Letters to the Editor - July 29

July 29, 2012

Recycling program discourages recycling

To the editor:

Washington County’s decision to eliminate the countywide recycling drop-off program, while cost-effective in the short term, has catastrophic long-term consequences.

As most are aware, until recently, Washington County residents voluntarily took recyclables to 10 drop-off locations around the county. Unfortunately, this program was eliminated and the replacement solution does little to encourage county residents to recycle their waste. In fact, the new recycling program actually discourages county residents from recycling their disposables.

Of course, some will argue that the implementation of a recycling pick-up program replaces the drop-off locations. However, what these individuals fail to realize is that a significant portion of the population is not served by a home pick-up program; these individuals rely exclusively on the landfill to dispose of their waste.

Therefore, not only are these rural residents subject to paying an annual landfill fee, but must also pay an additional fee to use the recycling dumpsters on the same landfill premise.

It is hypocritical for our county leaders to speak with future generations about the importance of conserving our resources and being environmentally conscious while in the next breath taking action to remove an established program that encouraged Washington County citizens to recycle.

Instead of caring about our Earth (as the name of the landfill road implies), county leaders subject residents to additional fees and discourage them from doing what is best not only for our county, but our planet. I sincerely hope the County Commissioners re-evaluate this program and consider removing the additional recycling fees.

Paula Smith
Clear Spring

Will Capito give back 22 percent of her pay?

To the editor:

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s defense of the Republican Party and denial that it is waging a “war on women” is contradicted by her own votes against the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. 

Why on earth would Capito vote against the Lilly Ledbetter Act when it does so much for those women who experience workplace pay discrimination?

Democratic opponent Howard Swint said, “It’s another case of Rep. Capito saying she’s working for constituents and then voting with her party against the best interests of West Virginia women.  Her votes are in direct contradiction to her statement that she and the Republican Party want women to have the same opportunities as everyone else.”

The Lilly Ledbetter Act is arguably the most important anti-discrimination workplace legislation in a generation, because it makes it easier for women to file unequal pay-based lawsuits under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Right now, women in the U.S. make about 77.8 cents to the dollar earned by men. I think that Capito ought to act in accordance with the principles evidenced by her vote on the Fair Pay Act and return to the Treasury 22.2 percent of her congressional salary earned to date to reflect her willingness to accept less pay because she is a woman.

And women ought to vote for female-friendly candidates like Howard Swint for Congress in WV-2.

Kristin Loken
Falling Waters, W.Va.

Help stop prescription-drug abuse

To the editor:

Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as epidemic. While there has been a marked decrease in the use of some illegal drugs like cocaine, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that nearly one-third of people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2009 began by using a prescription drug nonmedically.

To help combat this growing threat, Washington County is taking things further by hosting a local collection event on Tuesday, Aug. 7. The event will take place at Byron Park in Williamsport, Maryland during the National Night Out event. Residents of Washington County are encouraged to drop off their unused or unwanted medications.  

Accepted medications include: prescriptions, sharps, inhalers, liquids, over-the-counter, veterinary, expired and empty prescription bottles. Residents of Washington County are encouraged to properly dispose of their medications if they are unable to visit the collection event. Below are tips on proper and improper disposal:

Do not flush medications/Do not pour medications down the sink/Do not dump medications in the trash.

Remove and destroy all identifying personal label information.

Pour medication into a sealable bag — if medication is solid, crush it or add water to dissolve it. Add cat litter, sawdust, coffee grounds to make it less appealing for pets and children to eat.  Seal the plastic bag and put it in the trash.

This effort is spearheaded by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington County Health Department. For more information, please visit or call 240-313-3356; TTY 240-313-3391.

April Rouzer
Prevention Services Program Coordinator
Washington County Health Department

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