Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful yields large increase on Medication Collection Day

Staff ReportKNIB Med Collection 2015 OSF team

This year’s Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful Medication Collection Day collected 62 percent more medications than the 2014 collection.

“An outpouring of community involvement resulted in keeping more than two-and-one-half tons of unwanted or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications from potentially poisoning children or contributing to teen addiction,” announced Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful Executive Director Lori Gummow, referring to the total weight collected at the June 13 Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful Medication Collection. “It is a whopping 62 percent increase over what was collected in 2014,” Gummow continued. “Protecting our drinking water and preventing drug abuse is extremely important. It’s gratifying to see so many people take advantage of this chance to properly dispose of medicine,” she said.

Nearly 1,600 households contributed this year with the greatest participation uptick of 79 percent taking place at the South Beloit Fire Station and Belvidere participation increased by 30 percent.

All of the drugs were disposed of in a safe, environmentally-friendly method through incineration.

“We would like to thank everyone who helped us hold this very important environmental effort. We depend on the support of our sponsors and the dedication of our volunteers to make these events successful,” Gummow continued.

The medications were sorted at each site by pharmacists, technicians and University of Illinois College of Pharmacy students.

At the Machesney Park site, Winnebago County Health Department personnel collected 92 poisonous mercury thermometers, two thermostats and one bottle of mercurochrome.

Licensed Veolia Environmental Services staff packaged the medications for transportation and disposal and officers from the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, Belvidere and South Beloit Police Departments monitored the collection process and provided security for the controlled substances at the three locations.

To volunteer or for answers to environmental waste questions visit knib.org, the agency’s Facebook page, or call 815-637-1343.

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