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Charleston County garbage collection fees going up to pay for new recycling center

County leaders broke ground Monday morning on a new $30 million material recovery facility on Palmetto Commerce Parkway. Its designed to handle the county's growing need for processing recyclables.

The average Charleston County homeowner pays a solid waste user fee every year. That fee will soon go up so the county can afford to develop empty property on Palmetto Commerce Parkway. Its planning for the future of local recycling efforts.

180 tons of recyclable trash is brought every day to the old Charleston County collection building on Romney Street. Its eventually hauled away to Horry County. By next year, the long distance transportation of trash will stop.

County leaders broke ground Monday morning on a new $30 million material recovery facility on Palmetto Commerce Parkway. Its designed to handle the county's growing need for processing recyclables.

"Is it expensive? Yes. Is it a choice that government and citizens have made? Yes. Do people like the idea of green? Do they feel good about curbside recycling? Yes. Are they willing to pay for it? Yes," said Vic Rawl, chairman of Charleston County Council.

Rawl estimates the average homeowner will pay an extra $10 a year. The state-of-the-art building will replace the outdated Romney Street facility.

"It processes material at five tons an hour. This new facility will process material at twenty-five tons an hour. And five times faster," explained Andrew Quigley, Charleston County’s director of environmental management.

He says the county will save $1.4 million a year by recycling its refuse at the new facility. Residents won't notice a difference in trash collection.

"They'll see no change at all. Other than their material being processed here,” said Quigley. “And the savings of not driving to Myrtle Beach every day with 11 loads of material."

A plan to embrace green technology on a green field in North Charleston.

"It’s the beginning of a solution. It is not THE solution," said Rawl.

He expects to begin talks with officials in Berkeley and Dorchester counties next year about the future of waste management. Rawl says there could be a deal to accept their recyclables. But that won't happen until the material recovery center is finished in June 2018.

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