and November. This leaves approximately 2,683 tons of residuals unaccounted for.

It is impossible to tell just how much residual tonnage is attributable to Charleston because Charleston County and Horry County recyclables are mixed when they arrive at the MRF.

Read more ›

HCSWA Charleston Recycling Review

November 22, 2015 6:03 AM
HCSWA Charleston Recycling Review

The HCSWA recycling processing of Charleston County trash is now three months old and the results are not what were projected, at least yet.

Through the process to get Horry County Council approval of a contract between the Horry County Solid Waste Authority and Charleston County to allow the HCSWA to process Charleston County recyclables, a projected profit from the contract of $1 million per year for the HCSWA was often repeated.

According to numbers presented by HCSWA officials to the Horry County Infrastructure and Regulation Committee, through the first three months that the authority has processed Charleston County recyclables, the HCSWA material recovery facility (MRF) operations have lost approximately $133,000.

It’s been 50 years since I took Calculus I, but a $133,000 loss in the first quarter of operations did not then, and does not now, project out to a $1 million profit at the end of the year.

HCSWA executive director Danny Knight spoke of the necessity to replace three belts and 30 rollers in the recycling equipment. Knight said the maintenance replacement of this equipment was overdue and now became necessary because of the increased load of recyclables being processed at the MRF.

The HCSWA also obtained a new, larger front end loader for the MRF because of the increased material.

Those costs appear to be amortized over the life of the equipment so no large, upfront cost is included in the above numbers.

The excess cost problem appears to be in the amount of residuals being experienced.

Read more ›

I&R Recommends HCSWA Contract

September 24, 2015 7:00 PM
I&R Recommends HCSWA Contract

The Horry County Infrastructure and Regulation Committee voted Thursday to recommend passage of third reading of the budget amendment for the HCSWA recycling contract.

That recommendation will go forward to full council at its October 6, 2015 regular meeting.

If this recommendation is acted upon by full council with a favorable super majority vote, as it is expected to at this time, the recycling contract between the HCSWA and Charleston County will move forward without any further clouds over its head at present.

Part of that budget amendment requires HCSWA officials to come before the I&R Committee monthly with reports on recycling tonnage received, percentage of rejects in that waste stream, income received from sales of the recyclables and expenses associated with the running of the HCSWA material recovery facility among other items.

An additional requirement associated with the contract was a requirement by members of Horry County Council that any rejects or unsold recyclables that were taken to the HCSWA landfill for disposal were not to displace any available airspace for normal county uses.

As a result, the HCSWA entered into a contract to ship out of the county at least an amount of construction and demolition debris tonnage equal to the tonnage of recycling rejects and unsellable items taken to the HCSWA landfill for disposal.

Read more ›

HCSWA Recycling Contract

September 22, 2015 7:00 AM
HCSWA Recycling Contract

The details of the HCSWA recycling contract with Charleston County should become clearer before this week is over.

The HCSWA board will meet this afternoon. Included on the board agenda is a timeline discussion by executive director Danny Knight to answer questions about why the process took so long from first discussions with Charleston County to reach the HCSWA board and Horry County Council.

The Horry County Infrastructure and Regulation Committee will meet Thursday. The I&R agenda includes a discussion about the contract between the HCSWA and Charleston County, including the assumptions that go into the calculation of profit for the HCSWA.

According to reports from Charleston County, the county spent $8 million on recycling at its Romney Street facility last fiscal year and recyclables sold garnered $1.7 million.

There are some questions among committee members and others interested in the project why the same recyclables, with the added cost of trucking, can be processed at a profit in Horry County.

Additionally, sources familiar with the contract approval process say the Charleston County has purchased (or is in the process of purchasing) equipment to repair its Romney Street facililty in order to process recyclables in county in the near future.

Those sources predict the contract between Charleston County and the HCSWA will be cancelled within 90-120 days regardless of what happens with third reading of the budget amendment ordinance by Horry County Council.

Read more ›

Council Reconsiders HCSWA Recycling Contract

September 15, 2015 8:00 PM
Council Reconsiders HCSWA Recycling Contract

MBREDC Gets More Tax Dollars for Corporate Welfare

Horry County Council voted 11-0 to pass a reconsidered second reading of a budget amendment regarding the HCSWA recycling contract with Charleston County.

Second reading failed by a 7-4 vote at council’s September 1, 2015 regular meeting. The vote was on a budget amendment which requires a super majority of nine “Yes” votes to pass.

The budget amendment requires passage of one more reading to become law. If this occurs, the contract bringing Charleston County recyclables into Horry County for processing at the HCSWA material recycling facility will officially be approved.

The interesting part of the reconsidered vote is the recycling contract and other HCSWA issues will be considered at the September 24, 2015 meeting of the county’s Infrastructure and Regulation Committee.

This stipulation was added as an amendment to the budget amendment ordinance along with a requirement that the HCSWA will be subject to monthly scrutiny by the I&R Committee.

These new requirements were enough to get the deal to take recyclables from Charleston County back on track, at least for the time being.

Concerns from the council members who originally voted against second reading of the budget amendment arise from issues at the HCSWA, not the Charleston County contract itself, according to sources familiar with the issues.

Read more ›

HCSWA Info to Council Faulty

September 6, 2015 5:30 AM
HCSWA Info to Council Faulty

Horry County Council received faulty information about the HCSWA dealings with Charleston County during its regular meeting last week.

I do not believe the intent was to provide false information. Rather, I believe it was the result of information being provided sparingly when it should have been discussed openly and shared from a much earlier date.

Several council members were very upset about being asked to quickly consider a budget amendment for the HCSWA budget after a contract was signed and Charleston County trash was already making its way to Horry County.

Council member Johnny Vaught asked when the first contact was made between Charleston County and the HCSWA board. Authority board chairman Lance Thompson said HCSWA staff was first contacted May 28, 2015.

Vaught asked when the HCSWA board became involved in the contract decision. Thompson said a couple weeks later the board was notified, then, at a board meeting the board voted to allow staff to negotiate.

Vaught said, “Essentially negotiations had not begun until you (HCSWA board) were contacted and you guys voted to go ahead.” Thompson agreed that was correct.

Council member Gary Loftus stated he understood Sonoco, the company that was running the Charleston County material recycling facility, had given notice in December 2014 that it was considering terminating its contract with Charleston County.

A representative from Sonoco said the company informed Charleston County that it was unable to operate the Charleston County MRF economically and notified the county it would cease operations July 31, 2015 under the termination clause. In addition, Sonoco took the decision because of the limited progress made toward Charleston County’s commitment to build a new, more efficient MRF.

Read more ›