The Laurens County Council decided to reverse course at its last meeting on a deal that would have kept a garbage transfer station in Clinton open.
With the transfer station now closed – operations ceased on Jan. 31 – Laurens County is now sending household garbage to Greenville County’s Twin Chimney landfill and considering options for a new transfer station.
“For the residential citizen, they’ll see no change in our operations,” said Dale Satterfield, Laurens County director of public works. “They can take their solid waste to one of our 10 convenience sites as they’ve always done.”
Satterfield said council members made a business decision when they decided to forego an agreement with Republic Services, which owned and operated the transfer station. Republic had offered to lease the transfer station to Laurens County for $1 per year.
In turn, the county was to deliver solid waste to Republic’s regional landfill in Union County at a price of $28 per ton.
Satterfield said Republic wanted a 10-year contract, which became a sticking point for county leaders, who decided to enter into a deal with Twin Chimney for $17 per ton.
While the convenience stations will continue to operate as normal, private haulers will not be able to use the convenience sites top drop off large loads of refuse at those sites. They will have to take their loads to Twin Chimney or another landfill where they will be responsible for tipping fees, Satterfield said, adding that Greenville County has offered the same $17 per ton price to private haulers from Laurens County.
Private haulers dropping off loads of waste at the convenience sites has already caused early weekend closures since the closing of the transfer station.
“Our county ordinance says the sites are for day-to-day household trash,” said Chris Gurga, Laurens County solid waste and recycling manager. “We sympathize with the private haulers, but we’re not equipped to handle that.”
Construction waste can continue to be delivered to the Curry Lake landfill in Gray Court.
County officials are looking into building its own transfer station, which would be centrally located in the county, Satterfield said.
“We are looking at all of our options, and one would be to construct a much smaller version of the one in Clinton,” he said. “It was much larger than what we would need. It’s early in the game, and we have to look at all of our options there and the cost. We will do what is most economical for the citizens of Laurens County.”