The City Council recently discussed the possibility of giving waste haulers in danger of losing their operating permits more time to fix violations.

The proposal comes in anticipation of a state deadline that requires cities to recycle 50% of their waste before December 2000 or face potential fines of as much as $10,000 a day, city officials said. Costa Mesa places several conditions on waste haulers, including a requirement that each divert 50% of its waste by 2000 or face possible permit revocation.

The amendment would give haulers more time to comply and thus avoid possible shutdowns of service. None of the waste haulers present at the council meeting directly opposed the change, which would give a hauler 100 days to comply rather than 10. Some, however, raised concerns about meeting the 50% diversion rate.