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EPA's Earth Day Challenge: Collect 1 Million Pills and 1 Million Pounds of E-Waste to Help Protect the Great Lakes
Date:4/21/2008

CHICAGO, April 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. EPA's Great Lakes National Program Manager and Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade, Illinois EPA Director Doug Scott, Chicago Environment Commissioner Suzanne Malec-McKenna and Lyman Welch of the Alliance for the Great Lakes today joined together at the John G. Shedd Aquarium to urge Chicagoans to participate in EPA's Great Lakes Earth Day Challenge. EPA's goal is to collect at least 1 million pounds of electronics or "e-waste" and 1 million pills during Earth Month to keep contaminants out of the Great Lakes.

"Last summer, we saw an outpouring of support from thousands of people in the Great Lakes area who were concerned about pollution," said Regional Administrator Gade. "This Earth Day Challenge is another way for all those people -- and many more just like them -- to show they care. One person can make a difference for the Great Lakes by recycling unwanted electronics and properly disposing of medicines. Doing this will help prevent contaminants from polluting the Great Lakes."

So far, more than 125 communities, organizations and businesses across the Great Lakes basin have stepped up and responded to the challenge by sponsoring collections. EPA is providing more than $500,000 in grants to help fund 26 collections in eight states. This includes last Saturday's collection at DeVry University and the upcoming collection on Saturday at Goose Island, which is co-sponsored by the City, Illinois EPA and the Alliance.

The public is encouraged to bring unused or expired prescription and non-prescription drugs, inhalers and mercury thermometers for free and proper disposal to the Chicago Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling facility at Goose Island at 1150 N. North Branch St.

"Protecting and preserving the Great Lakes and all our natural resources will take government agencies, non profit organizations and individuals all doing their part," said Commissioner Malec-McKenna.
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SOURCE U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5
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