Community Celebrates Earth Day 2024

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SRPMIC membership and staff were able to drop off all of their household hazardous waste during the Community's Earth Day Celebration.

To honor planet Earth, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community held an Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 20, at 8 a.m. This year was the 54th annual Earth Day, an observance which sprang from the modern ecological and environmental movement beginning in 1970. Earth Day raises awareness about climate change and impactful ways to heal environmental injuries to the Earth by human-caused depredations and man-made pollutants.

Indigenous people are the original caretakers of the land. Indigenous teachings on how to maintain and improve the well-being of Earth have been around since the beginning of time, meaning every day is Earth Day.  

Hosted by the SRPMIC Community Development Department (CDD) and the Environmental Protection & Natural Resources Division (EPNR), the free public event featured vendor booths, food, prizes, mini-games and much more. The event was held in the Two Waters Courtyard and also featured a household hazardous waste collection and bulk shredding in the SRPMIC Justice Center parking lot.

SRPMIC members and staff were allowed to drop off items such as used motor oil, old/unused pesticides, gasoline, new/used batteries, fluorescent/CFL lightbulbs, medications, sharps, syringes and more. Individuals were also allowed to drop off up to five car tires. All items were thoroughly inspected, packaged and sorted by staff from the Tempe-based organization Environmental Response Inc.

By the end of the celebration, the household hazardous waste bin for collecting paint and oil cans was filled to the top. Staff categorized and sorted each item received into 55-gallon drums for proper disposal.

Headquartered in Mesa, American Shredding handled the Community’s shredding needs. Employees from the organization were on-site and spent most of the day shredding sensitive documents dropped off by SRPMIC members and staff, such as school paperwork, receipts, personal travel documents and much more. It is highly recommended that people shred sensitive and confidential paperwork as opposed to simply tossing the documents into the trash.

The vendor booths featured enterprises and organizations that work closely with the SRPMIC. The SRPMIC Brownfields Reuse and Revitalization Planning Project was also on-site; the department currently seeks out current brownfield sites in the Community for future redevelopment projects. A brownfield is a site that has become environmentally contaminated by past uses of the property. An example of the Community’s redevelopment of a brownfield site is the River People Health Center. The project is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The well-attended Earth Day celebration in the SRPMIC highlighted many different ways that individuals can play their part in helping to clean up and protect our planet. After all, Earth is the only home we have.

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