SC bill to require recycling at restaurants and bars - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

SC bill to require recycling at restaurants and bars

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A bill working through the state house, would require restaurants and bars that serve alcohol to also recycle materials.

Senator Ray Cleary from Murrells Inlet says he hopes the bill will encourage recycling, which would help South Carolina businesses that use the recyclable products. He also says, it will save millions of dollars in building new landfills.

"If we can avoid a landfill that will maybe cost 15 to 20 million dollars, how much more have we received," said Cleary. "Companies like Sonoco are all ready to recycle and they're having problems because they have to get product from other states."

A spokesperson for Sonoco says the bill would help them become more cost effective, than shipping in recyclable materials from other areas. However, Sonoco says they support a voluntary recycling effort.

The Horry County Solid Waste Authority is in support of the bill. Mike Bessant says the county built and $11 million dollar facility and right now the county has to ship in from other counties to make the operation cost effective.

"We do about 17 thousand tons a year at the solid waste authority, and we can do 30 thousand tons in an 8 hours shift. We have tons of growth capacity," said Bessant. "We could definitely extend the life of that landfill. Currently we're in the process of getting a permit that will go into 2035, and then we don't have any more landfill in Horry County, that is it, it's got to go somewhere else."

On Wednesday, the bill, S.461, passed a judiciary subcommittee unanimously. The bill will be paid for through money set aside for the state's litter program, Palmetto Pride.

With the recycling industry growing my 12 percent, Cleary believes this will help existing businesses as well as others who are looking to move into South Carolina.

"It's a win-win for everybody and more importantly we're doing this without putting it, in my opinion, on the backs of the businesses. We have businesses that are recycling doing well, if we have more people who have to recycle, what happens is their cost come down," said Cleary.

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