[Pharmwaste] EPA Pilot Program

Lynn Rubinstein Lynn Rubinstein" <lynn@nerc.org
Thu, 10 Feb 2005 10:58:15 -0500


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EPA Pilot ProgramThanks Kelly.  Actually, there was much more =
information provided in the original press release.  I've taken the =
liberty of posting it here.  I also have a full report available for =
anyone that's interested.  Lynn

            Drug Take-Back Program in South Portland, Maine
            Encourages Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs

BOSTON  - In an effort to encourage proper disposal of household
prescription drugs, the United States Environmental Protection Agency,
in collaboration with the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc., Maine DEP,
CVS/pharmacy, and the South Portland Police Department, conducted
Maine's first-ever prescription drug take-back program last Saturday at
South Portland's Mill Creek CVS/pharmacy.

The pilot program was a huge success allowing citizens the opportunity
to bring in unwanted or outdated medications for proper disposal. The
drugs collected through the program will be incinerated in order to
prevent them from making their way into our waterways.

Increasingly, prescription and non-prescription medications, many of
which are not effectively destroyed by sewage treatment plants, are
finding their way into streams and drinking water supplies. A study
conducted four years ago by the United States Geological Survey found
that 80 percent of 139 streams sampled across 30 states detected very
low concentrations of chemicals commonly found in prescription drugs.

By the end of Saturday's event, 52 people from 17 Maine communities
brought in 50 gallons of medications for proper disposal. This included
almost 1,300 medications that were controlled substances, with an
estimated street value of over $5,000. The public brought in more than
700 containers of medicine overall. Included in the list of substances
collected were antibiotics, antidepressants, anti-cancer drugs,
tranquillizers and estrogen.

"Maine is at the forefront of addressing this serious environmental
issue as more and more studies confirm that expired and unused
pharmaceuticals should be properly destroyed to prevent them from
reaching our nation's waters," stated Robert W. Varney, EPA's regional
administrator.  "The importance of this complicated problem is just
coming to light - this pilot demonstrates that successfully tackling
this issue will require the collaboration and cooperation of many
parties."

"This one-day event prevented more than 55,000 pills from making their
way into our waters and helped educate consumers about the importance
for proper disposal of medical waste,"  said Lynn Rubinstein, Executive
Director of the Northeast Recycling Council.  "We are hopeful that  the
success of this pilot will pave the way for similar projects in the
future."

Response was enthusiastically positive, with many folks commenting that
they just never knew what to do with all those old prescriptions. Maine
legislation this session will address this increasingly serious
environmental problem by considering turn-in, mail-back, and proper
disposal mechanisms for unneeded pharmaceuticals.

"CVS was pleased to support the Northeast Recycling Council and the EPA
by hosting the nation's first-ever drug take-back program in a retail
pharmacy setting," said Eileen Howard Dunn, Vice President of Corporate
Communication and Community Relations at CVS/pharmacy.  "There is
potential for this type of program to have a real impact in educating
the public about environmentally-safe disposal of medication, and we
look forward to exploring additional leadership opportunities on this
issue."


                                          ###

(See attached file: pills in red bag.JPG)(See attached file: 16gallon
containter.JPG)




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<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>Thanks Kelly.&nbsp; Actually, there was much =
more=20
information provided in the original press release.&nbsp; I've taken the =
liberty=20
of posting it here.&nbsp; I also have a full report available for anyone =
that's=20
interested.&nbsp; Lynn</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; =
Drug=20
Take-Back Program in South Portland,=20
Maine<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbs=
p;=20
Encourages Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs<BR><BR>BOSTON&nbsp; - =
In an=20
effort to encourage proper disposal of household<BR>prescription drugs, =
the=20
United States Environmental Protection Agency,<BR>in collaboration with =
the=20
Northeast Recycling Council, Inc., Maine DEP,<BR>CVS/pharmacy, and the =
South=20
Portland Police Department, conducted<BR>Maine=92s first-ever =
prescription drug=20
take-back program last Saturday at<BR>South Portland's Mill Creek=20
CVS/pharmacy.<BR><BR>The pilot program was a huge success allowing =
citizens the=20
opportunity<BR>to bring in unwanted or outdated medications for proper =
disposal.=20
The<BR>drugs collected through the program will be incinerated in order=20
to<BR>prevent them from making their way into our=20
waterways.<BR><BR>Increasingly, prescription and non-prescription =
medications,=20
many of<BR>which are not effectively destroyed by sewage treatment =
plants,=20
are<BR>finding their way into streams and drinking water supplies. A=20
study<BR>conducted four years ago by the United States Geological Survey =

found<BR>that 80 percent of 139 streams sampled across 30 states =
detected=20
very<BR>low concentrations of chemicals commonly found in prescription=20
drugs.<BR><BR>By the end of Saturday=92s event, 52 people from 17 Maine=20
communities<BR>brought in 50 gallons of medications for proper disposal. =
This=20
included<BR>almost 1,300 medications that were controlled substances, =
with=20
an<BR>estimated street value of over $5,000. The public brought in more=20
than<BR>700 containers of medicine overall. Included in the list of=20
substances<BR>collected were antibiotics, antidepressants, anti-cancer=20
drugs,<BR>tranquillizers and estrogen.<BR><BR>=93Maine is at the =
forefront of=20
addressing this serious environmental<BR>issue as more and more studies =
confirm=20
that expired and unused<BR>pharmaceuticals should be properly destroyed =
to=20
prevent them from<BR>reaching our nation=92s waters,=94 stated Robert W. =
Varney,=20
EPA=92s regional<BR>administrator.&nbsp; =93The importance of this =
complicated=20
problem is just<BR>coming to light =96 this pilot demonstrates that =
successfully=20
tackling<BR>this issue will require the collaboration and cooperation of =

many<BR>parties.=94<BR><BR>=93This one-day event prevented more than =
55,000 pills=20
from making their<BR>way into our waters and helped educate consumers =
about the=20
importance<BR>for proper disposal of medical waste,"&nbsp; said Lynn =
Rubinstein,=20
Executive<BR>Director of the Northeast Recycling Council.&nbsp; "We are =
hopeful=20
that&nbsp; the<BR>success of this pilot will pave the way for similar =
projects=20
in the<BR>future."<BR><BR>Response was enthusiastically positive, with =
many=20
folks commenting that<BR>they just never knew what to do with all those =
old=20
prescriptions. Maine<BR>legislation this session will address this =
increasingly=20
serious<BR>environmental problem by considering turn-in, mail-back, and=20
proper<BR>disposal mechanisms for unneeded =
pharmaceuticals.<BR><BR>=93CVS was=20
pleased to support the Northeast Recycling Council and the EPA<BR>by =
hosting the=20
nation=92s first-ever drug take-back program in a retail<BR>pharmacy =
setting,=94=20
said Eileen Howard Dunn, Vice President of Corporate<BR>Communication =
and=20
Community Relations at CVS/pharmacy.&nbsp; =93There is<BR>potential for =
this type=20
of program to have a real impact in educating<BR>the public about=20
environmentally-safe disposal of medication, and we<BR>look forward to =
exploring=20
additional leadership opportunities on=20
this<BR>issue.=94<BR><BR><BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&n=
bsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nb=
sp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbs=
p;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;=20
###<BR><BR>(See attached file: pills in red bag.JPG)(See attached file:=20
16gallon<BR>containter.JPG)<BR><BR>
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