A mediator called in to resolve a dispute over a proposed expansion of the Annapolis landfill may recycle an idea rejected by city officials five years ago.
Michael A. Gagliardo, executive director of the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority, said yesterday he will consider recommending a waste-to-energy plant in the Rowe Boulevard area that would provide steam for the Naval Academy, an idea city officials rejected when the authority proposed it in 1985.
The plant may be one of several options Gagliardo presents to city and county officials, who are divided over the city's plan to expand the landfill.
"It's definitely going to be a combination of a variety of facilities," Gagliardo said. "We're not going to force anything down anyone's throat."
He said he will consider waste-to-energy plants, recycling facilities, composting plants and landfills, among other options, before presenting his ideas.
Officials from both sides met with Gagliardo yesterday and outlined their views. Gagliardo will meet with several officials individually before the group meets again in late January. He said he will probably present options to the group within two months.
Sen. Gerald Winegrad, D-Annapolis, recommended bringing in Gagliardo after city and county officials couldn't iron out their differences at a meeting last week.
The landfill will be full by May 1992. Without the expansion, city officials say they not only will have no place to dump their trash, but will also lose $2 million collected annually from tipping fees charged to commercial haulers.
County Councilwoman Maureen Lamb, D-Annapolis, has bitterly opposed the expansion because the Defense Highway landfill is located over a city water supply and near a creek and residential wells. She also said residents in the area are concerned about the height of the proposed expansion, which would be 40 feet above ground.
Lamb and county officials came up with their own proposal in October: a privately financed recycling and composting plant to be built on the expansion site, with the builder paying the city a $1 million franchise fee up front.
The county would let the city dump at its Millersville landfill for free until the new facilities were built. In return, the county would send an equal amount of trash to the city's composting plant once it opened.
City officials have rejected the idea, saying the money the composting plant would generate might not cover the cost of operating it. They also said composting plants are unproven, and many have had trouble.
"Most of the composting plants in the country do not have sterling records," Gagliardo agreed. "There have been a lot of failures."
City officials want to build the 25-acre expansion. The county Board of Appeals denied that request last spring, and Lamb has refused to introduce legislation to change the zoning law.
Gagliardo said he would consider the proposed landfill expansion. "When there's a site that's available, you've got to look at that first," he said.
Yesterday's meeting was attended by Gagliardo; Delegate Gerald W.
Winegrad; Lamb; City Administrator Michael Mallinoff; county and city public works directors Parker Andrews and William Campbell; Bob Dvorak, chief assistant to County Executive Robert R. Neall; City Finance Director William Tyler; City Attorney Jonathan Hodgson; Alderman Ellen O. Moyer, D-Ward 8; and Beth Slikker, an aide to Lamb.
The meeting got off to a rocky start when Mallinoff said both sides would present their cases to Gagliardo. Lamb responded that she thought Gagliardo would be offering alternatives to the two sides. They took 10 minutes to agree on what the meeting would be about.