MWRD will safely dispose of pharmaceuticals on National Take Back Day, Sept. 29 2012
An opportunity to prevent or reduce accidental contamination of streams, rivers and lakes by disposing of pharmaceuticals in an environmentally-friendly manner will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29. For the fifth consecutive time, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is joining the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's National Take Back Day to collect unwanted medicine at three MWRD facilities:
- • Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, 6001 W. Pershing Road, Cicero;
- • North Side Water Reclamation Plant, 3500 Howard Street, Skokie; and,
- • Calumet Water Reclamation Plant, 400 East 130th Street, Chicago.
The U. S. Drug Enforcement Agency started the organized prescription take back program in Sept. 2010, and since then, a nationwide total of 995,185 lb (or 498.5 tons) of unwanted or expired medications have been turned in and removed from circulation.
"Wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove pharmaceutical products if they are poured down a drain or flushed down a toilet," said Commissioner Kathleen Meany, chair of the Public Information and Education Committee. "The chemicals can work their way into lakes or streams and harm fish and other aquatic life. These special collection opportunities provide residents with a convenient and environmentally-friendly way to properly dispose of expired or unwanted medications. I strongly encourage everyone to clean out their cabinets and bring their unwanted medicines to us on Sept. 29."