RePower South Single Stream (Garbage & Recyclables) Collection Starting April 8

Berkeley County residents will soon have a new, “free” recycling option thanks to the county’s partnership with RePower South. The newly constructed RePower South facility, located at the Berkeley County landfill, will take 100 percent of the residential and commercial waste delivered to the site and process it into recycled commodities, as well as a coal alternative which is co-fired with coal.

Starting Monday, April 8th, RePower South will begin servicing Daniel Island with its single stream collection, meaning all of your garbage and recyclables will go into one bin.  Residents will place all garbage and recycling materials into their current green City of Charleston bin for collection on Monday as usual.

According to Plant Manager Karl Stechmesser, “we are able to extract approximately 25-30 percent recycled commodities from the waste stream. This includes cardboard (OCC), mixed papers, PET (water bottles, soft drink bottles, etc.), HDPE (milk jugs, laundry detergent containers, etc.), and both ferrous and non-ferrous (aluminum) metals. Additionally, the company has developed a process that can convert plastics 3-7 on the ‘recycling spectrum’ along with mixed papers into a bio-fuel called ReEngineered Feedstock.”  Combined (recycled commodities and biofuel), RePower South will be extracting more than 60 percent of the overall waste stream, which will no longer go to the landfill, added Stechmesser.  “One caveat – we do not convert glass as it is not economically feasible to process,” he said. “Should residents like to recycle glass, they will need to seek other alternatives.”  Additionally, there is no cost to residents of Berkeley County to recycle. “so, whether a family wants to recycle or not, everyone in Berkeley County will be recycling with no effort, other than rolling your garbage can to the street,” added Stechmesser.

The Daniel Island POA office asked the following questions to Plant Manager Stechmesser as these are some of the frequently asked questions that have been posed by residents of Daniel Island to our office:

  • Will detailed information or literature be mailed or left by door hanger to each home/unit on Daniel Island by Berkeley County or Repower South?  We have reached out to the county for direction on how to educate the public.  There should be a county “broadcast” of sorts soon.
  • Will this detailed information also be included in the Daniel Island newspaper by Berkeley County or RePower South since so many residents rely on that as a source of information?  Daniel Island News is planning a plant tour soon and will publish a more detailed article soon, although I do not have a set date.
  • The current City of Charleston trash/garbage pickup occurs on Mondays.  Will the City/Republic Services still pick up trash/garbage on Mondays OR will their pickup day change OR will their service go away?  There will be the same trash pickup by the City/Republic Services as always with no change in that process. The county waste stream will be delivered to the Repower South facility via the same waste pick up company, Republic Services.  Monday pickups will still take place on the same day. Repower South will not be in the business of trash pick up or determining pick up days.
  • The current City of Charleston yard debris pickup occurs on Mondays. Will the City still pick up yard debris on Mondays OR will their pickup day change OR will their service go away completely?  Yard debris pickup days will remain the same and on the same day, Monday’s,  as dictated by the company providing the service, Republic Services. Repower South will not process yard debris.
  • Regarding containers – presently the residents use the green City of Charleston trash cans for garbage and trash – will those still be used OR will the residents be given new cans for RePower South pickup OR will they have to purchase new recycling cans for RePower South pickup?  The same containers will be used, there will be no need for the residents to purchase additional or another type of trash can. The only thing changing is where the material is dumped (our site at RePower South vs. the landfill).
  • When will this program begin – the newspaper article said the facility would be ready in April but doesn’t give a start date for the new service to begin?  Our start date is April 8th and we should be ramped up to full operation within a month.  For residents who wish to discontinue their current Berkeley County curbside recycling program, May 1st is a realistic date to ensure our facility is fully operational.
  • Will this service be free or will the residents be charged and if so what will the cost be?  No charge.  In lieu of the curbside recycling program, our facility will sort and separate the recycled items from the waste stream for the residents.
  • If owners still want to recycle glass or other items that Repower South might not recycle, what would Berkeley County or RePower South suggest that residents do with those items? Good question.  A quick Google search resulted in the following website for glass recycling:  https://www.recyclinginsc.com/business/glass/  as it gives some good background on the challenges of glass recycling and also some outlets for those who wish to pursue the recycling of glass.  We will not be recycling glass as the commodity market for it is not economically feasible at this point.  We will always be looking for ways to reuse as much of the waste stream as possible, including glass.  But at this point, we cannot afford to do so.
  • Who will DI residents contact if they are having questions or pickup problems?  Again, this will remain the provider of pick up services which is City of Charleston via Republic Services.
  • Will the pickup location that is currently being used by the City of Charleston for trash and yard debris with is either in the lane or in front of owners homes, still remain the same location or will that be changing?  This will remain the same – no changes.

Additional information can be obtained at https://www.repowersouth.com/.