Illinois American Water encourages customers to participate in the Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Residents are encouraged to drop off their unwanted medications at approved collection sites so they can be incinerated, which is the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recommended approach for pharmaceutical disposal. Both flushing medications down the toilet and throwing them in the trash are discouraged.
The event is Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 10 AM to 2 PM. Collection sites participating in this event can be located by visiting https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.
"This event is a great opportunity for residents to securely drop off any unused or expired medications," said Bruce Hauk, Illinois American Water President. "It's important for us to keep these items out of our landfills and water supplies as well as the hands of those who may misuse or abuse them."
Hauk added, "We encourage those who cannot participate during this DEA event to continue to use their community pharmaceutical disposal programs to properly dispose of their unwanted medications. Through all of these efforts we can protect not only our water but our community as a whole."
Through partnership and collaboration with local pharmacies, environmental stewards, police departments and government officials, Illinois American Water has helped to implement 36 permanent pharmaceutical disposal programs across the state. These programs are located in Alton, Bartonville, Belleville (two sites), Caseyville, Champaign (three sites), Chillicothe, Collinsville, Columbia, Dixon, East Alton, Edwardsville, Fairmont, Freeburg, Glen Carbon, Madison, Maryville, Mt. Carroll, Mt. Vernon, O'Fallon, Orland Hills, Pekin, Peoria (three sites), Peoria Heights, Pontiac, Red Bud, South Beloit, Sterling, Streator, Urbana (two sites) and Waterloo.
The pharmaceutical disposal programs were created through a model developed by Pontiac High School Township students and their teacher Paul Ritter. The program, P2D2, has been recognized as a model for all pharmaceutical disposal programs. Through P2D2's efforts, millions of pounds of unwanted medications have been collected and disposed of properly.