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How and where to properly dispose of old medications

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There are a number of reasons you shouldn’t just throw old medication in the trash.

“People were flushing their old meds down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, but in recent years medicines have been found in the nation’s water supplies, and medications were being retrieved from the trash by those who would abuse or sell them,” according to the Drug Enforcement Agency website.  So, they began national drug take-back days in 2010.

“(C)itizens turned in 647,211 pounds (324 tons) of expired and unwanted medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,683 take-back sites” during the last drug take-back event in November 2013.

The next National Drug Take-Back Initiative day is Saturday, April 26, 2014.  Police departments across the country will set up locations where you can drop off unwanted, unused medications during the one-day effort.

“There is no tracking, no questions asked, just drop them off and drive off,” said Aledo, Illinois Police Chief J. Michael Sponsler.

County and city law enforcement agencies across the Quad Cities and surrounding areas planned to participate in the event, aimed at reducing illegal and unsafe use of the medications, accidental poisoning and theft of unused medication.

They will accept prescription and non-prescription medications, cough syrups, eye drops and inhalers.  They cannot accept other liquids, institutional or business waste, needles, syringes, latex gloves or household chemical waste.

These local drug take-back events are all scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26, 2014.  You do not have to live in the city where the take-back event is hosted:

To find more drug take-back locations in Illinois, click here.

To find more drug take-back locations in Iowa, click here.

Abingdon:  United Methodist Church parking lot at 401 North Washington Street

Aledo:  Aledo Police Dept. parking lot, 120 N. College Avenue

Dixon, Illinois:  Dixon Police Dept., 220 S. Hennepin Avenue

Galesburg:  Bethel Baptist Church parking lot at the corner of Freemont and Clark streets

Geneseo:  Geneseo Municipal Center lobby, 120 S. Oakwood Avenue

Kewanee:  Kewanee City Hall rotunda, 401 E. Third Street

Milan:  Milan Municipal Building front parking lot, 405 E. 1st Street

Mt. Carroll:  Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, 301 N. Main

Princeton, Illinois: Princeton Police Dept., 605 Elm Place

Rock Island:  Rock Island Co. Sheriff’s Office parking lot, 1317 Third Avenue

Silvis:  Silvis Police Dept., 1040 First Avenue

Sterling:  Sterling Police Dept., 212 Third Avenue

Sterling:  Illinois State Police district office, 3107 E. Lincolnway