Three Tamaqua Area School District Elementary Centers were among 14 elementary schools who participated in this year's collection of old telephone books for recycling. The total collected was 19,278 books and awards were presented to the top three collectors at Wednesday's public meeting of the Schuylkill County Commissioners held at the courthouse in Pottsville.

The winners were, Saint Nicholas, of Minersville, which has an enrollment of 162 students, collected 4,667 books and received $125; Cressona Elementary of Blue Mountain School District, 234 students, collected 2,244 books and received a second prize award of $100; and Saint Stephen's, Port Carbon, 77 students, collected 500 books and received $75 as third place.

Runners, up who received certificates of commendation, were: West Penn Township Elementary, of Tamaqua Area, 239 students, collected 1,495 books; Schuylkill Haven Elementary, 495 students, collected 3,089 books; Sara Lee School, 35 students, collected 200 books; Trinity Academy, Shenandoah, 156 students, 821 books; Blue Mountain West, 309 students, collected 1,251 books; Rush Elementary, of Tamaqua Area, 253 students, collected 689 books; Llewellyn Elementary of Minersville Area, 173 students, collected 363 books; Minersville Elementary, 545 students, collected 1,087 books; Blue Mountain East, 719 students, collected 1,163 books; Mahanoy Area Elementary, 418 students, collected 1,163 books; and Tamaqua Elementary, no enrollment listed, collected 1,300 books.

There were individual awards made to students who had the greatest number of collections.

Top student was Ashley Sannick, eighth grade student in Saint Nicholas of Minersville, who collected 2,539 books and received a check for $150; Sofia Pascuzzo, Cressona Elementary of Blue Mountain, was second with a collection of 662 books and received a check for $125; and Satine Levan, Schuylkill Haven Elementary, came in third with 430 books collected and received a check for $100.

Runner ups were, Hanna Kisella, Cressona, 417 books; Zariah Boher, Saint Nicholas, 367 books; Josh Seigfried, Blue Mountain East, 352 books; Tara Steigerwalt, West Penn Township, 295 books; and Hailey Williams, West Penn Township, 267 books.

The books were turned over to the county's Solid Waste and Recycling Department for disposal. This is the seventh year for the program and the amount collected this year is equal to 13.2 tons in weight.