WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - You can get rid of old drugs you’re not using, and keep them out of the environment and the hands of people who shouldn’t have them this weekend.
It’s the National Drug Take Back Day, sponsored by the DEA and Marathon County officials. The program will allow you to drop off unused or expired medication at collection points across the county on Saturday.
Marathon County solid waste director Meleesa Johnson says just tossing your old drugs in the trash or down the toilet doesn't get rid of them, it just moves them. "They really aren't managed through the treatment system. They stay fairly intact and can cause problems in the environment." Most drugs are designed to be broken down inside the body and not the processes that treat wastewater or landfill runoff. That means chemicals are moving into groundwater sources without being filtered.
The drugs that are collected will instead be sent for incineration. "We get them out of the environment, into incineration where they're destroyed, off our streets and out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them." Johnson says the process is much safer for everyone.
Collection points will be set up across the state. Johnson says the process can be as anonymous as you want to make it. "Take them, and empty all the pills into a nice ziploc bag. Tie it up, zip it up and take it to those locations."
The event runs from 10 am to 2 pm.