|Collection bins set up for disposal of medication |
|Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 6:31 am |
| The Tennessee Depart-ment of Environment and Conservation, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies across the state, announced last week its plans to introduce 13 new permanent collection bins for Tennessee residents to properly dispose of used or unwanted medication. |
Among them is Obion County, where a Drug Take Back Day was held Saturday at Baptist Me-morial Hospital-Union City.
Through TDEC’s new Pharmaceutical Collection Program, the permanent bins offer a safe and easy way to dispose of unwanted medication, while creating opportunities for residents to promote environmental protection and a safer community. National statistics suggest that nearly 90 percent of Americans improperly dispose of outdated or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
“Many citizens simply don’t know that throwing medication away with the household garbage or flushing it is not the preferred way to dispose of them,” said TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. “This joint effort is designed to educate citizens on the importance of appropriate disposal of pharmaceuticals, while increasing the number of locations for them to do so.”
As part of TDEC’s new program, permanent collection bin recipients were chosen from applications submitted by local law enforcement agencies, in return for their commitment to secure and monitor the bins. TDEC also will require a monthly report on the total of pounds collected.
The remaining counties receiving permanent collection bins include Bedford, Dickson, Greene, Gibson, Hamblen, Knox, McMinn, Monroe, Roane, Rutherford, Stewart and Sumner.
“Monitoring across the nation has indicated the presence of pharmaceuticals in our surface water and waste water,” said Martineau. “TDEC is pleased to present these new permanent collection drop-off boxes, offering a safe and viable disposal option to keep drugs out of our water and off the streets.”
TDEC sponsors both the new permanent collection sites and temporary collection events throughout the year.
Communities interested in becoming a permanent drop-off location should contact Kathy Glapa in TDEC’s Office of Sustainable Practices at (615) 253-8780 or at Kathy.Glapa@tn.gov.
For more information about the Pharmaceutical Collection Program, including a complete list of participating counties and acceptable or non-acceptable items, visit www.tn.gov/environment/ea/unwantedrx. Published in The Messenger 4.30.12