U.S. Water News Online
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Wisconsin communities are holding
prescription drug collections for the first time this year to prevent
the medicines from entering local streams or being stolen and
It's after environmental scientists are finding prescription drugs
like antidepressants and pain relievers in local lakes and streams.
Researchers continue to study the long-term impact on fish and
Brown County's solid waste program will hold the second collection
in the state after a collection in Marshfield. Milwaukee and Madison
are planning similar collections.
"People have been told to pour it down the drain or garbage
because you don't want someone stealing it," said Wess Damro, the
county's recycling coordinator. "But there have been surveys showing
presence of drugs in what people thought were pristine waters."
Some treatment plants like Green Bay Metropolitan Sewage District
are not designed to remove pharmaceutical chemicals. Drugs that are
pitched in the trash can leak in landfills.
The Brown County collection is designed for residents with less
than 2.2 pounds of unwanted pharmaceuticals, not for large-quantity
medical facilities. The collected drugs will be incinerated.
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's collection is planned
for Sept. 16 at Miller Park, said spokesman Bill Graffin. It's only
for Milwaukee County residents.
"We don't want people flushing these drugs or pouring them down
the drain until we know all the effects," Graffin said.
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