The council recently discussed a proposed county-wide pilot trash recycling program that would have residents in approximately a dozen cities and municipalities separate recyclable materials such as glass and aluminum cans from nonrecyclable materials in their trash before it is picked up by private and county-contracted haulers. If the pilot program were successful it would be instituted countywide.

The county is seeking alternatives to dumping in its nearly full-to-capacity landfill, according to Karen Napolitano, county assistant environmental planner.

The program, sponsored by County Executive Parris Glendening, would require trash haulers to take the recyclable trash to recycling plants and the nonrecyclable trash to the county landfill.

If the town participates in the pilot program, its Department of Public Works would continue to pick up the separated trash, according to Margaret Mallino, town administrative secretary.

Towns and municipalities participating in the program would continue to use and pay for their own methods of trash collection through public works departments or private haulers. TOWN OF LANDOVER HILLS

The council voted unanimously Feb. 5 to spend $5,000 on a new cruiser for the town's four-member police department.

The cruiser, which will be used primarily by police chief Terry L. Black, is to be funded through the town's capital improvement budget, which currently includes about $70,000 for projects such as purchasing or repairing vehicles or renovating town buildings.

Town Administrator Patricia McCants said the town currently has two cruisers on the road, but unlike the new cruiser, neither is equipped with a radar device to detect drivers who speed through town.

The council also voted to establish a town clerk/treasurer position. McCants said the council's action was merely established to attach a job description to the position held by Emily Foreman.

"The job is the same. All they did was attach a title and description of duties to it," McCants said.

McCants said Foreman, whose annual salary is $17,500, will continue her duties in the job. CITY OF LAUREL

The city will host a panel discussion at 7 p.m. March 9 in the Laurel High School cafeteria on radon -- a naturally occurring gas that can seep into buildings through small cracks or drainage systems and cause harm if absorbed in the body for long periods of time.

The discussion, sponsored by Del. William C. Bevan, (D-Prince George's, Howard), was arranged to educate the public on how best to identify and control radon in homes. Representatives of the Maryland Department of Radiation Control and area radon detection firms will be among the panelists.

Bevan said inquiries to his office by residents worried about the presence of radon in their homes and in neighboring Montgomery County schools and homes prompted him to arrange the discussion.

Prince George's County health officials have said radon is not a significant problem in county homes and not a health hazard for county residents. Data on radon tests conducted in about 419 Prince George's County homes found that 82 percent had radon levels below what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says is safe -- four picocuries per liter.

EPA officials have said that homes with radon levels between 20 and 50 picocuries per liter should have radon gas monitoring devices installed to ensure levels do not go any higher.

Of the 419 homes, only one in Laurel and another in Montpelier were found to have levels between 20 and 50, officials said.