The discussion on how to move forward with recycling, however, brought frustration to councilors, who just a few months ago had publicly announced how they would like to proceed with the issue.
In an April city council meeting, councilors approved staff recommendations to not prioritize trash and recycling collection services and reject all proposals submitted for providing such services.
At that time, councilors approved a list of objectives, which included implementing a $13.80 monthly fee for residential trash and recycling by Jan. 1, 2013 and phasing in single-stream recycling by the end of 2012.
But since that meeting, nothing has been done to address those goals, Mayor Thomas Smits said.
"I think we put the cart before the horse," he said. "We haven't updated our (trash) policy. Had we done that, we wouldn't be here tonight."
The city currently contracts with Cornerstone Waste and Recycle Center in Montrose for the disposal of its trash and, when provided, its recyclable materials. That transfer station contract will expire soon, according to city officials.
The decision to negotiation with Cornerstone passed on a 4-1 vote. Smits said he did not approve of the motion because he believed other sanitation agencies should be included in negotiations.
City Manager Bill Bell said it is common to start with the current provider and then, if the city can't get what it wants, expand discussions to other entities.
Councilor Kathy Ellis said, with hindsight, the council should have put this issue in the hands of its staff from the beginning.
"I'd like to turn it back over to the staff, and you do your job as we've hired you do to," she said.
Councilor Bob Nicholson, one of two new council members that were sworn in after the April meeting, said he agreed. He also suggested that the city adopt a resolution that states its support for recycling, but Bell said the city's code and policy regarding recycling should be updated first.
Councilors were presented two other options in moving forward with recycling. They could have continued with a “request for proposal” process, or hire a recycling consultant.