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EPA'S Great Lakes Earth Day Challenge a resounding success; more e-waste and old meds collections this weekend

Release Date: 04/25/2008
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon, (312) 353-6218, cannon.phillippa@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08 -OPA077

(Chicago, Ill. - April 25, 2008) Communities and residents of the Great Lakes basin have responded enthusiastically to EPA's Great Lakes Earth Day Challenge to collect 1 million pounds of electronics for recycling and 1 million pills for safe disposal to keep contaminants out of the Great Lakes. In the past week, 75 collections were held in towns and cities around the Great Lakes. Almost 70 more collections are scheduled in the week ahead.

"We are very pleased that so many people have stepped up to accept the Great Lakes Earth Day Challenge," said EPA Great Lakes National Program Manager and Region 5 Administrator Mary A. Gade. "Communities have reported collecting more medicines and electronics this Earth Week than at any previous collections."

EPA has received preliminary results from just ten of those collections and can report that 2,184,000 pills have already been turned in for safe disposal -- more than double the challenge goal. EPA also expects to far exceed its goal for e-waste based on 216,000 pounds of electronics collected at six events.

"Let's keep the momentum going this weekend. This is an easy way for everyone to take part in protecting the Great Lakes. Find a nearby collection event and safely get rid of old electronics and medicines," added Gade.

Collections will take place this weekend this in Buffalo, Chicago, Erie, Duluth, Fort Wayne, Milwaukee and many other communities. A complete list of collections and their locations is available on EPA's Web site: http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/earthday2008/events.html

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

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