Chester OKs ban on landfills

CHESTER -- Chester County leaders passed a temporary ban on landfills this week, a move leaders hope will protect them from unwanted waste sites while they finish planning for their future garbage disposal needs.

The ban should last until around July 31, when the county expects to complete its solid waste plan. Leaders unanimously voted for the ban Tuesday night.

County attorney Joanie Winters said the timing of the county's waste plan development should coincide with the revision of the state plan.

A solid waste plan details how a government manages its garbage and recyclable materials. It lays out an area's future needs and essentially serves as a waste management road map for leaders to follow.

The state requires revisions of county plans every five years to adapt the goals to the changing community. Chester County's plan hasn't been updated since it was drawn up in 1994.

Chester County leaders also passed the ban hoping to avoid what Chester County Supervisor Carlisle Roddey has called York County's "mess."

The York County landfill controversy ignited in January when county leaders passed a moratorium on new landfills 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.

Chester County already has two landfills for construction debris. One is on Peden Bridge Road and is owned by the county. Another 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 no companies have expressed an interest in opening a landfill in Chester County.

The waste plan revisions began several months ago and could cost up to $15,000.