Thumbs up: All those electronic devices in our homes and offices sure do make our lives easier.

But toss those same devices -- which contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury -- in a landfill and they can make a mess of our environment.

So here's to Pennsylvania regulators for making it illegal to dispose of unwanted electronics such as computers, laptops, monitors and televisions in the trash.

Starting Jan. 24 those items must be recycled -- or, if they're still functional, they can be donated to charities.

The York County Solid Waste Authority facility on Flour Mill Road in Manchester Township is one of several sites in the county that offer free recycling of the devices, having processed tons of them since the popular program was launched in 2009.

The authority accepts items every third Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Yard Waste Transfer Facility on Flour Mill Road in Manchester Township.

You can check the authority's Web site, http://www.ycswa.org, for a list of other locations that will properly dispose of the devices at no cost.

This might not be as convenient as setting the old tube TV at the curb, but it's the responsible thing to do -- a fact more and more people are recognizing.

Ellen O'Connor, spokeswoman for the York County Solid Waste Authority, said the free electronic devices recycling program has been very popular with businesses and residents since its launch.


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Between 2010 and 2011, recycling numbers increased 20 percent, she said. Between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, there were 2,337 visitors who dropped off items, averaging 102 pounds per visitor.

The authority saw a need for the service before the government mandated it, O'Connor said.

"There was a clamoring for it," she said. "We thought it was the right thing to do. We look at the amount of electronic junk that people generate ... the turnover for that material is immense."

Thumbs down: Stealing baby Jesus? Really?

Maybe the thief or thieves figured, if you're going to sin -- thou shalt not steal, remember? -- might as well go big.

West Manchester Township resident Frank McKee says someone stole the 14-inch concrete figure from his front-yard nativity scene on Christmas night.

He estimates it would cost at least $100 to replace, but that's not the issue.

"It's more about the sentimental value," McKee said. "We've had him for 14 years."

To the shameless perpetrator: Seriously -- what are you going to do with a concrete baby Jesus?

Just return him already.

And don't wait until Easter.