Panel deadlocks on change to countywide trash pickup

March 03, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

A citizens committee, appointed to advise whether Carroll should pursue countywide trash pickup, deadlocked on the issue yesterday.

The Solid Waste Collection Study Committee voted 5-5 on recommending that the commissioners set up countywide trash collection to replace the current system, in which residents choose their own haulers. The 11th member was not present.

Although the committee failed to reach a consensus, its members will outline the advantages and disadvantages of a countywide system in a report to the commissioners.

In its vote yesterday, the committee overturned an earlier 4-3 vote to recommend that the commissioners pursue a single collection system for the county's 43,000 households.

After considerable discussion yesterday, the committee voted to reconsider. Three members, who weren't present at the January meeting in which the 4-3 vote was taken, argued they should have a vote on the recommendation.

"Everyone here is guilty of missing one meeting or another," said Matt A. Brigance, urging the committee to reconsider the vote.

The commissioners appointed the committee last fall to determine the feasibility of countywide pickup and make a recommendation.

Carroll would be divided into districts, which would be served by a single hauler chosen by the commissioners.

The committee's recommendation included provisions to prevent a single hauler from serving the entire county, establish uniform rates, require haulers to provide recycling services and give consideration to local haulers for the trash service in each district.

Mr. Brigance, owner of Liberty Disposal in Sykesville, and other foes of the recommendation argued that such a system would hinder independent haulers.

Westminster resident Gary Lane urged the committee not to seek changes.

"It's a bad idea," Mr. Lane said. "Is there such a terrible problem with the way it is done now? Is it wrong that I should hire an independent trash hauler to pick up my garbage?"

Committee members James McCarron, a Taneytown councilman, and John Riley, Hampstead's town manager, argued that having a single hauler in each district would lower trash bills and improve recycling efforts. They said garbage bills in the towns had decreased since a single hauler was chosen to serve several towns.

"The collection of trash is a natural thing the government should be involved in," Mr. McCarron said. "It's an issue that impacts every citizen in the county. We need to be responsive to the citizens of the county and provide the best scenario possible."

Even though the committee made no specific recommendation to the commissioners, members will meet again March 23 to estimate the costs involved in a countywide system. Determining the cost was part of the committee's charge.

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