Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Illinois American Water Encourages Customers to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Illinois American Water encourages customers to participate in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this weekend.  The event is Saturday, April 28, 2012, from 10 AM to 2 PM.  Residents are encouraged to drop off their unwanted medications at participating sites so they can be incinerated, which is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended approach for pharmaceutical disposal.  Flushing medications down the toilet or the drain as well as throwing them in the trash are discouraged.

“This event is a great opportunity for residents to securely drop off any unused or expired medications,” said Karla Olson Teasley, Illinois American Water president.  “It’s important for us to keep these items out of our landfills and water supplies.”  Collection sites
participating in this event can be located by visiting
www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov

Teasley added, “We encourage those who cannot participate during this DEA event to continue to utilize their community pharmaceutical disposal programs to properly dispose of their unwanted medications.  Through all of these efforts, thousands of pounds of unwanted
medications have been properly disposed.”

Through partnership and collaboration with local pharmacies, police departments and government officials, Illinois American Water has implemented and supported 27 pharmaceutical disposal programs in communities of Alton, Bartonville, Belleville, Caseyville, Champaign, Chicago (two sites), Chillicothe, Collinsville, Dixon, Fairmont, Maryville, Morrison, Mt. Vernon, O’Fallon, Orland Hills, Pekin, Peoria (three sites), Peoria Heights, Pontiac, South Beloit, Sterling, Streator, Urbana and Waterloo.

The 28th program will be launched in Columbia, Ill. next month. Illinois American Water has been recognized by American Water Works Association (AWWA) with the 2011 Communications Achievement Award for the company’s outreach regarding proper pharmaceutical disposal. Founded in 1881, AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy for improving the quality and supply of water.
The award recognizes AWWA member organizations for fostering and supporting the development of public outreach programs and integrating public affairs as a core element of utility management.

The pharmaceutical disposal programs were created through a model developed by Pontiac High School Township students and their teacher Paul Ritter.  The program, P2D2, has been recognized by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, the Illinois EPA and the Department of Natural Resources as a model for all pharmaceutical disposal programs. Through P2D2’s efforts, thousands of pounds of unwanted medications have been collected and disposed of properly.  To learn more, please visit www.epa.state.il.us/medication-disposal.