Individual City Press Releases
2008 Interfaith Earth Healing Initiative
Individual City Press Releases
"Garbage Monsters" teach lessons to tribal students in Wisconsin; Native Americans and interfaith groups help collect a million pounds of e-waste, and a million pills to reach goal of EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge
The students even named their multi-colored Garbage Monsters.
Faith leaders across eight Great Lakes states are urging their members to participate in an Earth Day 2008 challenge to collect one million pounds of electronics and more than one million pills because trust is needed between all people to stop "an environmental crisis."
Over 1,000 pounds of electronics have been turned in at the MITW transfer station since April 1 and the total weigh of circuit boards to be recycled is expected to reach several tons by the end of the month.
The College of Menominee Nation is hosting pharmaceutical and electronics collections on April 22.
A Lutheran Bishop who has participated in interfaith Earth Day recycling projects for three years in a row encourages people of all faiths to get involved and help protect the environment.
"The Great Lakes watershed is really kind of a mother to all of us here in the populated areas of the upper Midwest," he said.
"We are building trust along and across denominational lines, in the Christian communities and into the wider faith communities of the whole country," Skrenes said.
The colorful interfaith graphic in this image (above, top left) is used courtesy of Justice St. Rain and his Interfaith Resources Special Ideas website. St. Rain is an author and a member of the Baha'i Community
The EHI involves American Indian tribes and "a coalition and partnership of churches, synagogues and other faith traditions joining together and sharing their projects and resources to heal, protect and defend the environment," said founder Rev. Jon Magnuson of Marquette, Michigan.
Magnuson said that Michigan Native Americans have been working with the Cedar Tree Institute for five years and the EHI is hoping to expand that relationship to tribes across the Great Lakes Basin.
Progressive Christians and other faith traditions can learn a lot about respecting the planet and wildlife from the heritage and culture of American Indian tribes, Magnuson said.
On Friday, April 25, students at the tribal K-8 school are picking up litter and cleaning up the a reservation community.
The students and their parents recently created "Garbage Monsters" out of bottles, paper and other items found in their trash, said Diana Wolf, MITW Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator.
After naming their monsters, the students gave a presentation on other uses for the garbage they used to make the creatures.
Photos show "garbage monsters" created by tribal school students who are learning about protecting the environment at the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin in Keshena. One photo (above, bottom right)shows electronics being recycled by the tribe that members are dropping off at the transfer station.
Interfaith and Native American participation in environment projects like the EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge will help ensure a better future for all humans, said Skrenes, adding "sometimes its relationships and trusting each other that really count in environmental work."
Bishop Skrenes hopes everyone across the Great Lakes Basin will participate in their local project.
"This interfaith earth healing effort is really a great gift that has been given to all of us," Skrenes said. "It is our calling and our responsibility to assist in renewal and rebuilding - it's God's work and it's the work of God's people."
Residents of Duluth, Minnesota will clean out their medicine cabinets on April 26 as part of the challenge.
Two previous Duluth area pharmaceutical collections held in 2007 garnered nearly 600 pounds of unwanted medications from about 400 families.
The Earth Healing Initiative interfaith liaison in Duluth is Rev. Doug Paulson, a campus pastor for Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota.
Paulson said he has spread the information to dozens of churches and temples with help from the Arrowhead Interfaith Council.
The drive-thru event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 26 at the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 2626 Courtland Street in Duluth.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Earth Healing Initiative is helping with two challenge events.
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District held its successful "prescription for clean water and safe kids" pharmaceutical collection on Saturday, April 19 in Milwaukee, Racine, Ozaukee, and Washington counties.
Meanwhile, the city of Milwaukee is hosting an electronic waste collection for its residents on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in a parking lot just south of Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee
Brown said interfaith contacts at the university have helped distribute 5,000 of the 200,000 postcards promoting the pharmaceutical collection.
Clergy in local churches and temples have promoted both events, Brown said.
EPA grants to some of the organizers help fund projects aimed at recycling computers, cell phones and other electronics commonly known as "e-waste plus collecting out-of-date and unwanted pharmaceuticals for proper disposal in high tech incinerators.
The EHI is organizing faith community volunteers and participants plus providing free media assistance to the Earth Day projects including press releases, press contacts, internet videos, podcasts and postings.
Earth Healing Initiative Keshena, WI page:
Earth Healing Initiative:
Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin homepage
College of Menominee Nation:
Earth Week Flyer - Call: Diana 715-799-5189 or Jeremy 715-799-5710:
CHICAGO, April 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire
CHICAGO, April 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Almost everyone has a garage, basement, closet, drawer or medicine cabinet just waiting for an overhaul and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is promoting Earth Month as the perfect time to go green and spring clean.
