County recycling programs moving in different directions

County recycling programs moving in different directions
April 03 11:48 2019 Print This Article

The recycling programs in Charleston and Berkeley counties are moving in different directions. RePower South, a private sector firm, will soon operate the Berkeley County recycling program at the Oakley Road landfill. Charleston County’s planned recycling center in North Charleston is on hold, due to engineering problems. Recyclable materials are being held on-site at the Bees Ferry landfill in West Ashley and the recently re-opened Romney Street landfill on the peninsula.

Berkeley County residents will be able to co-mingle recyclable materials with their garbage. RePower South uses an automated system that sorts recyclables at the landfill. Certain non-recyclable waste streams are converted into fuel pellets which may be substituted for coal in power plants and industrial boilers. The process is expected to double the lifespan of the Oakley Road landfill. RePower South invested more than $40 million in equipment and will maintain a workforce of 51 employees.

Delays in the Charleston County facility construction will drive up its budgeted cost of $24 million. Residents pay a $99 annual solid waste fee to maintain the curbside pickup program. For several years, the county was spending $100,000 a month to haul recyclables to Horry County. That contract was terminated in February.