Mayors of Carroll's eight municipalities Monday reiterated their plea for a unified, county-administered trash and recycling pick-up, paid for by a county tax.
The county commissioners appeared willing to study the idea, but have not taken a formal vote on any recycling plan. They will meet again with mayors tomorrow.
A study could take several months if it is to include prices, said J. Michael Evans, director of the Department of General Services, but the county can start a curbside recycling program in the meantime.
"We needed to have a (state) approved recycling plan -- a month ago," Evans said, adding the state is waiting for Carroll to select one of two possible plans it submitted.
Evans recommended the commissioners study a unified plan that includes trash pick-up, while goingahead with Recycling Plan B. That plan bans recyclables from the landfill and requires haulers to start picking up recyclables also if they want to maintain their licenses.
Municipal officials are still skeptical. The Taneytown City Council, for example, plans to go aheadwith developing its own trash-recycling pick-up, and will be advertising for bids soon. Councilman James McCarron said if the county comes up with a better and cheaper plan, Taneytown can join in later.
The mayors argue the county could get better rates by offering largervolume contracts. Residents in unincorporated areas pay up to $150 ayear to contract with individual haulers. Residents of municipalities pay up to $80.
Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy warned that while a county-run system could mean lower costs for some residents, rates probably would go up for some town residents.
"I've always said I'm concerned about the smaller hauler," Commissioner President Donald I. Dell said, adding smaller businesses "stand to be wiped out" because they can't bid on a countywide contract.
But the mayors told Dell the county can be split into zones on which even smaller haulers and municipalities can bid on certain routes.
Sykesville Town Manager James L. Schumacher said his community would just as soon keep havingits employees pick up trash and compostable yard waste, at a total cost of $50 per household per year. The town recycles (by composting) 25 percent of its solid waste, well over the state mandate of 15 percent countywide by January 1994. Countywide recycling is only 7 percent now.