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TDEC Partners With Google To Protect Water Quality From Unwanted Pharmaceuticals

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | 10:38am

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today announced a partnership with Google Maps to help Tennessee citizens identify nearby locations to safely dispose of their unwanted pharmaceuticals.

TDEC has worked with various stakeholders to make available 334 permanent collection bins for expired, unused or unwanted household medications across all 95 counties in Tennessee. Using Google Maps, Tennesseans can now type “drug drop off near me” or “medication disposal near me” to see those locations on Google Maps.

“TDEC is at its best when it is partnering with other public and private organizations to find solutions to enhance services for Tennesseans,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “We appreciate this new partnership with Google and our shared commitment to keeping drugs out of our waterways and out of the wrong hands.”

Flushing medications or draining drugs down a sink allows chemicals to enter streams or groundwater where they can affect drinking water and stream ecosystems. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to adequately remove chemicals found in drugs.

"Google is honored to partner with states including Tennessee to make it easier for Americans to safely dispose of unwanted medications, including those that are fueling the tragic opioid epidemic," said Google User Safety Initiative Senior Counsel Michael Trinh. "With just a single search on Google, Americans can quickly find convenient disposal locations open year-round, and do their part to reduce the harmful health and environmental impacts of excess medications."

Medications accepted in the bins include liquid prescriptions, ointments, pills, over-the-counter medications and pet medications. For a map of bin locations statewide, visit http://tdeconline.tn.gov/rxtakeback/

The national Drug Enforcement Agency is also hosting a Drug Take-Back Day on April 27, and drop-off locations can be found at https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback.