August 31, 2010
The City of Fort Atkinson Wastewater Utility and Fort HealthCare will be holding a mercury thermometer exchange at the Fort Atkinson Farmers Market on Saturday, September 11, 2010 and Saturday, September 25, 2010 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The market is located in the Milwaukee street municipal parking lot across from the post office in downtown Fort Atkinson. Fort HealthCare is underwriting the cost of this initiative through the purchase of 100 digital thermometers.
The thermometer exchange is another example of both organizations’ efforts to encourage environmentally sensitive business practices. In April of 2008, the City of Fort Atkinson signed a Green Tier charter agreement to work collaboratively with the Department of Natural Resources to voluntarily reduce the discharge of mercury in the environment. Fort HealthCare is similarly committed to the promotion of healthier communities by serving as an environmental leader in all aspects of operations. Leadership recognizes the links between environmental health and public health, and acknowledges that reducing our negative impact on the environment is implicit in our Mission to improve the health status of our community.
Wisconsin’s Green Tier program rewards regulated and un-regulated businesses, communities and trade associations aspiring to deliver superior environmental performance. The law provides tools that allow for a transition from just compliance minimums to performance recognition systems. Green Tier uses collaborative, proactive relationships to find creative solutions to further protect, improve and restore Wisconsin’s environment while building business value and recognition.
The Fort Atkinson Wastewater Utility is striving to make changes toward a green environment one step at a time. Although the Utility is not completely mercury free we have removed as many mercury containing products as possible, using alternative products whenever available and practicable. The Utility is currently in the process of going to all dental offices in the city and making sure all offices that use amalgam have mercury amalgam separators. Amalgam is the main source of mercury in the dental industry. The Utility has also changed out its fluorescent lighting. The switch was from T-12 bulbs to T-8 bulbs. Businesses are encouraged to switch to T8 fluorescent lighting to save the most in energy and operating expenses. Top-quality T8 lamps function with reduced mercury, a potentially harmful substance used in many lighting fixtures. Although recycling is still recommended after these lamps are spent, T8 lamps are generally more sustainable than T12s. For lighting with no mercury content whatsoever, check out LED lighting.
Fort HealthCare and the Fort Atkinson Wastewater Utility encourage everyone to join us in the effort to help save our environment. If you currently own a mercury fever thermometer bring it to the Fort Atkinson Farmers Market in exchange for a brand new digital thermometer supplied by Fort HealthCare. The City of Fort Atkinson Wastewater Utility will have a booth set up at both Farmers Markets on Saturday, September 11, 2010 and Saturday, September 25, 2010 from 8am to 12pm.