If you look on the Web site of the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection, there's a location under recycling labeled "Permanent Collection Partners."

The site talks about electronics recycling.

Carbon County is mentioned as a "permanent collection partner."

With the abolishment of the Carbon County Department of Solid Waste, it seems like the DEP's Web site might be inaccurate. That's unfortunate, but don't blame the Carbon County Commissioners.

The recycling movement actually began in the 1960s when many people thought we were tossing into the garbage too much material which could be reused.

The idea caught steam and politicians jumped on the concept. The state pumped a lot of money into recyclcing programs, virtually forcing counties to jump on board.

Just as with education, the state has become stingy and no longer provides as much funding to the counties for the programs.

Carbon County is one of the first in the state to drop out of its recycling commitments. This means a lot of valuable materials which could be re-used will end up in landfills. In some cases, these items will be discarded along country roads, in woodlands, in old strip mines, and along riverbeds.

The DEP made a rule prohibiting the disposal of electronics in landfills. This includes computers, printers, televisions, and even monitors from being put out with your usual weekly trash collection.

Carbon County held two electronic recycling events per year.

Without these recycling events, where will people dispose of their electronics?

Recently a Towamensing Township official complained about tires being dumped along rural roads. It's unfortunate but this is what you have when your regulations become too stringent. We're not condoning dumping tires along back roads, we're just saying that allowing them to be placed in landfills would be much better than having them become eyesores, collectors of mosquitoes, and hazards to hikers, bicyclists, and others.

Our forefathers were better at recycling than we are.

Some generations ago, we would give our old clothing to a local "rag man" for recycling.

Our soda and milk came in glass bottles which we would return to the store. We got a nickel for each bottle we turned-in.

We had many people picking up newspapers to recycle them.

Where is recycling headed?

It's conceivable that you're going to find more tires and electronic equipment tossed into mine pits and along river beds since there's no place else to go with them.

Will municipalities which have recyclables collected with their regular garbage pickups continue the recycling programs? Only time will tell. But without a county agency mandating such a setup, it could be a matter of time before this ends.

In the 70s and 80s, we were told about preserving our natural resources, and that recycling was one way to do this.

Before that, when World War II raged, we saw the real value of recycling.

Today, our political leaders in Harrisburg and Washington don't see to care about the recycling setup.

Yet, President Obama and other liberal leaders rail against the fossil fuel industry, which are vital to our national defense and important to keeping energy costs down.

Recycling is important. If the government isn't going to fund recycling, then it needs to rescind some of the ridiculous regulations it has passed such as prohibiting tires and electrical items in landfills. These items are better in landfills than in our woodlands.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com [1]