The following were among actions taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Prince George's County Council. For more information, call 952-5182.
RECYCLING LAW -- The council, in a 5 to 3 vote, approved legislation giving the county sweeping authority to regulate recycling and trash disposal. The change should not affect residents but is designed to give the county more control over recycling and help it meet its goal of recycling 20 percent of all county refuse by 1994.
The law goes into effect immediately but will not be enforced until the council approves separate enforcement regulations at its September meeting.
Under the bill, the Refuse, Solid Waste and Recyclable Material Act, all private refuse haulers working in the county must be licensed and can only transport their waste and recyclable material to county-designated sites.
The county will have the authority to open bids and enter into trash pick-up contracts with hauling companies, as well as set disposal and processing fees.
During a public hearing prior to passage of the bill, more than a dozen private trash haulers and representatives of waste management associations spoke out against the bill. Among the groups' concerns was that the county would use its authority to tightly regulate the refuse collection industry and could bypass small contactors in favor of larger ones.
Municipalities in the county currently contract with many small refuse collectors. Under the new law, municipalities could join the county program and have their refuse collected by a county-chosen contractor.
HOUSING COMPLAINTS -- The council, in an 8 to 0 vote, approved a work-sharing agreement between the county and the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to hear housing discrimination complaints that are filed with the county and the federal government. Under the Fair Housing Act, passed by Congress in 1988, local jurisdictions will work with HUD to expedite hearings of these cases. The county Human Relations Commission expects to receive approximately $54,000 this year for handling the federally referred cases.
FLOODPLAIN LAND -- Council members, in a 6 to 2 vote, adopted a measure that will allow the county to sell floodplain property it owns in residential areas along the Potomac and Patuxent rivers. Council member Frank Casula said the vacant land will not be sold at public auction but will be offered to neighboring property owners on the assumption that only they would have a real interest in floodplain property, which usually cannot be built on.
PARKING FINES -- The council approved legislation to increase parking fines for certain meter and parking violatins on public streets, starting in mid-September. Tickets for cars left in loading zones will rise from $10 to $20. Tickets for cars standing or parking at bus stops will increase from $5 to $15. Tickets for expired meters will go up from $5 to $15. Tickets for cars parked in violation of other restrictions on public streets will increase from $10 to $20.
TAX CREDIT -- Council members agreed, in a 6 to 2 vote, to grant the nonprofit American Institute of Physics a one-year property tax credit for property purchased in the county. The legislation follows similar measures taken by the Maryland General Assembly after it was announced that the national organization, currently based in New York, was looking for a new home in the county.