CHESTER -- Chester County leaders uttered a word this week that sparked a squabble among York County leaders earlier this year.
Hoping to avoid what Chester County Supervisor Carlisle Roddey called York County's "mess," Chester leaders are considering a temporary ban -- or moratorium -- on landfills that would last until the county finishes updating its solid waste plan.
"We've got to do something," Roddey said at Monday night's County Council meeting.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
During the meeting, Wendy Bell, a senior planner at Catawba Regional Council of Governments, recommended the temporary ban until the county's solid waste plan is revised.
The plan details how the county manages its garbage and recyclable materials. It lays out the county's future needs and essentially serves as a waste management road map for leaders to follow.
The state requires revisions every five years to adapt the plan to the changing community.
Chester County's plan hasn't been updated since it was drawn up in 1994.
The York County landfill controversy ignited in January when county leaders passed a moratorium barring new landfills from opening anywhere in the county.
The ban came days before the state Department of Health and Environmental Control was expected to issue a permit for a landfill site on Vernsdale Road.
The move infuriated Rock Hill leaders, and the city filed a lawsuit against York County and won a temporary restraining order barring the county from changing its solid waste plan.
After reading about that "mess," Roddey checked into the last time Chester County's plan was updated. Learning how outdated the plan was surprised him and prompted the supervisor to pursue revisions.
Chester County already has two landfills for construction debris. The one on Peden Bridge Road is owned by the county, and the one on S.C. 9 just inside the county line near Lockhart is privately owned.
All the county's trash is hauled to a landfill in Columbia by a company that contracts with the county.
But the county doesn't have a garbage landfill and doesn't want one, Roddey said.
At this week's meeting, the council discussed the ban but didn't vote on it. Roddey said the item will be discussed at the next council meeting, and leaders are expected to vote on the ban.
Although Roddey said after the meeting that no landfill companies had expressed an interest in opening a landfill, he hopes the ban will keep any from trying to sneak one in.
"We're not looking for any more landfills in this county," he said.
The waste plan revisions began several months ago, and Bell said they should take about six to eight months and could cost up to $15,000.