Berkeley County finds a way to save money on recycling

Berkeley County finds a way to save money on recycling
March 05 17:04 2018 Print This Article

Berkeley County government has entered into a contract with recycling and energy company RePower South to operate at the county landfill.  The company will “mine” recyclables directly out of the landfill and use an automated sorting system to recover materials with a commercially viable market value.  Other materials, such as paper and plastics, will be mixed with organic matter and ground into a powder to be used as fuel pellets for industrial and utility boilers.  The capital and operations costs will be borne by RePower South, and the process will reduce the solid waste stream by 60 to 70% and extend the life of the landfill.  The plant is expected to be operational in early 2019.

The new process would allow Berkeley County residents to co-mingle recyclable materials with their garbage.  The RePower South process has a recovery rate of more than 90%.  Berkeley County currently charges residents $15 per month to participate in a curbside recycling program and operates 15 drop-off recycling sites.

Charleston County is taking a different approach to recycling.  It closed the processing center on Romney Street more than two years ago and spends $1.4 Million per year to haul recyclable materials to a facility in Conway.  Meanwhile, work on a new $24 Million processing center on International Commerce Parkway in North Charleston is underway.  The 57,000 square foot facility is expected to be operational by March 2019, after experiencing some delays caused by soil settling.  Unlike the Berkeley County operation, Charleston County taxpayers will pay for the costs of the recycling operations.