Another new record was set--this time for number of participants--in the collection of unwanted and unused pharmaceutical waste during this spring's Pierce County Clean Sweep.
A record-high 75 participants, including 72 residents and three businesses, delivered pharmaceutical waste to the April 17 event, according to a report from the county's solid waste department. There was also a record-high amount of controlled substances collected, at 25 pounds.
"(These records) were encouraging signs of how important the pharmaceutical collection program is to the citizens of Pierce County," the report states.
County officials collected 155 pounds of medications/pharmaceutical waste (130 pounds of non-controlled substances, besides the 25 pounds of controlled substances) this spring.
The county decided to start the Medication/Pharmaceutical Collection program in 2008 because waterways can become polluted by flushing the substances down sinks and toilets, the report states. Wastewater treatment plants are also not designed to remove medicines from the wastewater.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications are readily available, and many teens and adults are under the false impression these medications create a safe high, it states. This has become such a problem medicine cabinets are often a common target in thefts.
Read more in the print version of the Herald June 30.