Local trash haulers urged the Recycling Committee last night to separate trash from recyclables not just at the curb, but also in the contracts.
On the other hand, most mayors in the county met Monday and urged the County Commissioners to come up with a countywide plan for both trash and recyclables.
"I'm more confused now than I was before," said Taneytown Mayor Henry Reindollar.
"Right now, I'd be inclined to say let the countypick up the recyclables, and us the trash."
The haulers met with committee members last night in the city office to exchange information in preparation for submitting bids for the city's refuse pickup.
Currently, all city residents contract individually with waste haulers and take recyclables to a city-owned garage or to county drop-offsites.
The committee's goal is to have the city deal with the whole solid waste stream -- not just recyclables, said Councilman James McCarron.
That's one reason the city has chosen to come up with its own plan rather than wait for the county to finalize a program in which it will pick up only recyclables, McCarron said.
"Wait is theoperative word here," McCarron said.
"We want to move ahead as quickly as possible."
He said the budget process will start soon, and the city needs to have some hard figures to work with.
While committee members had hoped to get companies to bid on a combined waste-hauling and curbside recyclables pickup contract, haulers said bidding would be more competitive if they could separate the two areas.
"They're completely separate operations," said Joe Bolm of General Sanitation Service in Frederick.
"The only place they're not separate is in the household."
Bolm said few of the small haulers in the room would be able to bid on a contract that included recyclable pickup, because market fluctuations made it difficult for them to count on income from the materials.
McCarron said the Recycling Committee, on which he sits, probably will recommend the City Council vote Monday to advertise for bids both ways -- trash and recyclables together, or only one or the other.
The Monday meeting between county and municipal officials was called by the County Commissioners and staff to get input from town leaders on recycling options for the county, said Westminster Mayor W. Benjamin Brown.
Brown said the towns willhave another meeting with the commissioners Monday to continue discussing the solid-waste issue.
Brown said most town officials want the county to deal with the entire solid waste stream, not just recycling.
But that seemed to fly against the suggestions of trash haulers who spoke at last night's Taneytown meeting.