LADY LAKE — The Lake County Department of Public Works, in partnership with the Lady Lake Police Department, is encouraging residents to clean out their medicine cabinets of all unwanted or expired ingestible medicines, vitamins and cough syrups at the upcoming Prescription Drugs Take-Back event on Thursday, Aug. 18, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at The Home Depot parking lot, located at 871 N. Highway 27, Lady Lake.
The purpose of the event is to encourage residents to properly dispose of all medications in a safe and environmentally sensitive way. The County’s Household Hazardous Waste unit will also be on-hand collecting unwanted household hazardous waste. The staff at the event will be offering a convenient drive-through disposal option for both medications and household hazardous waste, so residents won’t have to leave their vehicle.
Proper disposal of unwanted or expired medicines is important not only for preventing accidental ingestion by animals and children, but also to prevent potential water supply contamination. Studies suggest disposing of medications down the toilet or sink contaminates water supplies and endangers aquatic life in lakes, rivers and streams, since wastewater facilities are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals.
Prescription Drugs Take-Back also aims to remove unwanted or expired controlled prescription medications, especially pain relievers. Prescription medication has become one of the fastest growing abused drugs among youth, who are finding medications to abuse in their own family medicine cabinets.
“Preventing youth from gaining access is one way to prevent and stop this epidemic,” said Johnny Taylor, Lake County Household Hazardous Waste Coordinator. “The Prescription Drugs Take-Back events give residents a chance to dispose of unwanted or expired medications properly.”
Controlled substances can only be turned in to law enforcement agencies due to regulations of the chain of custody. All disposals of medications at the event will be anonymous with no questions asked.
Some items that will not be collected at the event include infectious waste, photographic chemicals, solvents, wastes with a high content of heavy metals (e.g. mercury and cadmium), chemical laboratory wastes or radioactive waste.
Additional future “Prescription Drugs Take Back” events have been scheduled for the following locations and dates:
- Sept. 15 - Wal-Mart, located at 17030 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora
- Oct. 20 – Lake County Sheriff’s South Lake Substation, located at 15855 State Road 50, Clermont
For more information about the “Prescription Drugs Take Back” event or Household Hazardous Collection call the Lake County Department of Public Works at (352) 343-3776.