"We do recycle here at Mrs. Bush's Personal Care Homes. But maybe we can do better," says Carrie Shafer, activity director at Mrs. Bush's. She was speaking to a group of the home's residents and guests.

Mrs. Bush's invited Jim Lambert, executive director of the Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Authority (MCMWMA), to come speak to the residents and the public at the home as an effort to observe Earth Day, April 22.

Lambert spoke about how important it is for the environment for everyone to recycle.

"There are no landfills in Monroe County. But landfills are filling up and the cost is going up to have trash transported to those landfills," he said.

The MCMWMA gets up to $100 a ton for all the recyclables dropped off at its site at 138 Commercial Blvd., Blakeslee.

"That's better than paying over $85 a ton to dispose of them," he says.

He showed everyone a substance that looked almost like cotton balls.

"This is made from recycled plastic bottles," he says of the white fluffy substance. Then he showed everyone a warm fleece vest and said it was made out of this substance.

He showed a bowl with a lid, a fork, knife and spoon and what looked like a grocery store plastic bag.

"Can anyone guess what these items are made of?"

Most everyone responded that they looked like they were made of plastic.

"These are compostable products that are made from potato starch and corn starch. They are Biodegradable, which means they will break down and return to nature within a reasonably short time after customary disposal. If they are disposed of in a landfill, they will decompose in 30 days. They are new products and not being used a lot yet. They're not as cheap as plastic but they are cheaper than paper," he says.

He says that all textiles are recyclable.

"Please take them to the Salvation Army or Good Will."

Lambert talked about April 28 as "Take Back Day." It is a day that people can rid their homes of expired or unused prescription drugs by dropping them off at sites all over the country.

This is the fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The program has disposed of nearly 500 tons of medication at more than 5,300 sites operated by over 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies. The DEA established the program to prevent old medicine from falling into unauthorized hands and to keep it from being thrown away and polluting water supplies. More Americans abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined, according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Sites where the old medicines can be dropped off in Monroe County are: Pocono Twp. Police, Tannersville; Barrett Twp. Police Dept., Cresco; Pocono Mt. Regional Police Dept., Pocono Summit. In Carbon County it is the Summit Hill Police Dept. in Summit Hill and the public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov .

"If you flush them, the chemicals are found in the streams," Lambert says.

He shared some decomposing facts:

*one million years for a glass bottle

*450 years for the plastic collars used for beer and soda six-packs

*200-500 years for aluminum cans

*70 years for a plastic jug

*50 years for anything made of leather

*30 years for a plastic bag

*one-to-five years for a cigarette butt

*two-four weeks for paper

*two-six weeks for newspaper

*one year for rope

Lambert said that everyone can help with recycling.

"We have to educate everyone. By word of mouth is effective, so tell your friends. We want to leave the earth in better shape. Our generation has to make changes so the younger generations will be able to live on this earth."