Do these quotes sound familiar?

* "Let's move forward and stop fussing about what hasn't happened over the last year." -- CommissionerPresident Donald I. Dell.

* "We've been wrong in a lot of instances, but let's take it fromtoday." -- Commissioner Julia W. Gouge.

* "If our own staff figures are suspect -- and I think they are -- then I take the blame for that." -- Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy.

What is the major issue thatthe county commissioners are referring to in these statements -- taxes, the budget, a new county police force?

If you said any of those, you're wrong.

The problem being debated is the county recyclingprogram.

The Maryland General Assembly approved law in the 1989 session that gave Maryland's 24 jurisdictions five years to implement programs to recycle 15 percent to 20 percent of their solid waste.

Carroll must recycle 15 percent of the 160,000 tons of trash produced annually by its more than 120,000 residents. Carroll now recycles about 6 percent of that solid waste.

All three commissioners knew of this law when they ran for office. At one point or another during the 1990 campaign, candidates were asked about county recycling. All said they had ideas on recycling programs.

However, now the commissioners say they need more time to deal with the county's recycling efforts.

Over the past two years, several of Carroll's mayors and towns asked the commissioners to start a countywide recycling program. Over the past two years, the commissioners have been "studying" the issue.

We have in our county a successful, privately owned recycling facility. This facility is accepting recyclables from other jurisdictions, but it is not acceptable to some in Carroll.

Why? Where isthe need for more study?

There is one glaring fact that cannot beignored: Carroll must have a 15 percent recycling program in place countywide by Jan. 1, 1994.

As the old saying goes, it's time for the commissioners to fish or cut bait. Make a decision, any decision, but make one.

You have less than 22 months to get a 15 percent recycling program in place and operating.

Do it, or find the people who can do it for you.

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