(Locator: Marquette, Michigan)
Drugs … in grocery bags, and shoeboxes … a steady stream of expired and
just unwanted pharmaceuticals…
(Man with box of bottles) “There, finally got rid of ‘em.”
…come in to Grace United Methodist Church in Marquette, Michigan.
The Rev. Charlie West/Pastor, Grace United Methodist Church: “Things
that all our lives we just tossed in the trash, flushed down the toilet
… but all of a sudden scientists are starting to discover traces of
compounds starting to affect fish and even starting to show up I
understand in some human tissues.”
Pharmacists are on hand.
Doug Anderson/Pharmacist: “I’m just making sure that none of these are
controlled substances before we toss them out. They have to be disposed
of by the DEA.”
Collection sites were set up by faith communities across 15 Lake
Superior counties. This is still one of the more pristine bodies of
water in the world, but pharmaceutical chemicals have been detected
The drugs will be incinerated.
Edith Prosen/Participant: “We all need to do our part.”
(Sorting bottles) “Expires 5-04, so that can go.”
Pastor Charlie West sorted through his family’s drugs.
The Rev. Charlie West/Pastor, Grace United Methodist Church: “It’s
important to dispose of it responsibly because that’s a faith issue--to
be stewards of God’s creation.”
Earth Keepers, a faith-based coalition of a hundred churches, collected
massive amounts of electronic waste last year. This year’s effort kept a
ton of pharmaceuticals from potentially contaminating the water system.
The E.P.A. has noticed this environmental action model.
John Perricone/Eco System Project Manager, E.P.A Region 5: “Churches are
very effective. Two things happened today. One, we are diverting drugs
from the water system. But the real issue is raising awareness.”
For more information on the annual Earth Keeper Clean Sweep day, go to
www.superiorwatersheds.org or contact Grace United Methodist
Church at 906-225-0616.