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Solid Waste:
Waste Flow Control

Our Position: oppose
Bill Number: H.3290
Sponsor: Many - see the full bill, linked below, for all sponsors
Legislative Session: 2014

This "flow control" bill would establish the "Business Freedom to Choose Act", which would override a county's authority to enact ordinances to restrict solid waste disposals at certain facilities or to control how solid waste or recyling are managed within their own county. It would make void any county ordinance that impedes private competition in the collection and disposal of solid waste or recycling. Further, it would void any county authority over where its waste or recylibles ultimately end up - it restricts county authority over solid waste "direction", thereby making county "home rule" defunct.

The bill takes away counties' authority to say where waste ends up in their own boundaries.


4/7/14: This bill passed out of the House and the Senate Medical Affairs committee in 2013. It is currently stalled on thel Senate floor.

Action Needed

None now. We believe the bill is stalled for the year.

More information



Passage of House Bill 3290 would be disastrous for local environments, conservation efforts, local economies, and even their bond ratings. We need members of the Rules Committee to vote “no” on H.3290 and to keep the bill from going to "special order," a priority status that puts the bill to the front of the voting calendar

The S.C. Supreme Court and a U.S. District Court have already ruled that Horry County's flow control ordinance requiring that waste generated in the county be disposed or recycled in a county-owned facility is valid as it is not inconsistent with State law.

But this is about much more than Horry County - it's about all counties' authority over where waste ends up in their boundaries.

Although this bill is drafted so that only waste or recycling flow control ordinances are prohibited, passage of this legislation would set a precedent that the General Assembly could nullify an ordinance enacted by a locally elected body acting within the scope of its authority.

More importantly, the conservation community is concerned because this bill seeks to strip local government and its citizens of any ability to control how solid waste is disposed of in its own backyard.

Would you not want to be able to control the waste coming in or out of your home?

Here are our additional concerns with this bill:

  • This bill does not just impact Horry County – it would strip all county governments of any ability to control how solid waste is disposed of in its backyard.  Would you not want to be able to control the waste coming in or out of your home? This is a Not In My Backyard environmental issue. It is also an issue about upholding Home Rule.
  • It will forbid flow control ordinances or any other local government ordinances regulating where waste goes within these jurisdictions in the future. This deprives counties of a mechanism to fund mandated waste operations.
  • The assumption that an increase among collection and disposal (C&D) entities bidding on the work will be better for Horry county due to competition lowering the cost of C&D discounts the larger positive economic impacts that Horry benefits from transportation, transfer, fueling, and storage staying within the county’s authority and district.
  • C&D are not necessarily the driving economic boons of the solid waste business and of its impact on local economies, which is what this legislation assumes. 
  • The language in Section 3 that forbids any actions that impede the development of recycling programs could have an impact on local land use regulations as counties would no longer be able to regulate where recycling operations are sited.
  • Almost 25% of the fees collected by the SWA are directed towards state of the art recycling and education programs. Flow control was debated locally and adopted by locally elected leaders because. Taxpayers have benefitted from programs funded by the SWA. 
  • Passage of this legislation would set a precedent that the General Assembly could nullify local ordinances, and this would have a detrimental effect on bond ratings.
  • It also helps Horry manage the unique swings of its tourist economy.

Please don’t be fooled by the waste lobby’s efforts to undermine the environment, local economies, and family concerns. This is about doing the right thing. Have your legislators vote no against H. 3290.


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