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New online series, 'Talking Trash,' focuses on illegal dumping on Navajo Nation


FARMINGTON — The first and second ladies of the Navajo Nation have launched an online series focusing on illegal dumping and its hazardous effect on the tribal land.

The series, called "Talking Trash," will take place for the next 14 months with topics varying each session.

First lady Phefelia Nez said in a press release that the series will make the public more aware about the issue of illegal dumping and how the problem continues to increase.

"As with many initiatives like this one, the more the public knows, the more likely they will be a part of the solution. We need to work together to keep our homelands beautiful," Nez said.

The tribe has law that addresses solid waste and the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency has a criminal enforcement department that investigates violations that pose threat to human health and the environment.

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Personnel from the Navajo Nation EPA will participate in the series.

Access to landfills and transfer stations are limited across the reservation, making illegal dumping prevalent in areas.

The monthly series will cover different topics including how to report illegal dumping, garbage disposal costs, human health impacts, open trash burning, household hazardous waste, recycling, composting, zero waste, conservation, sustainability and Navajo ecological knowledge, according to the press release.

"Our vision is to have a clean, safe and healthy environment and community," second lady Dottie Lizer said, adding this includes omitting harmful materials such as abandoned vehicles, automotive parts, appliances and yard waste.

"If it is not addressed, illegal dumps attract hazardous waste like asbestos, household chemicals and paints, and auto fluids," Lizer said.

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The first discussion is available on the YouTube channel, "Navajo Nation OPVP Communications."

More information about the series can be found on the app for the Office of the First Lady and Second Lady. The app is available at www.nnoflsl.com/app or on the Apple App Store or Google Play by searching "Navajo 1st Lady & 2nd Lady."

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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