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Great Lakes Earth Day Challenge 2008: Go green and head to a drop-off in your area for e-waste and old meds

Release Date: 04/10/2008
Contact Information: Karen Thompson, 312-353-8547, thompson.karen@epa.gov Phillippa Cannon, 312-353-6218, cannon.phillippa@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08-OPA055

(Chicago, Ill. - Apr. 10, 2008) 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 www.epa.gov/greatlakes/earthday2008

Also, anyone can go to EPA's blog and share ideas: http://flowoftheriver.epa.gov/greatlakeschallenge

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