|Amix Helps Build New Homes for Eagles|
Amix Recycling is proud to be part of a conservation program aimed towards constructing artificial nesting sites for Bald Eagles in the Greater Vancouver region. Amix has donated to the John Hancock Wildlife Foundation, the steel necessary for the construction of these artificial nesting sites.
Bald Eagles in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley have recently run out of trees and so have turned to other alternatives (see right). It is hoped that the construction of safe alternative nesting sites will offer opportunity to reintroduce eagles to areas with lots of food, but few suitable trees.
While populations in BC currently remain stable (about 20,000), this was not always the case. Between 1947 and 1970 populations across North America declined dramatically; so much so that they had been placed on the US Endangered Species List on July 4th 1978 and remained listed until June, 2007.
Eagles have faced a myriad of challenges to their survival, but their principle threat has been pollution - specifically DDTs, PCBs and other organochlorine pollutants. Such
|Persistent Organic Pollutants, or POPs as they are referred to, are believed to cause the thinning of egg shells. Consequently, they are often crushed by the nesting parents or fail to hatch.
Eagles continue to remain under another persistent threat - habitat destruction. This is especially true of so-called 'Urban Eagles' - Eagles that nest inside or just outside of urban environments. |
Eagles usually nest high in the canopy (the upper layer of the forest); they prefer to nest as high as possible so that they are better able to see the surrounding area. Eagles rely primarily on sight - an eagles eye is roughly as large as a humans, but four times a powerful.
A typical eagle's nest can be as large as 2.3 meters across - room enough to fit four human adults! Moreover, they usually return to the same nest every year and add repairs to it. However, they are not discriminate about what type of tree they nest in; anything will do as long as it is high enough. And this is a problem for the urban eagles whose normally tall standing trees have been destroyed. So eagles look for whatever will suit their needs - all too often nesting in areas that are potentially harmful (see left).
If you would like to learn more about bald eagles or if you would like get involved please visit the John Hancock Foundation at www.hancockwildlifechannel.org.
|Amix is an industry leader in the removal of mercury switches from end-of-life vehicles |
Norm Amero holds in his hand a mercury switch removed from a vehicle just before entering the crusher
Did you know that your used car may contain toxic mercury? Mercury is used in light switches found in the trunks and hoods of cars and trucks. A mercury switch is a switch whose purpose is to allow or interrupt the flow of electrical current in a manner that is dependent on the switch's physical position or alignment relative to the direction of the "pull" of earth's gravity. That is why when you open the trunk the light goes on and when you close the trunk the light goes out (diminishing any doubt that the light does stay on!).
|Mercury switches consist of a glass or metal container which contains a bead of mercury; about 0.85 grams of mercury. It may not sound like a lot but that's enough to pollute a small lake for years. Mercury is of concern because it is a toxic, bioaccumulative and persistent heavy metal that can have impacts on the environment and human health. If not properly disposed of mercury contained in these switches escapes into the environment and becomes airborne. Mercury in the air may settle into water bodies and affect water quality. This airborne mercury can fall to the ground in raindrops, in dust, or simply due to gravity (known as "air deposition"). After the mercury falls, it can end up in streams, lakes, or estuaries, where it can be transferred to methylmercury through microbial activity. Methylmercury accumulates in fish at levels that may harm the fish and the other animals that eat them. Humans, being at the top of the food chain, are at risk of exposure to mercury through the food we eat. |
In 2008 Amix removed 10,734 switches from recycled vehicles - that's over nine kilograms of mercury! This amount represents over twenty percent of all switches removed from vehicles across Canada - more than any other recycler in Canada. The removed switches are sent to the Clean Air Foundation's Switch Out program facilities where they are being held until such time as the mercury can be reintroduced to the environment in an responsible manner.
Amix has been in partnership with the Clean Air Foundation since 2005 and will continue its commitment to the removal of mercury switches and to its many other environmental initiatives.