South Carolina Drops Ban on New Landfills

Date: May 14, 2009

Source: News Room

South Carolina's efforts to impose a moratorium on new and so-called "mega-landfills" was dealt a defeat this week after failing to win approval from a mere three-member House agriculture subcommittee of lawmakers. The defeat could reopen the doors for new landfills and out-of-state waste allowed into the state. Conservationists were quick to criticize the legislature for being in the pocket of industry and said the state will likely see more 100-foot high landfills. Waste companies stand by their efforts to protect the environment. The moratorium was set to take effect next month.

Waste Business Journal estimates that the state imported about 1.3 million tons of waste from other states in 2008, making it the eleventh largest waste importer. Pennsylvania with 8.6 million tons imported and Virginia which imported 6.2 million tons in 2008 top the list. South Carolina's largest landfill, operated by Phoenix-based Republic Services, ships waste from up the East Coast to Lee County while Houston-based Waste Management also imports waste from North Carolina to its Palmetto Landfill near Spartanburg.

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