However, Jones believes it would be difficult to get people in the habit of recycling items if the city stops taking them, even on a temporary basis.
The city needs to continue recycling all of the items currently accepted until a deal is finalized between the company and the county Solid Waste Authority.
Smith pointed to the fact that the city recycles newspapers and other paper goods as a specific example. Paper biodegrades quickly and produces methane gas, which is captured and sold at the city-owned landfill.
Charleston receives a royalty from the methane gas sold, Smith said.
Russell, a member of the Mountain Party, also sits on the Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority board. She believes Smith's suggestion to eliminate newspaper from the recycling stream does have merit and that it should be explored.
"Will putting newspaper in a landfill generate more money than it does when it's sold for recycling?" Russell asked. "Those are the types of things that the committee has to look at."
However, Russell will oppose eliminating four items from the recycling stream, she said. This is because she is very hopeful the Solid Waste Authority can reach a deal with the private company.
"I would hate to change anything during this transition when it does look like we have a solution to this problem," she said.
Smith also believes West Virginia Recycling Services should pay the city for the items that are taken to the recycling center if the deal with the Solid Waste Authority is finalized. This revenue would help offset the city's cost for running the curbside program, he said.
Smith also said a deal could be worked out with a company to set up a truck at the city-owned landfill to collect recyclables. That company could then haul the recyclables away and eliminate any need for Charleston to haul materials to Beckley.
Smith pointed out that only three cities in the county are mandated to offer curbside recycling - Charleston, South Charleston and St. Albans. Dunbar voluntarily offers curbside recycling.
However, there is not a curbside-recycling program offered in the unincorporated portions of the county at all, and the items that would be eliminated from the city's recycling stream are already ending up in landfills.
"If it takes us a year of putting plastics in the landfill to get this deal done with the company (West Virginia Recycling Services) then that's fine," Smith said.
West Virginia Recycling Services is a subsidiary of Chicago-based Draw Enterprises.
Ed Talkington, a Democratic councilman who is chairman of the city's Environment and Recycling Committee, did not return numerous calls seeking comment.