So far, more than 70 organizations, communities and businesses across the Great Lakes basin have stepped up and responded to EPA's Great Lakes Earth Day Challenge to collect and properly dispose of old electronics or "e-waste" and unused, expired or unwanted medicine. EPA's goal is to collect at least 1 million pounds of electronic waste and 1 million pills to keep contaminants out of the Great Lakes.
"EPA is counting on thousands of people in the Great Lakes basin to do their part and find a nearby collection event where they can safely get rid of their old electronics and unused medicine," said EPA Great Lakes National Program Manager and Region 5 Administrator Mary A. Gade. "It's a win-win situation for the public and for the Great Lakes ecosystem. This is an easy way for everyone to take part in protecting the Great Lakes."
The Great Lakes are an irreplaceable treasure. They are the largest source of fresh drinking water on earth and vital to commerce and recreation in the upper Midwest. Responsible recycling and disposal of unwanted electronics and medicine will prevent contaminants from polluting the Great Lakes basin.
To find a collection event, go to the Great Lakes Earth Day Challenge Web site http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/earthday2008
U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyChicago area Press Release
Don't Flush! Drive Unwanted Medicines from Your Home
This April 26 the Alliance will help Chicago-area residents dispose of unused medicines and keep them out of the Great Lakes , where pharmaceuticals are known to harm wildlife and may also be harming people who tap the Lakes for drinking water.
Those living elsewhere around the Great Lakes are encouraged to participate in similar collection events scheduled around the region during Earth Week, April 19-27 -- all part of the U.S. EPA's " Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge."
"Flushing unwanted medicines down toilets leads to potential contamination of the Great Lakes and drinking water supplies," said Lyman Welch, Water Quality Program manager for the Alliance . "Disposing of unused and expired medicines through collection programs is a responsible step everyone can take now to prevent water pollution at the source."
EPA's regional challenge is to collect 1 million pills of unwanted medicines and 1 million pounds of unwanted electronics, or e-waste, for responsible disposal. Across the Great Lakes region, communities are stepping up, signing on to the challenge and adding their collection and take-back events to the efforts of thousands.
The Alliance is co-hosting prescription drug collection from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 26 at the Chicago Household Hazardous Waste facility on Goose Island , 1150 N. North Branch St . Jointly sponsored with the Illinois EPA, U.S. EPA and City of Chicago, the public is invited to bring unused or expired prescription and non-prescription drugs, inhalers and mercury thermometers for free and proper disposal.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin , the U.S. Geological Survey and the EPA are increasingly troubled by studies showing organisms exhibiting altered gender ratios, sluggish behavior, and even increased reproduction rates as a result of exposure to pharmaceuticals and other pollutants that disrupt the body's hormonal system. Scientists say such findings may indicate that people, especially children and other sensitive populations, could also be affected.
The pathway is clear. Many, unaware of the consequences, continue to follow old directives to flush unwanted medicines down the toilet, leading to the potential contamination of surface and ground waters. Furthermore, whenever someone ingests a pill, some of the drug is absorbed by the body but the rest passes through and is flushed down the toilet.
The wastewater is treated before it is discharged to reservoirs, rivers or lakes, and again at drinking water treatment plants before it is piped to consumers. But conventional sewage treatment methods were not designed to remove this type of contamination.
For now, regulators say the most practical and rapid way to protect public health from the threat of pharmaceutical pollution is to eliminate it at the source wherever possible.
"This collection is beneficial not only to residents who want get rid of the unused antibiotics or other drugs lining their medicine cabinets -- but also to the environment," said Doug Scott, director of the Illinois EPA.
The collection site is unable to accept controlled substances because of strict federal laws, said the Alliance 's Welch, adding "Federal controlled substance laws must be revised to make it easier for consumers to return unused or expired drugs for proper disposal."
For more information about collections and locations, see EPA's " Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge" at: http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/earthday2008Greater Cleveland area - Cuyahoga County Press Release
Thousands of residents in Greater Cleveland, Ohio are recycling unwanted computer electronics during the annual "Recycle Your Computer Month."
In the past 8 years, the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District has sponsored many collections that garnered over 1,900 tons of computer equipment.
"This is the 9th year that we have provided free computer recycling to Cuyahoga County residents," said Cristie A. Snyder, District Program Officer.
