From left to right: Newly elected Commissioners of the MWRD are Patricia Horton, Terrence J. O’Brien and Debra Shore.
Another great treat from our meeting on Wednesday, April 4th was the appearance of our friend, Debra Shore, newly elected Commissioner of the Water Reclamation District. Debra ran a great campaign that contained the three elements necessary to win: hard-work, talent and enthusiasm.
Winning campaigns typically have a winning theme and her camapign theme was simple. “Because Water Matters.”
Since taking office she has hit the ground running, hiring two terrific women Jan Rowland and Eleanor Kane, and together they have begun working on a number of initiatives.
Greening the Agency
Along with several other commissioners and their staff members, they are beginning to take a look at how the MWRD can become even more of a leader as an environmental agency. They are looking at energy use, fleet management, facilities management, purchasing, land management, recycling, and stormwater management. Ideas for how to green the agency or experience implementing some initiatives at your own workplace please let them know. You can reach Eleanor at (312) 751-5692 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Disposal of Prescription Drugs
Years ago, people were told to dispose of their expired or unused prescription drugs by flushing them down the toilet. Many people still do. This is a serious problem for wastewater treatment agencies, such as the MWRD, and for aquatic life in our rivers and streams. Treatment agencies cannot remove all of the chemicals contained in drugs. Some studies have shown that these chemicals, part of a suite of endocrine disruptors called emerging chemicals of concern, cause adverse effects on aquatic organisms, even at extremely low concentrations.
They are putting together a pharmaceuticals working group of many interested parties to develop a pilot project for safe, secure disposal of drugs to keep them out of our waste stream and waters. Again, ideas on this topic or ways to participate, please contact them. (In the meantime, the safest way to dispose of prescription drugs is to take them to a hazardous waste collection site — such as the city’s new facility at 1150 N. North Branch on Goose Island — or mix them with kitty litter, wrap carefully, and throw out with your garbage.)
Debra thanks everyone for a great victory. She received the most votes in the primary and general elections. We look forward to working with her on many issues for years to come.