DNR concered at rise of e-waste in ditches and streamsOutdoor News
-- They can’t throw them in the garbage – so more Wisconsinites are dumping their old computers and TV’s in roadside ditches, farm fields, and nature areas.
They can’t throw them in the garbage – so more Wisconsinites are dumping their old computers and TV’s in roadside ditches, farm fields, and nature areas.
The state DNR says it’s a disturbing trend, and it’s illegal for folks to dump their electronics in the wilderness. Lawmakers voted in the 2009 session to require people to recycle their old electronic items instead of throwing them in the garbage – where they would eventually go to landfills with the potential of polluting the groundwater. The DNR says dumping those items also threatens Wisconsin’s waterways.
The state has an E-Cycle program in which 150 collectors operate more than 400 sites where folks can drop off their old electronics, either for free or a small charge. A list of those places can be seen on the DNR’s Web site.
Wisconsin has a record number of nesting trumpeter swans. DNR biologist Sumner Matteson said 197 nesting pairs were spotted last year. That’s 10 times the goal that was originally set 25 years ago, when the state began its efforts to restore the bird. Large-scale hunting and a demand for feathers caused the trumpeter swan to become nearly-extinct in the 1980’s, when the bird was put on the state’s endangered species list. They’ve been monitored each year since 1989. The DNR says they’ll soon begin aerial surveys to find the nests. Biologists will then check those nets to see if the swans’ eggs are active. This fall, volunteers will help place numbered bands on the baby birds, so experts can keep track of them.
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