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  1. 1/8/2010 HELP KEEP MEDICINE OUT OF OUR WATERSHED
  2. Health Organizations Launch Take-Back Program for Unwanted Medicines
     
    The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and a consortium of concerned organizations, including Denver Water, have launched a two-year pilot program offering a secure and environmentally responsible way for people to dispose of unwanted medication.  Tamper-resistant collection boxes are now available at several metro-area locations.
     
    One of the main goals of this pilot program is to alleviate the flushing of unused pharmaceuticals, which can end up in water supplies.  “Keeping waste medicines...out of the environment is an emerging challenge,” said Greg Fabisiak, environmental integration manager for the CDPHE.  “We want to offer the public an alternative to flushing unused drugs, which can end up in our water supplies.”
     
    The CDPHE has contracted with Curbside Inc. to install the secure collection boxes and collect and dispose of the waste medicines in their original containers.  The boxes are intended for household medications, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter projects, but cannot accept narcotics, controlled substances or medications from clinics, hospitals or nursing homes.  A guidebook is attached to each collection box that explains which products can be deposited. 
     
    Curbside Inc. will immediately destroy the contents of the boxes upon collection to render them unusable.  The residual waste materials will then be incinerated at a facility licensed to handle medical waste.  This pilot program will provide state regulators with the data needed to determine if a statewide program is feasible.
     
    Listed below are a few locations where boxes are currently available:
     
    Ø      Aurora
                            King Soopers, 4271 S. Buckley Rd.
     
    Ø      Commerce City
                            Tri-County Health Department, 4201 E. 72nd Ave., Suite D
     
    Ø      Denver
                            King Soopers, 2810 Quebec St.
                            Denver Health, Wellington E. Webb Center for Primary Care, 301 W. 6th Ave.
     
    Ø      Englewood
                            Tri-County Health Department, 4857 S. Broadway
     
    Ø      Highlands Ranch
                            King Soopers, 9551 S. University Blvd.
     
    Ø      Wheat Ridge
                            King Soopers, 3400 Youngfield St.
     
    Though none of the collection boxes are located in the Platte Canyon area, District staff advises its customers to not flush unwanted or expired medications but to dispose of them in an alternate way.
     
    “If you don’t have access to a box...” Fabisiak states, “We recommend that you mix unwanted medicines with kitty litter or coffee grounds to make the medicine unusable and dispose of it in your household trash.”
     
    Also, for security reasons District staff suggests that you blot out or remove your personal information from the containers prior to disposal, either by depositing them in the collection boxes or before disposing them in your household trash.
     
    For more collection box locations and information on this program, please read the CDPHE’s press release here.