tagged w/ City of Milwaukee
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
Milwaukee area residents turned in 32 tons of electronic waste and 3.5 tons of pharmaceuticals during two events in EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge.
About 3.5 tons of pharmaceuticals were turned during Medicine Collection Day on Saturday, April 19, 2008 organized by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD).
The Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) organized an electronics collection on Saturday, April 26, 2008 that garner about 32 tons of electronics. The site off-loaded an average of three cars per minute. About 700 cars dropped off electronics called e-waste.
More than two thirds of the collection was computers and related equipment.
The DPW collected 643 computer monitors weighing over ten tons; 338 televisions weighing over 5 tons, over 7 tons of personal computers and nearly 5 tons of computer printers. Eight percent of the collection, nearly 5,000 pounds, involved miscellaneous e-waste like cell phones.
The challenge was important because scrap electronics are the fastest growing segment of municipal solid waste stream.
E-waste may contain hazardous materials including lead, mercury and heavy metals that can pose a risk to human and environmental health. The EPA awarded $500,000 in grants to numerous cities participating in the challenge including the city of Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the "recycling televisions and computers reduces the risks of toxins contained in these products being released into our air and water."
Event partners included the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, city of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW), Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful, the Italian Community Center, Midwest Computer Recyclers and WISN-TV.
About 3.5 tons of pharmaceuticals were turned during the Milwaukee area's Medicine Collection Day sponsored by the MMSD.
The collection name was a "prescription for clean water and safe kids."
Veolia Environmental Services incinerates non-controlled substances at a federally licensed facility.
Medicine collection partners:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Milwaukee Police, Milwaukee Brewers, City of Milwaukee, Aurora Pharmacy, Columbia St. Mary's, City of Racine, Racine Police Department, Burlington Police Department, Western Racine County Health Department, Caledonia/Mt. Pleasant Health Department, Ozaukee County Public Health Department, Ozaukee County Sheriff's Department, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Village of Saukville, Washington County, Washington County Sheriff's Department, and City of West Bend Sewer Utility.
For more information call MMSD Public Information Manager Bill Graffin at 1-414-225-2077
The MMSD distributed nearly 200,000 postcards promoting the event that has been widely publicized by area media.
The Earth Healing Initiative (EHI) distributed the final 5,000 cards to interfaith contacts in the Milwaukee area.
The EHI local interfaith liaison is Rev. Brad Brown, campus pastor at Marquette University Lutheran Campus Ministry in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Milwaukee events were among about 100 projects involving hundreds of communities across eight states around the Great Lakes basin that participated in the EPA Earth Day 2008 challenge.
The goal was the collecting and recycling of one million pounds of electronics plus the collection and proper disposal of one million pills.
The EHI assisted challenge organizers by offering interfaith liaisons to volunteer and encourage members of local churches and temples to participate in the Earth Day related events in their area.
This video was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 office and the EPA Great Lakes national Program Office in Chicago to the EHI in Marquette MI.
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 founder Rev Jon Magnuson of Marquette.Milwaukee area residents turned in 32 tons of electronic waste and 3.5 tons of... more