TANEYTOWN — Curbside recycling could begin here as early as January.
That's the view of some members of the Taneytown Recycling Committee, which held a public meeting on the issue last week.
Most of the town's 3,526 residents appear to favor curbside recycling. Eighty percent of residents who returned questionnaires mailed with water bills last summer approved of starting a program, said James L. McCarron, a city councilman and chairman of the committee.
McCarron said the other 20 percent, who expressed opposition or indifference, were confused about the idea. Under the current proposal, a trash hauler would be chosen to collect trash and recyclable items from all households within city limits. The frequency of pickup has not been established.
Committee members said all residents must participate if the program is to be economically feasible. The program would include the pickup of glass, cans, plastic and newspapers.
But some residents oppose the plan because they do not subscribe to a trash removal service; they dispose trash by other means -- through theirjobs or family members.
"If we were to implement what we had thought about as a program, these people would end up having to pay for trash removal," said Ron Reitz, a committee member. "As uncomfortable as that might be, not everyone is going to be satisfied. We don't know how to address those problems."
Reitz said the issue is among the loose ends to be straightened out before the city can forge ahead with curbside recycling. He said he was unsure whether the city could initiate a program by Jan. 1.
McCarron, however, remained hopeful.
"We will probably go to bid in the near future and get some firm prices for the service," he said. "Our idea is to look at Jan. 1 as the start-up."
The program must first win City Council approval. McCarron said he didn't know when the committee would present its proposal to the council.
Based on preliminary information from trash haulers and from bids received last year, McCarron estimated residents could save 30 percent or more on their quarterly waste disposal bills, which average about $30.
Three trash haulers serve the city regularly. Taneytown is the only Carroll community that doesn't offer a contracted service to residents, McCarron said.
The city postponed plans for curbside recycling after learning that the county might go ahead with plans of its own. But the county is still studying the matter, hoping to come up with a program by early next year.
Beginning Jan. 1, 1994, the state will require that 15 percent of all Carrolltrash be recycled.
"I think (curbside recycling) is a step in theright direction," Reitz said.
The only Carroll community with curbside recycling is Union Bridge, whose program has served the town's nearly 1,000 residents for about two years.