Like their counterparts elsewhere in the state, Carroll County residents have grudgingly recognized that recycling is their best chance for dealing with the region's solid waste disposal problem. The county has a state-of-the-art landfill in Reese. But removing recyclables from the waste stream will save residents millions of dollars over the long run.
The problem is that while everyone agrees recycling is the way to go, no one knows quite how to get there. The county commissioners are looking at county-wide curbside pick-ups for recyclables only. They don't want to get into the business of picking up trash, which presently is handled by the cities and towns or through private contracts between haulers and individual homeowners.
Meanwhile, mayors of the local municipalities want the county to take over both trash pick-ups and recycling. They argue residents would get a better deal if the county negotiated a comprehensive contract with one or two big haulers. But smaller haulers object because they couldn't compete effectively under such an arrangement.