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New drug collection boxes at MWRD facilities work to protect waterways and encourage safe disposal


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As a result of recent success at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s (MWRD’s) Drug Take Back Day collections, the agency will permanently house drug drop-off boxes at four locations.

The 38-gallon Medsafe drug collection boxes will be housed at the MWRD’s Main Office Building, at 100 E. Erie St. in Chicago from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The boxes will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the MWRD’s Stickney, Calumet and O’Brien water reclamation plants (WRPs). The Stickney WRP is located at 6001 W. Pershing Rd., Cicero; Calumet is at 400 E. 130th St., Chicago; and O’Brien is at 3500 Howard St., Skokie.

“We are happy to introduce these new drug collection sites that will prove to be extremely valuable in promoting safety practices for disposing medications and protecting our water,” said MWRD President Mariyana Spyropoulos. “It is important not to dispose of medications down the drain because they end up in the waterways. Controlling what goes down the drain is the easiest and most effective way to protect our environment.”

The new Medsafe boxes do not accept illegal drugs, liquid containers more than four ounces, sharps containers, needles, syringes, batteries, aerosol spray cans, trash, medical devices, chemicals or other hazardous materials. When making a deposit, users are urged to keep the medications in the original packaging and containers when possible and to place liquid containers inside plastic bags before depositing. The Medsafe boxes will be located near MWRD police to ensure proper authorities are present at drop-off. If a box is locked, users are asked to return during hours of operation and avoid leaving medication outside the box.

Read the full release here.

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