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RE: [greenyes] promoting good environmental practice on a shoestr ing budget

Hi Debbie ~

Here's another possible project.

Use the money to replace the current mercury thermostats in homes with
non-mercury programmable thermostats, and then recycle the old mercury

Get lots of publicity for the program to encourage others to remove their
thermostats with mercury and recycle them. Get the city to ban the sale of
these thermostats and require the retailers of thermostats to take back the
old ones for recycling (this can be done at no cost by working with a
wholesaler who is part of NEMA's TRC program
( Ordinances of this type already
exist in the US.

The average home mercury thermostat has 3 grams of mercury in it, enough to
pollute 60 acres of lake to the point of a fish consumption advisory for a
year. Thermostats are the largest single source of mercury in household
products, and some 7 million are discarded a year in the US.

Additionally, the programmable thermostats will reduce energy consumption in
the houses.

Good luck on your choice of project -- I hope that you get lots of other
suggestions !

John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County, WI

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Deborah Rubin Fields [mailto:write_debbie@no.address]
> Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2004 1:23 AM
> To: greenyes@no.address
> Subject: [greenyes] promoting good environmental practice on a
> shoestring budget
> March 18, 2004
> Dear Friends-
> I am asking you to indulge me in answering the following question:
> If you were offered a very tiny municipal grant, what community
> environmental project(s) would you put into practice that
> would be of the
> greatest short term and long term value?
> Background to question:
> My financially strapped city is offering neighborhood
> councils a very small
> amount of money to initiate an unspecified community project. As a
> neighborhood volunteer, I personally do not want to see the
> money spent on
> just painting park benches (something that our taxes should
> cover anyway).
> In our community, we have limited recycling. That is to say,
> we have PET 1
> 1/2 liter plastic bottle recycling and paper recycling only.
> Soon we will
> be starting an experimental neighborhood composting project
> (from another
> municipal grant). In addition, by federal law, people can redeem
> (redemption labelled) cans, glass and 1/2 liter PET bottles at the
> groceries.
> Without nearby recycling centers, the city picks up the vast
> majority of
> household waste and hauls it to a municipal landfill.
> Given that background, what practical project would you propose?
> Regretfully, I have to come up with suggestions by Tuesday,
> March 23rd.
> I thank all of you for your consideration and look forward to
> hearing from
> you.
> Debbie Rubin Fields
> write_debbie@no.address
> _________________________________________________________________
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