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Oswego site accepts unwanted medications for disposal

The Fox Metro Water Reclamation District has become a permanent collection site for unused and expired medications. There has been a lot of press lately of how pharmaceutical drugs are making their way into our rivers, lakes and other bodies of water and affecting the drinking water supply.

While there is not a quick solution for preventing these drugs from passing through our bodies and entering the water system, there is an easy solution for the preventing unused and expired ones from reaching it: Don’t flush those drugs!

In the past, the preferred method of disposing unused or expired medications was to flush them down the toilet. It was considered to be a good method because it kept the drugs from being in the reach of children and animals. However, now we know it is affecting the drinking water and these compounds are not removed from wastewater using current technology.

Burying those medications in coffee grounds and putting it in the trash does not keep it out of the water, either. At the landfill, those drugs will mix with waste liquids and eventually get drained off and taken to a wastewater treatment facility. Incineration is the only way to properly dispose of them that won’t get into the water supply.

Fox Metro WRD has teamed up with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to offer people in the Fox Metro area an easy way to dispose of their unused, unwanted medications. Fox Metro has installed a collection container in the facility's lobby. Items being collected include over the counter medications as well as prescription drugs. Items that can not be brought in are any medications that contain a controlled substance, sharps or thermometers. The IEPA will properly destroy the collected drugs.

Fox Metro WRD is located at 682 State Route 31, Oswego (map), across from Caterpillar. The lobby hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you have any questions, please contact Debra Ness at 630-301-6820.