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Creating A Coastal MSW Council

Regional solid waste planning began in coastal Georgia in 1992. The Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center (CGRDC) was charged with developing a plan for eight counties and 26 cities located along its Atlantic coast.

A solid waste advisory council (SWAC) was created with at least one voting member and other non-voting members from each jurisdiction. Voting members usually were county and city elected officials, while non-voting members included representatives from private solid waste businesses, recyclers, environmental organizations, state and federal MSW regulatory agencies and local citizens. The 63-member council served for a two-year planning period.

The SWAC formed three, eight- to 12-member working subcommittees to address regional concerns such as recycling/waste reduction, solid waste policies and technologies and public involvement.

During the first year, the subcommittees evaluated alternative solid waste management strategies and policies and recommended which alternatives should be studied in greater detail. The following year, the recycling, policies and technologies subcommittees developed specific recommendations.

The public education subcommittee, for example, created a "Solid Waste Road Show" to educate public officials and the public, established a MSW Awareness Month throughout the region, sponsored a recycled art contest and prepared a series of solid waste fact sheets.

The SWAC generally met every other month. The members discussed topics including a waste characterization study, updates on federal and state laws and regulations, landfill mining, recycling markets and the use of centroid analysis for siting regional facilities.

For a copy of the CGRDC Regional Planning User Guide, contact: CGRDC, P.O. Box 1917, Brunswick, Ga. 31521. 912- 264-7363.