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Safely Dispose of Your Unwanted Medications Saturday, October 16

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Safely Dispose of Your Unwanted Medications Saturday, October 16

Friday, October 1, 2010
Once again, community residents will have a chance to get rid of no-longer-needed household medications at the second community-wide Unwanted Household Pharmaceutical Collection Day on Saturday, October 16, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the TCAT garage, 737 Willow Avenue, Ithaca.

As did the first local event of its kind last March, the Collection Day addresses the environmental challenges related to improper disposal of household pharmaceuticals. The event is sponsored by the Tompkins County Coalition for Safe Medication Disposal, which is made up of representatives of area governments, non-profit organizations, higher education, and private businesses. Tompkins County government is a member of the coalition.

"This event provides everyone the opportunity to safely dispose of their unwanted medications," says Ed Gottlieb, pretreatment coordinator at the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility. "Doing this greatly reduces the chances of accidental poisonings, diversion for illegal use, and helps protect our environment from these contaminants."

With its "drive-thru" opportunity at TCAT headquarters, the October 16 collection will be quick, convenient, and secure. Supervised by pharmacists, the collection is free and open to the public, with no appointments necessary. Participants should leave medications in their original containers, crossing out personal information.

The following will be accepted at the October 16 event:
Prescription drugs (including controlled substances, pills, powders, liquids, inhalers, Epipens), non-prescription drugs and pet medicines.

What will not be accepted on October 16:
Mercury thermometers, mercurochrome, other mercury products, sharps (syringes, needles and diabetic lancets) .and other hazardous waste.

The initial collection event last March collected more than 1,700 pounds of medications, which set a nationwide record for the amount of household pharmaceuticals collected in one day at one location.

For more information about this event, or to volunteer to help out, visit or call 211.