CLERMONT — The Lake County Department of Public Works, in partnership with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, 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, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Lake County Sheriff’s South Substation, located at 15855 State Road 50, Clermont.
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.
“Unattended, unused prescription medications often contribute to accidental poisoning and are the cause of many medical emergencies,” said Johnny Taylor, Lake County Household Hazardous Waste Supervisor. “ That’s why it is important to remove all unused medications right away, and the Prescription Drugs Take-Back events are a convenient and easy way to do that.”
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.
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.