"Pill Drop" helps keep water clean and community safe - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

"Pill Drop" helps keep water clean and community safe

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People in the St. Joseph County area had a chance to get rid of their old pills in a safe and environmentally-friendly way Thursday.

The Triad of St. Joseph County operated "Pill Drops" at the Mishawaka and South Bend Central fire stations. They began collecting pills at 7:30am with some people dropping off hundreds in plastic bags.

By 12:30pm, the Triad had packed 27 boxes full with pills. Those pills are then sent to an incinerator in Indianapolis.

Triad Chairman Barbara Brownell says the pill drop does three beneficial things. It keeps the pills, and their chemicals, out of the area water table, makes drugs that are easily abused out of the reach of teenagers and adults, and prevents seniors who may have many medications from becoming confused.

Brownell says people shouldn't think just because they don't flush their pills that they're not contaminating the water. Even the chemicals from pills thrown in the trash can eventually leak into the water table.

This year, due to the Triad's partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the pill drop facilities are no longer accepting sharps or needles.

Brownell says this is unfortunate, but that people can still discard their sharps and needles responsibly. She suggests putting them in a detergent bottle, sealing with the cap and throwing the bottle away in your regular trash.

The Triad's next pill drop is planned for April 2014. In the meantime, you can pay a few dollars to get rid of your pills through your local pharmacy or save them up until the next Triad drop.

Brownell says if you are going to save old pills until the next pill drop, you should keep them in a milk jug or similar container out of reach of children.

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