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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor
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For Immediate Release
Unwanted Medicines and Mercury Thermometer Exchange Jan. 29 and 30
January 25, 2010 - The City of Knoxville and other local sponsors are hosting an Unwanted Medicines Collection event and a Used Mercury Thermometer Exchange on Friday and Saturday, January 29th & 30th, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Healthy Living Expo in the Knoxville Convention Center.

This event offers residents an opportunity to turn in unwanted and/or outdated and expired prescription medicines, over the counter medications and, used mercury thermometers for proper disposal. Residents turning in medications or thermometers will receive one free entry to the Healthy Living Expo.

This is the fifth unwanted or expired medicines collection event. The city and the other sponsors conducted a highly-successful meds collection event in November that resulted in the collection of 233 pounds of medications and 253 thermometers dropped off by more than 140 people.

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 (Public Service Division); Healthy Living Expo; 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 Healthy Living Expo January 29th & 30th, please contact Officer Craig McNew, Knoxville Police Department at 215-7031, or John Homa, City of Knoxville Solid Waste Project Manager at 215-2872.
For Immediate Release
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