On Saturday, April 2nd from 8 am to 1 pm, the Cook County Department of Environmental Control is sponsoring a medication take-back program. Area residents are encouraged to bring in their old and unused prescription medications for safe and secure destruction. The program is designed to keep potentially harmful medications out of the waste and water streams.
The program is a low-cost, high-value opportunity to tackle a critical environmental issue. The EPA has asked people not to flush old medications, as trace elements have been found in groundwater. Each year, close to 5,000 tons of pharmaceutical and personal care products enter the waste stream. Many survive water treatment processes and end up in drinking water. Medicines improperly disposed of end up in landfills, leading to the potential of accidental overdose by animals and humans.
Residents should bring only medication items—not items from businesses or doctors offices. To ensure anonymity and security, people are asked to black-out all prescription label information. Take prescriptions to the drop off center ONLY during event hours.
Acceptable items include:
- Over the counter medications
- Medicated ointments and shampoos
- Liquids containing medication
- Prescription and over the counter inhalers
- Glass thermometers and other instruments that contain mercury
Unacceptable items include:
- DEA controlled substances
- Illegal drugs
- Sharps or needles
- Bio-hazardous materials
- Radioactive materials
- Other toxic household wastes
For more information, call 312-603-8217.