LOVES PARK, Ill. — Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB) will hold its sixth annual Medication Collection Saturday, June 8, at two locations in Winnebago County and one site in Boone County.
The Medication Collection will accept prescription, over-the-counter and veterinary medications, inhalers and mercury-filled thermometers at all locations. Items not accepted include illegal drugs, needles, sharps and bio-hazardous materials. Keep medications in the original packaging or prescription bottles. Personal information should be removed from the label, but leave the name of the medication visible.
The main collection site June 8 is the south parking lot of Machesney Park Mall, 8750 N. Second St., which will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Two satellite locations will be open from 9 a.m. to noon: in Winnebago County, South Beloit Fire Department, 429 Gardner St.; and in Boone County, Belvidere Township Building, 8200 Fairgrounds Road, Belvidere, Ill.
“The three primary hazards of expired or unused medication are possible poisoning, illegal use or theft, and contamination of our water,” said Lori Gummow, executive director of KNIB.
The goal of the Medication Collection is to keep unused or expired medications away from children or individuals for whom they have not been prescribed, as well as keeping the drugs from entering and polluting our groundwater.
“Water pollution from medicines flushed or put in the trash can result in reproductive and developmental problems in fish and other wildlife,” Gummow explained. “In the last six years, our collection has protected more than 8 billion gallons of water, which would fill more than 12,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.”
Disposing of medications by flushing or pouring them down the drain is no longer recommended. Prescription pain medications are also one of the most commonly abused drugs. Medications awaiting proper disposal should be in a locked cabinet or out of sight and reach.
Sponsors of the KNIB Medication Collection include Rock River Water Reclamation District; ECOLAB; OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center; Rockford Health System; SwedishAmerican Health System; Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant; City of South Beloit; Greenlee, a Textron Company; Illinois American Water; North Park Public Water District, Winnebago County Health Department, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department; Illinois Environmental Protection Agency; The Rock River Times; and WTVO Channel 17/FOX 39 WQRF.
For more about the annual Medication Collection, visit www.knib.org, find KNIB on Facebook, or call the office in Loves Park at (815) 637-1343.
KNIB is a nonprofit educational organization that relies on volunteers, memberships and corporate sponsorships to provide services to area residents. For 25 years, the mission has been education, public awareness and community involvement. It is the area’s only affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, www.kab.org, which is the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization.
From the June 5-11, 2013, issue