“Operation Medicine Cabinet” Nets 724 Pounds of Unwanted Meds in Collier County

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection assisted with Collier County’s “Operation Medicine Cabinet,” collecting 724 pounds of unwanted medications at ten collection sites on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, April 27.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications. Local sheriff offices and police departments volunteered throughout the state to hold collection events at their facilities. For many Florida residents, this is the only way to safely dispose of unwanted medicine, as many counties do not have permanent disposal programs available.

The Department’s South District staff assisted in collection at the Naples Recycling Center, where 478 bottles of pharmaceuticals from 41 citizens were collected, and totaling 61.85 pounds. The ten collection sites in total collected 7,848 bottles of unwanted medicines from 529 citizens.

Proper disposal of unwanted medications is important to public safety since wastewater treatment systems are not designed to remove many types of medications. Residents can contaminate groundwater supply and drinking water by flushing drugs down the toilet or pouring medications down the sink. All of the drugs collected from Saturday’s event will be destroyed properly by incineration.

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