Raise the tipping fees

Others' Views

January 24, 2009 

In his State of the State address, Gov. Mark Sanford advocated increasing the state's tipping fees, the per-ton charge for dumping garbage at landfills in the state. It's a plan that should be followed.

The state also should try to establish a charge differential that allows for inexpensive disposal of trash generated within the state but makes bringing garbage from other states prohibitively expensive.

South Carolina has some massive garbage disposal facilities. ...

In 2006, South Carolina received 1.67 million tons of solid waste from other states. Last year, 30 percent of all the garbage buried in the Palmetto State came from out of state.

Sanford is right in pointing out that part of the reason we get so much garbage is that our fees for disposing of this garbage are so low. Some states charge almost three times as much as South Carolina does.

The ideal solution would be to establish a dual fee structure. Landfills in the state would charge one tipping fee for garbage generated within the state and a much higher fee for out-of-state trash.

But courts have ruled that such a structure would violate the interstate commerce provisions of the Constitution. It shouldn't. Our colleges and universities are allowed to charge students from other states higher tuition. ...

We don't want to be the nation's dumping ground. The perfect place to start is to make it economically unfeasible to dump your garbage in our soil.

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