Medicine Collection Boxes

medicine dropbox located at the Champaign Police Department One of the PPCP collection boxes located just inside the main entrance of the Champaign Police Department.

In spring 2013, ISTC became involved as a partner with a new program in Champaign Country which collects old and unwanted drugs to keep them out of landfills, or to keep them from being flushed down the toilet. The project is being led by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG).

ISTC's role was to help advocate proper disposal of unwanted medication and also conduct a pilot study of wastewater treatment plants in Champaign-Urbana to establish baseline data on occurrence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in wastewater.

The goals of the program are to reduce accidental poisonings of children and pets, prevent drug diversion and abuse, and limit environmental impacts from storage or improper disposal of unwanted or expired medicines. This program is the first pharmaceutical take-back program in Champaign County to be able to collect controlled substances. Prescription and over-the-counter medicines, as well as veterinary pharmaceuticals, are accepted.

Locked collection boxes are located in police department lobbies of Champaign County, City of Champaign, City of Urbana, and the University of Illinois. The drop-boxes are accessible 24 hours, 7 days a week. The drugs remain in police custody until they are incinerated.

The program is a partnership between the IISG, ISTC, Champaign Police Department, Urbana Police Department, University of Illinois Police Department, Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, the National Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal Program, the cities of Champaign and Urbana, Illinois American Water, the University of Illinois Student Sustainability Committee, Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department, WCIA, and the Prairie Rivers Network.

Additional funding received in July 2014 by ISTC and IISG from a grant from University of Illinois Extension program, titled “PPCPs: Extending Knowledge and Mitigation Strategies,” is helping to establish up to 50 additional drop-off points in other Illinois counties as well as fund numerous outreach and educational activities related to the hazards of improper storage and disposal of PPCPs. Through this grant, ISTC is also continuing its research into the fate and transport of PPCPs in the environment.