"In 2000, we started collecting computers with a one-day Round-Up twice a year," said Snyder, adding a couple years ago the opening of a local recycling facility allowed the District to switch "to a month-long promotion that allowed our municipalities to run their events as needed."
The e-Waste computer collections are sponsored by the District in collaboration with local city service departments.
Residents in 59 municipalities can drop-off their old and broken unused computer equipment at over 45 participating city service departments during the month of April, Snyder said.
All equipment collected will be taken to RET3 job corp, a non-profit computer recycling and refurbishing company based in Cleveland. Computer donations are tax-deductible.Duluth Press Release
In Duluth, Minnesota, “Medicine Cabinet Clean-Out Day” offers residents free, safe disposal of unwanted medications.
The drive-thru event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 26 at the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) HHW Facility (2626 Courtland St.) in Duluth.
“Residents should bring medications in their original containers,” said Gina Temple-Rhodes, WLSSD environmental program coordinator. “Mercury thermometers and medical sharps that are packaged safely in rigid containers will also be accepted free of charge.”
In two previous collections including “Minnesota’s first-ever medication collection” in October 2007, the WLSSD “collected a total of 591 pounds of unwanted pharmaceuticals from 391 households, enough to fill 6 55-gallon drums,” Temple-Rhodes said.
"Medication is only accepted at the (WLSSD) during special events due to U.S. drug laws," said Susie Darley-Hill, WLSSD event coordinator. "If medication must be disposed of during other times, it can be destroyed, sealed and placed in the garbage."
“The first collection event really showed us that there is a lot of unwanted medication lingering in medicine cabinets all over the WLSSD area,” said Temple-Rhodes. “Residents told us they had been storing the medications for years because they didn’t know what else to do with them. This collection event offers an easy, safe answer to the disposal question.”
“Unwanted medication should not be flushed or poured down the drain,” said WLSSD Executive Director Kurt N.W. Soderberg. “Although many of us were taught to dispose of medicines this way, we now know that flushing them is not a good idea.”
“Wastewater treatment plants were not designed to remove pharmaceutical substances from wastewater,” Soderberg continued. “Proper disposal of medication helps protect water quality in our region.”
The Duluth event is one of 37 projects involving hundreds of communities across eight states around the Great Lakes basin that are participating in an Earth Day 2008 challenge from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The goal of the EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day is collecting and recycling one million pounds of electronics (e-Waste) and the collection of one million pills for proper disposal.Keshena Press Release
Youth and adults at the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin plan three events as part of the EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge
(Keshena, Wisconsin) - As the students of all ages plan a major hands-on clean up of a tribal community and the recycling of electronics and proper disposal of unwanted medications to honor Earth Day 2008, adult members of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin in Keshena, WI have already turned in several thousand pounds of electronic waste as part of a national Earth Day Project.
The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin (MITW), located about 30 miles south of Green Bay, is collecting e-Waste all month including during the tribe's regular curbside bulk items Spring Cleaning collection on April 21-24 (Monday thru Thursday).
"We are getting lots of electronics right now," said Diana Wolf, the MITW Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator.
Meanwhile - tribal grade and middle schoolers are planning an outdoor cleanup project for the last Friday in April, and the students at the tribal college have scheduled an April 22 collection of e-Waste and unwanted pharmaceuticals.
The three projects are part of about 37 events planned across 8 states in hundreds of cities as part of the Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The events are being promoted by the interfaith Earth Healing Initiative that teams numerous faith communities and American Indian tribes with local challenge organizers to be volunteers and participants in the projects spread across the Great Lakes basin.
During the first week of April, the tribe’s drop-off sites collected several thousand pounds of electronics including 919 pounds of "low-grade circuit boards" that tribal employees remove from TV sets, stereos, high quality computers, cassette players and other electronics.
Wolf estimated that about two tons (4,000 pounds) of electronics will be turned in by the end of the month.
Wolf said that the 919 pounds of e-recyclables (circuit boards) represents about 100 individual TVs, computers or other electronics. The circuit boards and some other the electronics are turned over to Mike Zastrow, a buyer for Samuels Recycling in Green Bay. Plastics and wood from electronics collected by the tribe are recycled by Waste Management Inc. in Antigo, WI
"The electronics contain silver and gold and we give it Samuel's Recycling in Green Bay - they pay us 12 cents per pound," Wolf said. "We are assured it is recycled correctly."
The tribe pays Lamp Recyclers Inc. of DePere, WI to remove hazardous materials like fluorescent light bulbs, batteries and some parts of TVs and computer components.
