FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 8, 2012
168 PARTICIPATE IN OPERATION MEDICINE CABINET COLLECTION EVENT IN TALLAHASSEE
~Tallahassee event nets 275 pounds of expired, unused medication, three times as much as collected in 2011~
Organizers took in nearly 300 pounds of unused and expired medication, avoiding potential environmental harm from being flushed.
TALLAHASSEE – The
Florida Department of Environmental Protection partnered with the Southern Waste
Information eXchange, Inc., Costco, the Leon County Sheriff's Office and others to collect 275 pounds of unused and expired medication, more than three times as much as what was collected during the 2011 event.
The free medicine collection event was held at the Costco store in Tallahassee in conjunction with the Florida Pharmacy Association, Florida Society of Health Systems Pharmacists and the Florida State University Center for Biomedical & Toxicological Research.
The Department hosts the annual event in Tallahassee and also participates
in events throughout the state to collect and properly dispose of medications. Proper disposal of unwanted medications is important to
public safety since wastewater treatment systems are not designed to remove
many types of medications. Residents can contaminate groundwater supply and
drinking water by flushing drugs down the toilet or pouring medications down
the sink. All of the drugs collected from Saturday’s event will be destroyed
properly by incineration.
"Hosting free events such as these allows residents to get rid of unused and expired medications without potentially causing harm to the environment by flushing them," said Jorge Caspary, Director of the Department's Division of Waste Management. "Residents can dispose of medications for free and protect the environment. It's a win for everyone."
During the 2011 event in Tallahassee, about 88 pounds of medications were collected during the four-hour event from more than 80 participants. This year, 275 pounds -- 128 pounds in pill form and 147 pounds in liquid form -- were collected from 168 participants.