Westminster Mayor W. Benjamin Brown thinks the county commissioners should begin a countywide trash pickup when the recycling program starts later this year.
And after opening the bids for the city's trash pickup Tuesday, Brown said he had the numbers to prove countywide trash collection would be a better deal for most residents, who now contract for trash collection.
Westminster received a low bid of $44.48 per household for weeklytrash and recycling pickup, Brown said. The bid is based on the 3,600 households in the city and the 2,200 households in the city's growth area.
The bid, the mayor said, did not reflect the $40-per-ton tipping fee that trash haulers will have to pay to use the county landfill.
Even if that is included in the bid, the annual cost of trash pickup for city residents will be about $84, Brown said, considerably less than the charges paid by county residents who do not receive municipal trash service.
Brown said one city official who lives just outside the city line has to pay a private hauler $130 a year for weekly trash service.
"It would make a lot of sense for the countycommissioners to divide the county up into five or six sectors and let the haulers bid," the mayor said.
He said the savings could be as much as $90 a year for some Carroll County residents.
The commissioners plan to contract with a hauler to collect recyclable materials starting in July, but may not be ready to contract for all trash collection countywide.
Haden Trash Removal won the Westminster bid and said it will charge city residents $21.74 a year for a weekly pickup of recycled materials and $22.74 a year for trash pickup.
The bid is based on the assumption that each Westminster household generates about 1.2 tons of trash annually.
Brown said the city receivedthree bids on the trash removal, the highest being $66.24.
"The commissioners, who have rejected the numbers that we provided and their staff provided, has to accept the numbers," Brown said.
He said he realizes county commissioners are loathe to take action that appears to increase the size of government. But he said that by contracting with private trash haulers, the county government could take advantage of economies of scale.
"This is costing people real money, andit would be much better if they were able to keep the $50 in their pockets," said Brown.
Brown also said that six northern Carroll County municipalities -- Westminster, Taneytown, New Windsor, Union Bridge, Hampstead and Manchester -- have asked haulers to provide bids onthe 8,000 households in those communities.
If those bids, which are to be opened Monday, are lower than the current bids in each town,the six municipalities will be served by a unified contract.