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TDEC Reminds Residents to Participate in National Take-Back Day

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 | 04:54am

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is October 26

Nashville – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of Sustainable Practices asks residents to take part in National Take-Back Day on October 26.

Nearly 40 permanent collection bins are located across the state. Through TDEC’s Pharmaceutical Collection Program, 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 National statistics suggest that nearly 90 percent of Americans improperly dispose of outdated or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

“Our department and partners are pleased to support education for citizens on the appropriate disposal of pharmaceuticals while increasing the number of unwanted drug collection locations for them," TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau said. “Throwing medication away with the household garbage or flushing it is not a safe method of disposal.  Permanent collection drop-off boxes present Tennesseans with a safe and viable disposal option to keep drugs out of our water and off the streets."

Permanent collection bin recipients are chosen from applications submitted by local law enforcement agencies, in return for their commitment to secure and monitor the bins. TDEC also requires a monthly report on the total of pounds collected.

“Abuse of prescription narcotics is a serious public health and law enforcement problem in Tennessee,” Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper said. “Take advantage of Drug Take-Back day and get those unused pills out of your medicine cabinet so they don’t end up in the wrong hands.”

Sponsored by the DEA, Americans that participated in the fifth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 27, 2013, turned in more than 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of prescription medications at more than 5,829 locations manned by 4,312 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies. When added to the collections from DEA’s previous five Take-Back events, more than 2.8 million pounds (1,409 tons) of prescription medications have been removed from circulation.

TDEC sponsors both permanent collection sites and temporary collection events throughout the year. For communities interested in becoming a permanent drop-off location, please contact Kathy Glapa in TDEC’s Office of Sustainable Practices at 615-253-8780 or 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, please visit http://www.tn.gov/environment/sustainable-practices_unwanted-prescriptions.shtml.  

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