“We will do whatever it takes to do cradle to grave recycling,” Wolf said, adding the tribe follows EPA guidelines for electronics and other recyclables.
When you add up the labor to break up the electronics and other costs the tribe is losing cash money but are gaining something much more important - a clean community that the adults can proudly leave their children.
"We are not making a profit off of it but it is the right thing to do," Wolf said.
On Friday, April 25, 2008, the 183 students at the Menominee Tribal School (k-8) will be cleaning the area around the school of litter and recyclables and other downtown areas of Neopit, one of four communities on the reservation. The tribe's 234,000-acre reservation includes the communities of Keshena, Zoar and South Branch
"The students will be picking up litter and recyclables - and anything that's on the roads or sidewalks or the yards," Wolf said adding the students will be planting 50 saplings.
The tribal school cleanup project will be followed by a potluck picnic lunch of native foods plus Sloppy Joes, potato chips and Kool-Aid, Wolf said.
"We are inviting the parents to bring a potluck and there will likely be wild rice and other Native American dishes," Wolf said.
The lunch will include a drama performance and include Native Music involving the "Wind Eagle Drum" or the "high school drum" consisting of students who are learning the music of the Menominee tribe's history.
"Our school is very much a cultural-motivated school," Wolf said. "The school teaches about the Menominee culture and language. The students learn about our Menominee history and our language amongst the non-native teaching."
"My children speak fluent Menominee because they have been in the school for three years," Wolf said.
The MITW has nearly 10,000 members including an enrolled population of 8,471 (most of whom still live on the reservation) and 1,268 enrolled descendants.
"We believe it's important for our Tribal members to recycle, reduce waste and energy consumption, and reuse items," said Wolf.
Wolf said her office does everything they can to educate youngsters about protecting the environment.
Wolf said every year her co-workers have to clean up illegal dumping sites in the tribe's 234,000 acres of forest.
The tribe's solid waste facility has annually collected up to five tons of computers and other electronics over the past decade.
Meanwhile in a separate event, Menominee tribal college students are doing their part to protect the planet with e-Waste and pharmaceutical collections.
The College of Menominee Nation (State Hwy. 47/55) in Keshena, is accepting e-waste and unwanted medicines on April 22 from 9 a.m. to noon - and accepting e-Waste from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the commons building.
The college’s Implementing Sustainable Development class is hosting the collection with help from the tribe's solid waste coordinator.
The e-Waste collection will accept electronics including old/broken computers, cell phones and batteries.
The pharmaceutical collection is accepting old and unwanted medications that must be in their original bottle or container.
April 22, 2008
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (e-Waste)
College of Menominee Nation - commons building
e-Waste and Unwanted Medications
Milwaukee: 2008 Earth Day Challenge PSA by WISN-TV Ch. 12
Milwaukee television station - WISN-TV Channel 12 (ABC) created this 15 second Public Service Announcement - about Milwaukee's Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge event on Saturday, April 26 - a one-day electronic scrap collection.
Event partners include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful, the Italian Community Center, Midwest Computer Recyclers and WISN TV.
For Additional Information Contact: Cecilia Gilbert, Permits & Communications Manager, 286-3261 or 708-2295 (cell)
EPA Funds Electronic Scrap Event
City Residents get Opportunity to Recycle Televisions and Electronics
Milwaukee's Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will offer City of Milwaukee residents an opportunity to recycle their old television sets. The one-day electronic scrap collection event will be held on Saturday, April 26th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Italian Community Center South parking lot, located at 631 East Chicago. Scrap electronics constitute the fastest growing segment of municipal solid waste stream.
Electronic waste or e-scrap may contain hazardous materials including lead, mercury and heavy metals that can pose a risk to human and environmental health through the release of toxics into the air and water. Proper disposal and recycling are needed to avoid unwanted pollution and divert waste from the landfills.
Televisions, computers and all computer accessories (monitors, printers, laptops, desktop PCs, keyboards, mice, and related cables) will be accepted. Items will be processed for reuse or recycling in an environmentally responsible manner. Any personal information left on the hard drives will be destroyed.
This event is free and open to City of Milwaukee residents, who must present an ID or copy of a bill with a Milwaukee address. The event is for residents only.
Mary A. Gade, EPA Great Lakes National Program Manager and Region 5 Administrator, stated, "EPA is counting on thousands of people in the Great Lakes basin to do their part and find a nearby collection event where they can safely get rid of their old electronics. It's a win-win situation for the public and for the Great Lakes ecosystem. This is an easy was for everyone to take part in protecting the Great Lakes."
