The dispute between London's free evening newspapers and Westminster Council shows no signs of ending, despite meetings between councillors and publishers being described as "productive".
The council met with Associated Newspapers, publishers of London Lite, on Tuesday and News International, which owns thelondonpaper, on Friday to discuss a recycling deal thought to be worth £500,000.
The council wants the publishers to contribute to the cost of clearing and recycling some 900,000 free papers given out each weekday in the capital.
Cabinet member for street environment, councillor Alan Bradley, was optimistic about sealing a deal but said an outcome was unlikely in the near future.
He said: "We're in ongoing discussions with both newspaper groups and our initial meetings have been productive.
"This is a highly complex matter, and therefore we do not anticipate being able to announce the final outcome of our negotiations for some time."