[Pharmwaste] FW: Chicago Drop boxes for unused med's

Tenace, Laurie Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us
Wed Nov 12 09:02:50 EST 2008


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From: Terry Sheahan [mailto:Terry.Sheahan at cityofchicago.org] 
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2008 11:46 AM
To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
Subject: Re: Chicago Drop boxes for unused med's


Mayor Richard M. Daley along with the Chicago Department of Environment and
the Chicago Police Department launched a new program today that addresses the
disposal of expired or unused prescription drugs by offering permanent
prescription drop box locations at five Chicago Police Department Area
Centers. Chicago is the first big city to offer permanent drop-off locations.


"Many people may not be aware that improperly disposing of prescription or
over-the-counter drugs, such as flushing them down the toilet, contributes to
pharmaceuticals found in our waterways," said Mayor Daley at a press
conference at the 25th District Police Station, 555 W. Grand Ave., one of the
new permanent prescription drop box locations. "Residents who have expired
and unused pharmaceuticals are encouraged to use these drop boxes at police
headquarters, 24 hours a day, seven days a week." 

Chicago's drinking water is safe and meets or exceeds all standards of safety
as established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)
and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). The majority of
trace pharmaceuticals found in the City's waterways, however, are the result
of human and livestock excretion. 

Improperly disposing of prescription or over-the-counter drugs can also
contribute to pharmaceuticals found in the City's water. Proper management
and disposal has been found to lessen the impact of prescription drugs on the
water system. 

For example, this year the City has already been able to keep 2,400 pounds of
prescription drugs out of the waste stream as a result of four neighborhood 

drop-off events in addition to the permanent drop-off site at the Household
Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility located at Goose Island. 


"While research is continuing the impact of pharmaceuticals and personal care
products on people and aquatic life, we know that we need to take action now
to prevent them from getting into our waterways and lakes, and into our
drinking water," said Illinois EPA Director Doug Scott. 


Expired and unused pharmaceuticals can be disposed of in drop boxes at the
five Chicago Police Department Area Centers. By using the police facilities
as a drop-off location, the controlled substances will be deposited safely
and kept under observation by law enforcement until they are destroyed. The
centers are located at: 

Area 1 - 5101 S. Wentworth Ave. 
Area 2 - 727 E. 111th St. 
Area 3 - 2452 W. Belmont Ave. 
Area 4 - 3151 W. Harrison St. 
Area 5 - 5555 W. Grand Ave.

After the pharmaceuticals are put in the drop box, they will be periodically
removed from the drop boxes and taken to the Goose Island facility for
packaging. The packaged pharmaceuticals are then transported by the IEPA to a
disposal facility for incineration. The disposal facility is permitted and
contains state-of-the-art technology for controlling the air emissions
generated from the incineration. 

"Properly disposing of unwanted medicines helps protect our Great Lakes by
keeping these contaminants out of waterways such as Lake Michigan," said EPA
Regional Administrator Lynn Buhl. "EPA was pleased to fund this safe and
convenient way for the public to get rid of their old and unwanted meds." 

The collection of the pharmaceuticals is funded by the USEPA and the disposal
is funded by IEPA. For more information, residents can call 312-744-7672 or
visit www.cityofchicago.org/Environment/ 
 


Terrence Sheahan
Hazmat Program Coordinator
Environmental Engineer III
Department of Environment
Suite 2500
30 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL  60602
(312) 742-4806
terry.sheahan at cityofchicago.org


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