Sept. 26: MWRD and DEA to host drug take back day

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

WHAT: 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’Brien Water Reclamation Plant, 3500 Howard St., Skokie.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 26, 2015

In conjunction with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chicago Field Division, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) will host the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, Sept. 26, 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. Staff at MWRD’s Calumet, Egan, O’Brien and Stickney WRPs collected 161 pounds of unwanted or expired medications from the public during the national Take-Back day in 2014. The drug collection is an environmentally responsible and secure way to dispose of medications. Water treatment facilities are not designed to remove minute concentrations of pharmaceuticals and as a result, the chemicals could wind up in area streams and waterways and potentially have a negative impact on water quality.

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