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Vulcan, Richland County partnership saves taxpayers $20M

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Staff Report
colanews@scbiznews.com
Published Nov. 24, 2015

A partnership between a Richland County landfill and its next-door neighbor Vulcan Materials Company has led to a $20 million savings to taxpayers, officials said.
The deal involved Vulcan, a national construction material company, needing a place to put tons of soil being moved from its Dreyfus Quarry and the county needing tons of soil to cap old disposal areas across 600 acres at the Construction & Demolition Landfill and Drop-off Center off Caughman Road North.

Between September 2013 and April 2015, Vulcan trucks made 102,100 trips to move more than 2.1 million cubic yards of topsoil and overburden material to the landfill. Vulcan’s cost just to move the material totaled $5.5 million

However, the project yielded the county a savings of about $20 million – the market price it would have otherwise paid to buy the soil needed for the capping process, officials said.

“The opportunity this presented represents an excellent public-private partnership,” said Torrey Rush, council chairman. “This is a shining example of how the county, working with the business community, can solve problems and benefit taxpayers.”

Last week officials of Vulcan, which also provided the huge rocks needed to repair a failed section of the Columbia Canal washed away by October’s flood, attended the council meeting to mark the end of the project. The company received a plaque from the council and then presented a $5,000 check to the Salvation Army for flood relief efforts. 

“We are proud to be part of Richland County,” said Elliott Botzis, vice president of Vulcan’s South Carolina Operations. “Two of our 11 quarry locations in South Carolina are located in Richland County. I am proud of the work in which our employees are involved in the communities where we are located, and I am particularly proud that Richland County has always been there to work with us.”

Today, the disposal areas covered with soil from the Vulcan program now are covered with grass and foliage, attracting turkey, deer, geese and other wildlife.

While the grassy mounds at the site are new, part of the county property included a conservation easement placed on a 164-acre tract of mature bottomland hardwood forest. Under the control of the Congaree Land Trust, the easement provides valuable wildlife habitat and significance as a natural, ecological and scientific resource.

“Since we started the project in 2013, the property has really transformed,” said Rudy Curtis, interim director of the county’s solid waste department. “I think a lot of people would be pleasantly surprised at how it looks out here.”

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