Model for Regional Cooperation

Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority (TRSWA) was established in 1992 as a regional solid waste management agency to promote good environmental stewardship, fiscal responsibility, local government problem solving and regional cooperation. The Authority’s mission is to supplement local government solid waste management services to promote efficient and environmentally responsible waste handling and disposal while not supplanting local control and authority. The nine-county region consists of Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Edgefield, McCormick, Orangeburg, and Saluda Counties.

Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority was formed after the Lower Savannah Council of Governments (LSCOG) performed a study to address the regional implications of newly passed laws and regulations for solid waste management. The study, initially envisioned to address the needs of the six LSCOG counties, was quickly expanded to include three counties from the Upper Savannah Council of Governments and the United States Department of Energy (US DOE)- Savannah River.

The region has benefited greatly through the Authority’s development of regional solid waste planning and coordinating construction of a “Subtitle D” landfill, Landfill Gas to Energy Facility, establishment of a waste transportation network, recycling grants administration, recycling efforts, and technology development.

TRSWA also aids member counties with the submittal and administration of solid waste and recycling grants that are awarded by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's Solid Waste Reduction & Recycling Division. The Authority has assisted counties in the receipt of millions of dollars to help the citizens of the region manage and recycle waste tires, cardboard, plastics, used oils, oil filters, and electronics.

The success of TRSWA is measured in the cost savings to taxpayers and protection of our environment. Rather than being forced to pay high disposal and costly transportation costs to out-of-area landfills, counties are able to:

  • Regulate where their waste is going;
  • Keep costs down significantly;
  • Assure future generations that the waste is being buried properly so that land and water are not contaminated.


Awards

  • Received "1992 Innovative Award" for Regional Waste Management Program from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)
  • Received "1999 Innovative Award" of GPS Tracking System from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)
  • First recipient of the Governor's Palmetto Partnership Award from the SC Department of Commerce
  • SC Association of Counties First Barrett Lawrimore Memorial Regional Cooperation Award - 1999
  • Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Bronze Excellence Award for Landfill Gas Utilization - 2010