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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Unwanted Medicines Collection Event July 18
Used Mercury Thermometer Exchange July 18
July 7, 2009 - The City of Knoxville and other sponsors are hosting an Unwanted Medicines Collection event on Saturday, July 18, from 9 p.m. – 1 p.m. at Earth Fare, located at 140 N Forest Park Blvd. just off Kingston Pike in Bearden.

This event offers residents an opportunity to turn in unwanted and/or outdated and expired prescription medicines and over the counter medications for proper disposal.

This is the third unwanted or expired medicines collection event. The city and the other sponsors conducted a highly-successful meds collection event in March that resulted in the collection of 249 pounds of medications dropped off by more than 100 people. They would like to conduct similar events on a regular basis.

Another 20 pounds of unwanted and/or expired medicines was collected at the Knoxville Police Department’s Safety Building in the three-to-four week period after the event.

The goal of the collection is to prevent these pharmaceutical and over the counter products from getting into the water supply – or into the hands of children – and to make sure they are disposed of in a safe, environmentally-friendly manner.

It is part of an ongoing, nationwide effort to reduce the amount of drugs and over the counter products including drugs, fragrances, sunscreen products and nutritional supplements that are entering water systems from either being flushed or poured down drains.

The Unwanted Medicines Collection is being sponsored by the City of Knoxville’s Office of Solid Waste (part of the Public Service Division); Earth Fare; the Knoxville Police Department; Knox County Health Department; Knox County Office of Solid Waste Office; Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the University of Tennessee’s Academy of Student Pharmacists.

In addition to properly disposing of the medications any empty plastic containers left with the organizers will be recycled.

Old medicines can also be brought to the Knoxville Police Department, located at 800 Howard Baker Jr. Avenue, after the event where they can be deposited in a secure collection container located near the information desk for disposal.

More information about the potential impacts of pharmaceuticals is available at www.epa.gov/ppcp while information about United States Geological Survey (USGS) research on the presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment is available at http://toxics.usgs.gov/regional/emc/

For more information about the Unwanted Medicines Collection at Earth Fare on July 18, please contact John Homa, City of Knoxville Solid Waste Project Manager at 215-2872 or Sgt. Craig McNew, Knoxville Police Department at 215-7031.

The event will be held at the same location, the new Earth Fare store in Bearden, as the city’s Used Mercury Exchange event.
For Immediate Release
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