Waste Options Report Fails To Bring Landfill Accord

May 03, 1991|By Elise Armacost | Elise Armacost,Staff writer

A long-awaited consultant's report has not brought Annapolis and county leaders any closer to agreement on the fate of the city landfill.

An updated draft report released yesterday by the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority outlines three solutions for the city's waste disposal problems, all of which it says are economically feasible. The options involve either expanding the landfill on Route 450 ordumping city waste at the county's Millersville landfill.

"Any of these options can make sense from the city's and county'sstandpoint," said Michael Gagliardo, the authority's executive director. He would not make a recommendation.

Gagliardo noted, however,that the city cannot generate the $2 million in excess revenue it says it needs without expanding its own landfill or, if it dumps at Millersville, substantially raising trash-collecting fees it charges residents.

City Administrator Michael Mallinoff said city leaders areunwilling to raise disposal fees, which already are higher thanthe county's. It costs refuse companies $45 per ton to dump in the city landfill, compared to $33 per ton at Millersville. Annapolis residents pay $188 per year for trash pickup, compared to $70 for county taxpayers. County Executive Robert R. Neall has proposed increasing that fee to $90 and the tipping fee to $50 per ton.

"We still want the expansion," Mallinoff said. "This verifies what the city's been saying all along. We would have control over our own destiny. We'd be able to reap a decent amount of money for a lot of services and make the bridge into the next decade," when options such as composting are more viable.

County Councilwoman Maureen Lamb, who has opposed the landfill for environmental reasons, wanted a recycling or composting facility built at the Route 450 site. Even though the authority ruled outthose options, she still opposes landfill expansion.

Lamb said yesterday that she prefers city waste be dumped in Millersville because it will cost the taxpayer less in pickup fees.

The report outlines three options:

* Expanding the landfill, with the city providing collection, recycling and disposal services.

* Dumping city waste at the county landfill, with the county providing collection, recycling and disposal services.

* Dumping city waste at the county landfill, with the city providing collection and recycling services.

Neall assistant Walter Chitwood said the administration has not takena stand on which option it prefers. Neall has not seen the updated draft, Chitwood said.

City leaders want to reach aconsensus with the county as soon as possible, since the existing landfill is expectedto be full by May 1992, Mallinoff said.

In its original draft report, completed two weeks ago, the authority recommended that city trash be taken to Millersville. But that opinion was changed after city officials pointed out that Gagliardo had overestimated the costs of the landfill expansion.

The authority ruled out alternatives such as waste-to-energy, recycling and composting plants.

The city and county already have their own recycling facilities, and solid waste composting "is something out in the future," Gagliardo said. The Maryland Department of the Environment has not even developed regulations for use of composting products, he said.

Waste-to-energy facilitiesalso were ruled out. Not only do they take years to develop, but thesite is not accessible to the U.S. Naval Academy, the only plausiblecustomer for steam.

Though environmental concerns were a major reason for Lamb's opposition to an expansion, Gagliardo said the authority did not consider environmental issues because the state Department of the Environment was ready to permit the facility.

"I went under the assumption that . . . that was satisfactory," he said.

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