William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 2nd Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
For programs on this page call:
Knox County Unwanted Medicines Collection
Metro Nashville Rx Collection Program
TDEC Household Hazardous Waste Collection
U.S. EPA on PPCPs
U.S. EPA PPCP Related Links
TDEC Division of Water Resources
2013 National Take Back Day
Save the Date October 26, 2013
The DEA is planning the next National Take-Back Day on October 26, 2013. The take back day will be on the last Saturday of October from (10:00AM - 2:00PM).
Americans that participated in the DEA's fifth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 27, 2013, turned in more than 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of prescription medications at more than 5,829 locations manned by 4,312 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies that partnered with DEA on the event. When added to the collections from DEA’s previous five Take-Back events, more than 2.8 million pounds (1,409 tons) of prescription medications have been removed from circulation.
As a result of this concern over the improper disposal of waste pharmaceuticals and their impact on drinking water supplies, the department has partnered with local law enforcement and solid waste officials across Tennessee to develop ways to take back unwanted pharmaceuticals. There are now permanent collection sites and temporary collection events capable of accepting and properly disposing of unwanted pharmaceuticals. Permanent collection centers are usually hosted and operated by law enforcement agencies or medical facility vendors. Various local law enforcement agencies host temporary collection events for their community.
It is recommended that you contact the disposal location before you visit to ensure hours of operation and to determine if anything has changed with their handling process.
Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) refer, in general, to any product used by individuals for personal health or cosmetic reasons or used by agribusiness to enhance growth or health of livestock. PPCPs comprise a diverse collection of thousands of chemical substances, including prescription and over-the-counter therapeutic drugs, veterinary drugs, fragrances, and cosmetics. Recent reports generated by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. EPA have expressed concern over the growing levels of pharmaceutical and personal care products found in many of the nation’s largest cities drinking water supplies. Click here to view EPA diagram showing how PPCPs enter and impact the environment.
PPCPs have probably been present in water and the environment for as long as humans have been using them. The drugs that we take are not entirely absorbed by our bodies, and are excreted and passed into wastewater and surface water. Advances in technology are improving the ability to detect and quantify these chemicals, and we can now begin to identify what effects, if any, these chemicals have on human and environmental health.
Since we are just gaining a more complete understanding of PPCPs effect on waterbodies and most PPCPs cannot be removed by current water treatment technologies, it is a prudent to take steps that limit unnecessary entry of PPCPs into our nation’s rivers, lakes and streams.
Appropriate disposal of unused or outdated (unwanted) medications is one effective way to decrease the volume of PPCPs entering community waterways. Historically, there have been few locations for the take-back of unwanted medications. Therefore, the only drug disposal options for most people has been to flush unused medications or place them in the trash. Click here to view federal policy for Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs from the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The East Tennessee Medication Collection Coalition holds regional unwanted medications collection event at various sites across Anderson, Blount, Knox, Roane and Scott Counties. More info on event sites and contact information.