Area residents can turn in unused or unwanted prescription drugs in Tuscola and hazardous household waste in Champaign at separate events this Saturday.
The Douglas County sheriff's office, in cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, will hold a prescription drug disposal event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Douglas County sheriff's office building, 920 S. Washington St., Tuscola.
Douglas County Chief Deputy Peter Buckley said there is no charge, and no questions will be asked of anyone dropping off drugs.
"The last time we had this event, we received more than 200 pounds of drugs," Buckley said.
According to a release from the DEA, Americans turned in about 188 tons of drugs at nearly 5,400 sites around the country in April. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from the home medicine cabinet, the release said.
Americans are now being advised that flushing unwanted prescriptions down the toilet or putting them in the trash also poses health threats.
Meanwhile, a household hazardous waste collection event will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, at The News-Gazette Distribution Center at 3202 Apollo Drive in north Champaign.
Area residents many bring their hazardous waste items by car and truck to the event, where they will be collected and either recycled or safely disposed of. The collection event is free.
Among the items that will be collected at the hazardous waste event are oil-based paints, thinners, aerosol paints, old medicines and pharmaceuticals, devices containing mercury, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, lawn chemicals, old gasoline, used motor oil, antifreeze, pool chemicals, household batteries, fluorescent lamp bulbs, cleaning products, double-bagged and wetted asbestos and drain cleaners.
Propane tanks will be collected by Hicksgas of Urbana.
Lead acid batteries will be collected by Interstate Batteries of Champaign.
Latex paint will not be collected because it is not considered hazardous.
The event is sponsored by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and cosponsored by the cities of Champaign and Urbana, the village of Savoy, Champaign County, Champaign County Probation and Court Services, the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, the Prairie Rivers Network, the Sierra Club Prairie Group and the MTD, with The News-Gazette serving as the host.