Event partners include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful, the Italian Community Center, Midwest Computer Recyclers and WISN TV.
City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin holds e-waste collection in EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge
The EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge is underway with about 100 projects in hundreds of communities across eight states including a second event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The city of Milwaukee is hosting an electronic waste collection for its residents on Saturday, April 26, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The e-Waste collection will be held in a parking lot just south of Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee.
City of Milwaukee residents are invited to bring their unwanted televisions and computer equipment to this event to get them recycled.
Material will be recycled at no charge to residents of Milwaukee. Officials added the event is not for business waste - just residents.
Milwaukee city officials and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held a news conference to explain details about the electronics collection.
The EPA has awarded grants to numerous cities participating in the challenge including the city of Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said "recycling televisions and computers reduces the risks of toxins contained in these products being released into our air and water."
The contact is Rick Meyers with the City of Milwaukee Dept of Public Works. Call Meyers at 414-286-2334
The Earth Healing Initiative has put our local interfaith liaison in touch with Milwaukee officials. He's Rev. Brad Brown, campus pastor at Marquette University Lutheran Campus Ministry - in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Milwaukee event is among about 100 projects involving hundreds of communities across eight states around the Great Lakes basin that are participating in an Earth Day 2008 challenge from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
On Saturday April 19, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD)held its third annual Medicine Collection Day.
Named "A prescription for clean water and safe kids," the pharmaceutical collections was held in Milwaukee, Racine, Ozaukee, and Washington counties.
The MMSD distributed nearly 200,000 postcards promoting the event that has been widely publicized by area media.
The Earth Healing Initiative distributed the final 5,000 cards to interfaith contacts in the Milwaukee area.
The goal of the EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge is collecting and recycling one million pounds of electronics (e-Waste) and the collection of one million pills for proper disposal.
The Earth Healing Initiative is assisting by offering interfaith liaisons to volunteer and encouraging members of local churches and temples to participate in the Earth Day related events in their area.
City of Milwaukee DPW e-waste project:
April 26, 2008
Contact: City of Milwaukee Dept of Public Works Rick Meyers (414-286-2334)
Held in parking lot just south of Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee
City of Milwaukee residents are invited to bring their unwanted televisions and computer equipment to this event to get them recycled. Material will be recycled at no charge to residents of Milwaukee. No businesses please.
Milwaukee Dept. Of Public Works:
Milwaukee DPW e-Waste event page:
City of Milwaukee e-Waste event flyer:
City of Milwaukee e-Waste advertisement
City of Milwaukee event map:
WISN News Milwaukee, WI:
Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful
KGMB is coordinating volunteers for event on Sat., April 26, 2008
KGMB has numerous events scheduled in near future and would like volunteers.
Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful, Inc. (KGMB) is an award winning, private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. Established in 1983, it has been affiliated with Keep America Beautiful, Inc. since 1985.
KGMB has a strong history of responsiveness, renewal and innovation. KGMB uses a unique combination of community improvement programs like Great American Cleanup and education to accomplish its goals.
KGMB works in partnership with its communities to address:
KGMB facility features an in-house waste reduction education center.
Project sites include locations in eight states:
Illinois: Alton, Beecher, Bellwood, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Channahon, Chicago, Elk Grove Village, Elmhurst, Glenview, Joliet, Lockport, Lombard, Mount Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Romeoville, Shorewood, Villa Park, West Chicago, Wheaton, Woodstock
Indiana: Columbia City, Hammond, Knox, LaPorte, Fort Wayne, Rushville, Valparaiso
Michigan: Bay City (two events), Benton Harbor, Bloomfield Hills, Dearborn Heights, East Lansing, Farmington Hills, Goodells, Grand Rapids (two events) Harbor Springs, Lansing, Midland, Monroe, Royal Oaks, Sault Ste. Marie, Southfield, Traverse City
Minnesota: Blaine, Brooklyn Park, Duluth, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Madison, Maple Grove, New Ulm, Saint Cloud, Shakopee, St. Louis Park, St. Paul
New York: Brockport, Buffalo, Fredonia, Rochester (two events), Syracuse (two events).
Ohio: Cleveland, Grove City, Kent, Perrysburg, Sandusky, Springfield, Toledo, Warren
Pennsylvania: Erie, Lancaster
Wisconsin: Appleton, Brillion, Chilton, Crandon, Green Bay, Keshena (Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and College of Menominee Nation), Manitowoc, Milwaukee, New Holstein, Oshkosh, Plover (two events), Racine, Superior, Waupaca.