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Drug Take-Back Day Offers Safe Way to Dispose of Pills - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Drug Take-Back Day Offers Safe Way to Dispose of Pills

Posted: Updated: Sep 29, 2012 07:21 PM EDT

A nationwide drug take-back program allowed people in central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley to get rid of their stash of prescription pills, no questions asked.

About 150 people stopped by the Walmart in Waynesboro from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday to drop off their unused and unwanted medication for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Waynesboro police collected and packaged 20 large trash bags full of prescription drugs at that location, weighing in at 276.4 pounds.

Some bottles and boxes dated back several decades. "In March, we collected one that was from 1940. Today, we'd be looking at about the 80s. That's the oldest. And most people are coming to us and saying 'I cleaned out my parent's medicine cabinet or my spouse passed away and I've cleaned out their cabinet,'" said SAW Coalition Program Director Keri Jones.

Albemarle County police collected about seven bags of pills, inhalers, EpiPens and other medications Saturday at the Fifth Street station as part of the Drug Take-Back Day.

The national prescription drug initiative not only keeps drugs from falling into the wrong hands, it keeps drugs from landfills and water streams.

Diane Bateman, who dropped off drugs said, "I think it's very harmful to the environment to dump your stuff down the toilet or in the trash can. I'm a nurse and I wouldn't put a Tylenol down the toilet because I think it's bad for our environment."  

Last year, 188 tons of drugs were collected at more than 5,000 take-back sites nationwide. Police say that all the drugs collected across central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, will be taken to an incinerator that also generates power for northern Virginia.

Also reported by NBC29's Amy Vu

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