Pollution Prevention Education And Technical Assistance For The Lake Michigan And Lake Superior Basins In Wisconsin
|Description:||Summary: The Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center (SHWEC) provided broad-based pollution prevention information, education and technical assistance to Wisconsin businesses in the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior basins. SHWEC worked with a broad spectrum of industries and businesses including manufacturers, marinas, dry cleaners, vehicle maintenance and auto body repair and medical facilities to target reduction of specific bioaccumulating substances, most frequently mercury. When working with companies, SHWEC addressed air emissions, wastewater discharges and hazardous waste. SHWEC conducted surveys at the beginning and the end of the project to gather pollution prevention trend information and to measure the project’s effectiveness. SHWEC also helped establish local coalitions which are continuing to work on pollution prevention and waste reduction activities beyond the grant project period.
SHWEC conducted 55 major outreach activities providing pollution prevention information, education and guidance to more than 3,000 people. Attendees at outreach programs included many diverse industries that generate wastes and emissions of all types. Attendees also included consulting engineers, regulatory personnel, and local government employees. Numerous partners were involved in the outreach activities including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Department of Commerce, the Lake Michigan Federation, Citizens for a Better Environment, Publicly Owned Treatment Works and trade associations.
SHWEC used several methods to deliver pollution prevention information, such as; in-person training sessions, satellite downlinks, an education telecommunication network and video tape. In general, the most successful outreach programs were face-to-face workshops, as measured by the number of attendees. The Industrial Cleaning and Paints & Coatings expositions, held in the Milwaukee area, were effective because they provided instant connections with vendors of equipment and materials who could help implement pollution prevention actions.
The outreach programs, while extremely effective for delivering the pollution prevention message, also served as a nonthreatening method to supply regulatory compliance information. The highest rate of attendance for the programs occurred when there was an emphasis on regulatory compliance information, thus indicating that compliance issues motivate companies to investigate pollution prevention options.
SHWEC conducted 75 pollution prevention assessments for very large manufacturers with more than 200 employees to very small vehicle maintenance, machine shops and marinas with only two or three employees. In addition, SHWEC responded to approximately 200 requests for detailed information packages containing regulatory guidance fact sheets, new and existing manufacturing technology information, materials substitution information and vendor information.
The largest amount of mercury recovered was from recycling of fluorescent lamps. Specific mercury reductions occurred in medical facilities and veterinary facilities. The Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee was a 1996 winner of the Wisconsin Governors Award for Hazardous Waste Reduction. Another hospital eliminated a mercury problem when SHWEC discovered that batteries containing mercury and containers with other toxics were being incinerated instead of separated from the waste streams. In addition, many companies assessed by SHWEC implemented pollution prevention projects.
SHWEC conducted surveys at the beginning and at the end of the project period to gather environmental trend information relating to pollution prevention. Over 78% of the companies responding to the surveys indicated that they have completed a project to eliminate a hazardous waste, air emission or wastewater discharge in the last two years. The companies surveyed represent a cross-section of hazardous waste-generating industries. The two main reasons cited in this survey as to why companies have implemented pollution projects are regulatory compliance and concern for the environment. Economics was not a significant motivator.
SHWEC introduced a “business to business” pollution prevention roundtable by establishing Partners for Business Environmental Quality in Waukesha County. This provides one-stop shopping for businesses looking for environmental information including pollution prevention, waste reduction and recycling. SHWEC also worked with coalitions such as the Southeast Wisconsin Waste Reduction Coalition and individual industrial groups in several Wisconsin counties.
There are no reports associated with this project.
Below is a list of organizations with individual contacts that are funding this project.
Organizations Receiving Funding
Below is a list of organizations with individual contacts that are receiving funding for this project.
University of Wisconsin-Extension Office - Primary Contact
161 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 6000
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203
Below is a list of associated organizations that are NOT giving or receiving funding for this project.
Business Environmental Quality in Waukesha County - Partner
Publicly Owned Treatment Works Trade Associations - Partner