The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are partnering to collect unwanted drugs on Oct. 27. The partnership is part of the bi-annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, according to a MWRD press release. The organizations both encourage the public to bring drugs to the collection boxes the MWRD will be putting out.
The event will be taking place at Calumet Water Reclamation Plant, 400 E. 130th St., Chicago; Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, 6001 W. Pershing Rd., Cicero; and O'Brien Water Reclamation Plant, 3500 Howard St., Skokie. It will go from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The MWRD is accepting unused or expired medication for safe disposal a the three reclamation plants. According to the MWRD, the event is aimed to provide a safe and responsible means for disposing prescription drugs. The event will also educate the public about potential for abuse of medications and the harm to the environment.
The MWRD has participated in the event every year since it was launched in 2010.
Water treatment facilities are not designed to remove minute concentrations of pharmaceuticals, according to the MWRD. Chemicals could eventually wind up in area streams and waterways have a negative impact on water quality. Studies also show negative effects that pharmaceutical drugs have on aquatic life pulled from area waterways.
The MWRD collection boxes are available for year round seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the three plants. Boxes are also available Monday through Friday at their main office building at 100 E. Eric St., Chicago.