Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MWRD Adds 4th Collection Site to National Drug Take-Back Day

April 26th from 10am to 2pm is National Drug Take-Back Day. The purpose of the day is to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs. The MWRD's wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove pharmaceutical products if they are poured down a drain or flushed down a toilet. The chemicals can work their way into lakes and streams. The impact of those chemicals on the waterways and aquatic life is a concern this agency continues to grapple with. At this point there are no easy solutions, but I'm committed to seeking out innovative, cost-effective ways to treat those chemicals in our treatment process. In the meantime, one easy, convenient way to combat unwanted drugs in our water  is to encourage proper disposal of unwanted medicines. That's why every year to prevent and reduce accidental contamination of streams, rivers, and lakes, the MWRD joins the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's national prescription drug "Take-Back" initiative. The MWRD will have four collection sites this year:

  • Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, 6001 W. Pershing Road, Cicero
  • North Side Water Reclamation Plant, 3500 Howard Street, Skokie
  • Calumet Water Reclamation Plant, 400 East 130th, Chicago
  • Egan Water Reclamation Plant, 550 S. Meacham Rd, Schaumburg IL

Additional information about the collection can be found here and here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Benito Juarez Wreath Laying

Recently, I was honored to join Governor Pat Quinn and State of Mexico Governor Eruviel Avila at an event honoring the important Mexican leader, Benito Juarez. Governor Avila laid a wreath at the Benito Juarez statue located at 420 S. Michigan. The statue was donated by the President of Mexico in 1977. The Governor's office noted that for 150 years, Mexico and Illinois have shared a special friendship. Juarez sent an emissary, Matias Romero, to Springfield to extend greetings to then President-elect Abraham Lincoln, making Mexico the first foreign nation to officially congratulate Lincoln. Juarez and Lincoln have often been compared -- both come from humble origins, were self-taught and have a passion for human rights.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Federal Flood Relief Application Deadline July 9

Residents and businesses who sustained flooding damage between April 6 and May 5, 2013 have until July 9, 2013 to apply for federal funding assistance. Find out more information here.

Veggie Pride Parade

To raise awareness about the benefits of a plant-based diet, I presented a resolution to Marisa Buchheit (pictured above), Miss Heart of Illinois 2013, and representative of the Chicago Veggie Pride Parade, which was held in Grant Park earlier this month. 
The first Chicago Veggie Pride Parade was held in 2012 and attracted 600 participants. Vadim Moskalin, founder of the Chicagoland Community for Vegetarians, Vegans, and Raw Foodists expressed about the parade that, "We welcome all vegans, vegetarians, and any supporters of a plant-based diet in the greater Chicago area (and in the entire Midwest) who would like to give or receive support in their choices, whether they are based on Ethical, Environmental, Health or Spiritual reasons." During the past two years, ChicagoVeg has offered over 100 events to support local vegans/vegetarians and promote veganism/vegetarianism in the Chicago area.
Personally, I'm a vegan and have found the lifestyle to be rewarding and to greatly benefit my health. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

World Water Day 2013

Today is World Water Day, 2013! World Water Day is held every year on March 22 to raise awareness for freshwater and advocating for sustainable management of water resources. The United Nations General Assembly designated March 22, 1993 as the first World Water Day. The theme for the 2013 World Water Day is the International Year of Water Cooperation because cooperation over water resources is essential to protect and balance the needs and priorities of different groups of people. To think of water as an instrument of peace is inspiring.

You can find out more information on World Water Day here.

Chicago Regional Future City Competition Resolution

At the March 21, 2013 MWRDGC Board Meeting, I was honored to present a Resolution to St. Paul of the Cross School (Park Ridge, IL) students who won first place in the Chicago Regional Future City Competition. The Future City Competition challenges sixth, seventh, and eighth graders to design a city 150 years in the future, with the goal of encouraging students to consider future careers in engineering and science. The theme for the 2013 Future City Competition was "Rethink Runoff: Design Clean Solutions to Manage Stormwater Pollution."  The competition challenged student teams to design a solution to a stormwater runoff problem that would prove detrimental to their cities.  The St. Paul of the Cross student team created the city of Futura Paradisus where the system of stormwater management included pervious pavement, geotextile filter fabric, stormwater detention units and pipes that lead the water to water treatment plants. I was one of the judges for the competition and found all the student teams' cities impressive and inspiring. The students exercised thoughtful critical thinking in designing their cities and developing innovative solutions to stormwater issues. We need bright young minds to go into engineering and science to help shape the profession and make positive impacts on our ever evolving world. 

Above is a picture with the St. Paul of the Cross School student team: 

Front row left to right: Zachary Cmiel, Michael Marino, Samantha Ritter, Jack Kohler, Margaret Cahill

Back row left to right: Philip Spagnolo (mentor engineer), Michael OBroin, Ben Paoletti, Commissioner Avila, Christine Stypka (teacher), Catherine Coyle, Laurie Moran (teacher)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Board Meeting Notice

A friendly reminder that there is a MWRDGC Board Meeting at 10:00am on Thursday, June 16, 2011. The Board Meetings are held in the Board Room at 100 East Erie Street, Chicago. All members of the public are welcome to attend. Click here for Board Meeting details and agenda.