New Law Bans Disposal of Electronic Waste in Landfills

Beginning July 1, Colorado residents no longer may dispose of most electronic waste (e-waste) in their household trash because Colorado landfills no longer may accept e-waste. The change is the result of a new law, the Electronic Recycling Jobs Act. Industry, most businesses, government agencies, institutions and schools already are subject to e-waste disposal restrictions.

“The new law applies to TV sets, central processing units, computer monitors and peripherals, printers and fax machines, all kinds of laptops and notebook computers, DVD players, VCRs and any video display device with a screen larger than four inches,” explained Wolf Kray, recycling specialist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The ban also includes radios, stereo equipment and video game consoles. Telephones, motor vehicle components and non-hazardous industrial or commercial devices still may be legally disposed of in a Colorado landfill.

People affected by the ban may donate or re-sell working devices, although this option is becoming more difficult, as thrift stores and resale shops are becoming more discriminating about what they will accept. Kray strongly encourages people to recycle their e-waste through community collection events, manufacturer take-back programs or a reputable electronics recycling company.

“When disposing of old computers or printers, it’s important to protect your personal information from identity theft,” Kray said. “Just erasing and reformatting the hard drive is not enough. To be really protected, you need to use disk-wiping software or use a recycler who performs certified data destruction by physically shredding all information storage devices at its facility.”

The Electronic Recycling Jobs Act will create employment opportunities. According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, recycling one ton of waste sustains 10 jobs for every one landfill job. Electronic devices should be kept out of landfills and properly recycled to recover materials and reduce the energy demands from mining and manufacturing. Electronics are made from valuable resources, such as precious metals, copper and engineered plastics, all of which require considerable energy to process and manufacture. Recycling electronics recovers valuable materials and as a result, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, saves energy and saves resources by reducing the need for raw materials.


Colorado Teen Birth Rate and Repeat Birth Rates Decline

More than half of teen moms in Colorado use the most effective methods of birth control to keep from getting pregnant again – far more than women in any of the other 16 states recently surveyed by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to state health officials, the growing use of intra-uterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants has contributed to lowering the teen birth rate by a third and cutting the number of repeat births to Colorado teens by nearly half.

Since 2008, teen births in Colorado have declined 34 percent, from 6,079 to 4,122 in 2012. Repeat teen births have dropped 45 percent, from 1,183 in 2008 to 653 in 2012. The overall teen birth rate has plummeted 13 points, from 37.3 per 1,000 teens in 2008 to 23.9 births per 1,000 teens in 2012

“Teenage moms and their babies face significant health, social and economic problems, especially with repeat births,” said Dr. Chris Urbina, executive director and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Using these ‘forgettable’ forms of birth control reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies and unhealthy babies in Colorado.”

IUDs and implants are considered “forgettable” because, unlike other methods, women don’t have to remember to use them monthly, daily or before sex. However, many teenage mothers risk unintended repeat pregnancies because they either are unaware of these methods or can’t afford them. IUDs and implants can cost thousands of dollars and often are not covered by health insurance.

The CDC studied pregnancies during the postpartum period and found 87 percent of teenage mothers used some sort of birth control, but only 20 percent used the long-acting reversible contraceptives considered most effective. Other common methods of birth control, in declining order of effectiveness, include birth control pills, condoms and diaphragms.

“It’s a vicious circle,” said Greta Klinger, family planning supervisor at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Teen moms who can least afford another child often cannot afford the best birth control.”

Nearly half of all Colorado pregnancies are unintended. Reducing these unintended pregnancies is one of Colorado’s 10 Winnable Battles. Unintended pregnancies cost Medicaid in Colorado $160 million annually and are linked to birth defects, maternal depression and elective abortions. Research shows teen mothers are less likely to earn a high school diploma, and children born to teen moms are more likely to experience child abuse, poor health and lower educational attainment.


How to Avoid Ticks and Fleas This Season

Warm weather means barbeques, baseball and trips to the park with family and pets. But for pet owners, warm weather can also mean fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other disease-carrying bugs.

“Fleas alone can each bite you or your pet up to hundreds of times a day,” says Dr. Rod Van Horn, a small animal, practicing veterinarian. “It’s vital to get control of these pests before they have the chance to bite, hurt and potentially spread disease.”

Now that the sunshine is finally here, you may be anxious to take your four-legged friends outdoors to run around. Help your pets avoid ticks and fleas by following these easy tips:

Treat for Prevention

You may not always be able to keep your pets away from infested areas, but you can stop the bugs from latching onto your pet. Treat your pet monthly with a topical flea and tick treatment for the most effective, longest lasting way to prevent infestation.

According to experts, more than 70 percent of fleas bite a dog within the first hour of jumping aboard, so killing them within that first hour is paramount.

Check your House and Yard

If you think you may have a flea infestation but aren’t sure, start by checking your house and yard. Walking around your home and yard in a pair of long white socks makes pests easy to spot. Now you’ll see if you have fleas hiding in your home. Secure the infested socks in a plastic bag and throw them away or put into the washing machine for a hot wash.

Inspect your Pets

After a run outdoors, thoroughly check your pet for fleas and ticks or any signs of itching or blood stains. Be sure to look underneath the hair for visible bugs. But be aware that the largest part of an infestation – flea eggs, larvae and pupae – are almost impossible to see in a quick check. That’s why prevention is key.

Be Proactive

Treat your pets now, before it’s too late. Apply treatments year-round to repel pests and prevent them from latching onto your pet’s skin. Just because you don’t see fleas or ticks now, doesn’t mean they aren’t worth worrying about. Always plan ahead.

Do everything you can to protect your pet, and you’ll never have to fret about bringing home pesky pests from the park again.

In High School Sports Over The Weekend:

In girls soccer:
Moffat County beat Rifle (7-0)
Steamboat fell to Wheat Ridge 1-0
Moffat County lost to Coal Ridge 5-1

In boys lacrosse:
Steamboat beat Glenwood (21-0)
Steamboat lost to Valor Christian 11-10

In girls lacrosse:
Steamboat fell to Grand Junction (14-3)
Steamboat beat Fruita Monument 14-8

In girls tennis:
Steamboat topped Evergreen (7-0)
Steamboat fell to Ralston Valley 6-1
Steamboat beat Boulder 6-1

In baseball:
Meeker lost both games of a double header with Rangely 16-14; 8-2
Steamboat lost both games of a double header with Palisade 1-10; 8-18

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