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It's too early to set goals for reducing the volume of garbage going into Utah landfills.

Instead, Utah Solid and Hazardous Waste Control Board members moved forward with rule making aimed at getting county control plans in place by mid-1993.Setting specific goals before knowing the problem's scope could affect voluntary county participation, Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste officials warned. They said several months have been invested developing rules that county officials feel comfortable supporting. Although state law mandates participation, there is no penalty in the law forcing county cooperation.

Another goal-setting problem, they added, is many counties simply do not know the volume of garbage being produced locally. The first step in the control process is determining how much garbage will be generated and what it will take to bury, burn or compost the waste, officials said.

Setting goals early is important, argued board member Celestia Brunsdale. She wanted goals added to the rules and guidelines counties will use developing long-range plans.

Because local officials don't control packaging and other factors contributing to the garbage dilemma, setting goals would be difficult, said board chairman Joe Urbanik.

"It's not realistic to say what you're going to do in specific areas at this point," Urbanik said.

Spending the next year getting ideas and getting plans prepared is the best approach now, said board member Ken Alkema. This will also allow counties time to study volume control options like recycling.

The board did add instructions urging counties to work closely with Indian tribes where applicable. Board member Linda Priebe said involving Indian leaders in the planning process is important. It should enhance cooperation by Indian groups when plans are formally implemented.

While hazardous waste issues get most of the attention, Alkema said he believes solid waste problems are more urgent.

"We need to have good cooperation (with the counties) and we need to be careful that we keep this process in place," Alkema said.

In other business, the board approved a consent agreement fining Utah State University $5,000. USU was fined for dumping a small quantity of hazardous material in a trash bin and leaving another small quantity in an open container.