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EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge removed a huge amount of electronic waste and pharmaceuticals from eight states.
The goal of the EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge was the collecting and recycling of one million pounds of electronics (e-Waste) plus the collection and proper disposal of one million pills.
These goals were exceeded many times over.
A few examples:
In Milwaukee, WI: 32 tons of electronic waste and 3.5 tons of pharmaceuticals were turned in.
At the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin near Green Bay: Approx. 4 tons of e-waste was collected plus thousands of pounds of other trash cleaned from reservation Tribal members turned in over 23 pounds of medicines including 100 bottles of pills, more than 25 computers and dozens of related components like hard drives, printers, keyboards and speakers; televisions, radios, DVD players, 12 cell phones and over 100 small batteries.
In Traverse City, MI: Over 28,750 pounds (over 12.5 tons) of computers and other e-waste was collected.
The electronic waste is recycled, and the pharmaceuticals are incinerated in state-of-the-art EPA -license facilities.
So why is this important?
The old and broken electronics - like computers, cell phones and TVs - contain heavy metals that can leach into the groundwater if dumped into landfills.
The unused pharmaceuticals can end up in your drinking water if they are flushed or poured down the drain.
That’s because most wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove chemicals from these pharmaceuticals including hormones, narcotics, seizure medication and many more - that end up back in your drinking water.
In an April 2008 press conference in Milwaukee, EPA and other officials explained why the Great Lakes Challenge and similar projects are important to protect the environment and your health.
Pharmaceutical chemicals are sent back out into the Great Lakes, rivers and other places were people recreate and are the intakes for drinking water.
Studies show that the chemicals are appearing in the nation’s drinking water in small amounts - the long term effects are not known - however they have been linked to mutations in fish and other wildlife.
Also - these medicines can be stolen, diverted or accidentally ingested by children - if they languish in your medicine cabinet.
Around the country many e-waste and pharmaceutical take back programs have been developed by governments and local businesses.
Please check with your local officials to find out details for your area.
Because every day should be Earth Day.
This video on the projects connected to the Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge was made possible by a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with the EPA's Region 5 office in Chicago the EPA Great Lakes national Program Office also in Chicago in cooperation with the non-profit Interfaith Earth Healing Initiative in Marquette, Michigan.
The EHI involves American Indian tribes and "a coalition of churches synagogues and other faith traditions joining together to heal protect and defend the environment" said EHI founder Rev Jon Magnuson of Marquette.
I’m Greg Peterson and you’re watching Earth Healing TVEPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge removed a huge amount of electronic waste and... more
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