This Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, is “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” in which sites are set up in communities around the country so that residents can return their unwanted, unneeded or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal.
Ever since my old employer, The Associated Press, did a series on how prescription drugs are contamining our water supply, I have avoided just flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash. I worry about kids getting their hands on them, too.
Saturday’s event is a national effort organized by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration. These events have been held regularly since 2010 and have collected more than 5.5 million pounds of drugs. At April’s event, 24 tons of prescription drugs were collected in Illinois alone.
The service is free and anonymous, and no questions are asked. Drop-offs will be accepted on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Central time. You can search for a collection site near you here — just enter your zip code and how far you’re willing to travel. Inquiries can also be made by calling 1-800-882-9539.
Here are about a dozen collection sites I found located within 25 miles of Geneva, but there are plenty more on that list, and new sites are being added every day:
- Geneva Police Department, 20 Police Plaza in Geneva
- Kane County Sheriff’s Office, 37W755 IL Route 38 in St. Charles
- South Elgin Police Department, 10 N. Water Street in South Elgin
- Aurora Police Department, 1200 E. Indian Trail in Aurora
- Sugar Grove Police Department, 10 S. Municipal Drive in Sugar Grove
- Campton Hills Police Department, 40W270 LaFox Road, Suite B in Campton Hills
- Carpentersville Police Department, 1200 L.W. Besinger in Carpentersville
- Naperville Police Department, 1350 Aurora Avenue in Naperville
- Plainfield Police Department, 14300 S. Coil Plus Drive in Plainfield
- Lombard Police Department, 235 E. Wilson in Lombard
- DeKalb Police Department, 700 W. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb
- Hampshire Police Department, Hampshire Pharmacy, 262 N. State Street in Hampshire
If Saturday isn’t a good fit for you …
The Fox Metro Water Reclamation District at 682 Route 31 in Oswego also accepts unwanted medications year-round at its administration building. The hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Here’s a detailed guide to how they want the medicines packaged when brought in for collection.
Likewise, the Carol Stream Police Department accepts prescription and over-the-counter medication 24/7. Find its guidelines here.
It’s another task to add to your fall cleaning list, but it indeed an important one.