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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
City Hosts Unwanted Medicines Collection Event Nov. 14

November 5, 2009 - The City of Knoxville and other local sponsors are hosting an Unwanted Medicines Collection event on Saturday, November 14th, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the new Earth Fare store in BEARDEN. The store is located at 140 N Forest Park Blvd. just off Kingston Pike.

This event offers residents an opportunity to turn in unwanted and/or outdated and expired prescription medicines and over the counter medications for proper disposal.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 fourth unwanted or expired medicines collection event. The city and the other sponsors conducted a highly-successful meds collection event in July that resulted in the collection of 362 pounds of medications dropped off by more than 160 people. They will conduct similar events on a regular basis.

Another 50 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 Nov. 14th, please contact Sgt. Craig McNew, Knoxville Police Department at 215-7031,or John Homa, City of Knoxville Solid Waste Project Manager at 215-2872.

The event will be held at the same time and location, as the city’s Used Household Mercury Thermometer Exchange event, at the new Earth Fare store in Bearden. These events are in conjunction with America Recycles Day in Knoxville. The Theme for this year’s event is “Get a Crush on Recycling!”

Residents will be able to exchange their aluminum cans for THE CRUSHER, (an aluminum can crusher). On Saturday November 14th, residents can bring their aluminum cans to Earth Fare from 10 AM to 2 PM. They will need to bring in 5 pounds or 150 aluminum cans and receive the Crusher from the Knoxville America Recycles Day Committee while supplies last.

For Immediate Release
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