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Why bother to recycle?

DANIELA RIBITSCH

Lock Haven

In Lock Haven, it is pretty much impossible to dispose of broken items properly – even though we are told to recycle as much as possible.

I admit: I have been extremely spoiled. Close to my Austrian home, there is a recycling center that takes almost anything from glass and paper to frying oil and toxics to electrical appliances and rusty iron pipes.

In Clinton County, by contrast, we cannot even recycle glass anymore.

And as I just learned, the Wayne Township Landfill does not accept electrical appliances such as irons either.

Their answer was to just throw the iron in the dumpster!

Honestly: How could a place that helps clean the environment encourage me to throw an iron in the dumpster? I am most definitely not going to do that!

Both Austria and Germany tell people NOT to throw small electrical appliances like irons in the dumpster, because they contain precious metals to be used in future items, and toxic chemicals that may end up in the environment.

Yes, recycling does cost money.

However, we also need to keep in mind that if we do not recycle precious resources likes metals, they will become so scarce that at some point, simple irons will cost a lot of money.

In addition, we want to keep Pennsylvania beautiful and free of health hazards caused by environmental pollution. We therefore need to set financial priorities.

Personally, I would be fine with paying a fee to recycle my iron.

Or, like in Austria, stores could recycle my old device if I purchased an equivalent product.

But having a landfill talk so easily about throwing an iron in the dumpster, and having the U.S. as a proud first-world country not even offer first-class recycling programs to keep our environment and ourselves healthy is truly sad!

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