Janesville74.2°

Roundup gathers outdated drugs

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
October 26, 2007
— Flu vaccinations were popular at Friday’s Rock County Senior Fair at Marshall Middle School.

So was the “Rock County Rx Roundup.”


Darlene Terwilliger of Janesville arrived with a bag of years-old medication.


“It’s my rheumatoid arthritis medicine that was outdated or didn’t help me,’’ she said.


Terwilliger was grateful for the prescription drug roundup.


“I appreciate this. It shouldn’t be put in the toilet or trash because it gets in your ground water, and some of that is pretty dangerous stuff,” she said.


Less than one hour into the fair, 12 people had dropped off unused prescriptions, a pretty good indicator the roundup might be even more successful than last year, said Dr. Joseph Schurhammer, health officer for Rock County.


Not accepted Friday were narcotics and Ritalin.


Last year, 261 pounds of drugs were collected from 137 Janesville residents. Beloit’s roundup added about 240 more pounds, Schurhammer said.


The purpose of the roundup is “to keep these drugs from falling into the wrong hands and to protect the environment,’’ Schurhammer said.


Prescriptions collected during the countywide effort will be transported to a federal Environmental Protection Agency incinerator for destruction, Schurhammer said.


Last year was the county’s first attempt to collect outdated and/or unused drugs. People drove up at the county highway department and didn’t even have to get out of their vehicles to drop off their drugs, Schurhammer said.


This year, the program is targeting senior fairs to concentrate on a different group of people, he added.


“This is a good event to provide opportunity to get rid of drugs around the house,’’ Schurhammer said.


Some of the prescriptions turned in early Friday dated back to 1993, Schurhammer said.


Roy Wanda of Janesville dropped off in 15 bottles of pills he and his wife no longer take, some more than 10 years old.


“If you just flush them down the toilet,” Wanda said, “it might contaminate the water supply.”


TUESDAY ROUNDUP

Rock County residents will have another opportunity to do dispose of old prescriptions from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Central Christian Church, 2460 Milwaukee Road, Beloit.



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