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Drug collection hosted by MWRD and DEA will improve waterways

WHO: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

WHAT: As part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, the MWRD and DEA encourage the public to deposit prescription drugs to eliminate potential abuse of medications and the pollution that ultimately harms local waterways.

WHERE: Calumet Water Reclamation Plant, 400 E. 130th St., Chicago; Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, 6001 W. Pershing Rd., Cicero; O’BrienWater Reclamation Plant, 3500 Howard St., Skokie.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, 2016

In conjunction with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chicago Field Division, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is asking the public to turn in unused or expired medication for safe disposal on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at three water reclamation plants (WRP) across the Chicago area. The event aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means for disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications and harm to the environment.
To prevent or reduce accidental contamination of streams, rivers and lakes, the MWRD has participated in the DEA’s initiative each year since the event was launched in 2010. During the last Drug Take Back Day in September 2015, the MWRD collected 237 pounds of unwanted pharmaceuticals at the three plants and the MWRD Main Office Building in Chicago. Drugs are often mistakenly deposited in toilets and drains and are destined for local waterways. Water treatment facilities are not designed to remove minute concentrations of pharmaceuticals, and the chemicals could eventually wind up in area streams and waterways and have a negative impact on water quality. Numerous studies show significant negative effects that pharmaceutical drugs have on aquatic life pulled from area waterways.

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