CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Right now, Horry County only has one landfill where all of the trash in the county goes.

Until recently, the county sent some trash to China to help with the amount of trash in the county and the cost.

Now, Chairman of the Horry County Solid Waste Authority Pam Creech says China won’t take the trash anymore.

“They can’t recycle them, they’re having a problem dealing with them, and so they stopped us from sending certain plastics,” said Creech.

She says the plastic is too dirty because China now has adopted new cleanliness standards for the trash it recycles.

Creech says they won’t take some water bottles or plastic bags, and that’s why she’d like to see a countywide ban on plastic bags.

“Plastic bags are one of the main things that end up on our roadways, that end up in the trees, we spend a lot of money picking them up on highway 90,” said Creech.

A bill passed by the South Carolina House would prevent the county from having that power.

“A lot of people think this is a frivolous thing. That next what are you going to do, ban a Pepsi, ban this, ban that. It’s not frivolous, it’s very serious,” said Creech.

It’s serious because right now, this landfill can only be used for about thirty more years, and without China taking some of the plastic, Creech says it will get costly.

“We don’t have the option of having another landfill, and if we don’t keep this one open as long as possible and keep our prices down for the residents, there will be a big change in money from years to come if we don’t have the freedom and democracy to handle what goes on at that landfill,” said Creech.  

Council member Johnny Vaught says the increase in plastic leaves Horry County will cause a problem for the county when it comes to equipment costs and potentially a burden on tax payers.

“The more stuff we can ship to China helps with expenses obviously because we’re selling it to them, but it also extends the life of our landfill, and I think that needs to be a big concern for everyone in Horry County,” said Vaught.

Vaught says he would be in favor of a countywide ban on plastic bags.

Creech says the board plans to send a letter to the Senate to tell them why the county needs to be able to have the power to ban plastic bags.