Summit Hill Borough Council recently approved a new garbage contract with Tamaqua Transfer and Recycling.

It's a good contract that satisfies the needs of the town's residents better than the trash collection pacts do in most surrounding communities.

In fact, some municipalities don't even provide garbage collection for their residents.

And that's a problem.

As in the past, the contract in Summit Hill provides up to five bags of trash per household.

In addition, residents can discard old tires and other debris that might be in their basements during two cleanup weeks each year.

Something new is that once a year an electronics pickup will be held for residents to discard old computers, appliances (coolant materials must be removed), and televisions.

Since the federal government prohibits electronics at general landfills, it has become a problem for some residents to properly discard computers, televisions, and other appliances.

The addition of the electronics recycling to the garbage contract was a good idea by the borough council.

The cleanup weeks are another bonus in the contract which allows residents to get rid of items not normally taken during regular garbage collections.

However, the regular pickups of trash are very liberal in the community.

The trash collector takes up to five bags of household garbage, and mattresses, sofas, and many other items which don't fit inside a bag.

The council has done a good job of coming up with the new four-year garbage collection contract.

The big problem is that the trash pact is so good often residents from other communities which don't have municipal collection dump their garbage at curbside in towns like Summit Hill.

It's the 21st century. Disposing of garbage is different than it was years ago.

That's why every municipality should be mandated to have municipal trash pickup.

You don't just take old TVs and tires to your local landfill anymore.

And because of these complexities, the municipalities should make collection convenient for residents so they don't dump items on rural roads, in woodlands, in old mining pits, and curbside in towns like Summit Hill.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com