There is a prescription drug take-back in Oak Ridge through 2 p.m. today (Saturday, September 27). There is also a collection of household hazardous waste, and it also ends at 2 p.m.
The prescription drug take-back is at the Oak Ridge Police Department at 200 South Tulane Avenue. The ORPD is doing this in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County.
“The Oak Ridge Police Department will give the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs,” a press release said. “The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.”
The release said the initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.
“Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” it said. “Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.”
For those unable to drop off their prescription medications today, there is another option, ASAP said. Medicines can be taken to one of the four convenient permanent disposal bins located at the following locations, which are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
- Clinton Police Department at 125 West Broad Street in Clinton
- Rocky Top Police Department at 104 Lawson Street in Rocky Top (formerly Lake City)
- Norris Police Department at 9 West Circle Road in Norris
- Oliver Springs Police Department at 701 Main Street in Oliver Springs
Here is what is accepted for disposal:
- prescription medications (unwanted, expired, unused)
- cold and flu medications
- vitamins/herbal supplements
- pet medications
- medication samples
- medicated ointments/lotions
- unused sharps (epinephrine, unused pricking devices)
Here is what is not accepted for disposal:
- business waste
- used needles and other sharps
Used needles and other sharps should be disposed by placing the sharps/needles in a sealed plastic container and putting that in with your household waste, ASAP said. (ASAP partners with police departments in Anderson County to give two options for proper medicine disposal to citizens.)
For more information, call ORPD Officer Brandan Sharp at (865) 556-6696 or ASAP at (865) 457-3007.
The household hazardous waste collection is at the Oak Ridge Public Works Department at 100 Woodbury Lane in Oak Ridge from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The local contact for this HHW collection event is Geoff Trabalka at (865) 463-6845.
It’s one of three collection events across the state today, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said in a press release.
“Our household hazardous waste mobile collection service provides the people of Tennessee with a safe, environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted household chemicals and other potentially hazardous wastes at no cost,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. “This service travels across the state holding collection events in local communities, and we encourage all Tennesseans to take advantage of the opportunity to utilize it.”
Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than 322,000 households have properly disposed of more than 21 million pounds of material. HHW material is considered flammable, toxic, reactive and/or corrosive, and should not be placed with regular garbage.
Typical items to dispose of include cleaning fluids, pesticides, mercury thermometers and thermostats, fluorescent lamps, lithium and button batteries, aerosols, adhesives, medications, brake fluid, swimming pool chemicals and paint thinner. Items not accepted include ammunition, explosives, alkaline batteries, paint, electronics, medical waste, and any empty containers.
While household waste may be disposed for free, there is a cost for disposal of “conditionally exempt small quantity generator waste” (i.e., wastes from non-household sources such as businesses, schools, farms, churches, etc.). An appointment is also necessary. Call (615) 643-3170 to request a price quote and schedule an appointment.
Many counties and municipalities meet the needs of local residents by providing collection of batteries, oil, paint, antifreeze, and electronic scrap—or BOPAE, as it is sometimes called, a press release said. When handled correctly, these BOPAE materials are minimally hazardous, but inappropriate for collection at household hazardous waste events. Contact your local city or county solid waste department to find BOPAE collection sites in your area.
When transporting materials to the site, place containers in sturdy boxes lined with newspaper to prevent spills and cross-contamination in the trunk of a car or back of a truck. Be sure to keep materials away from children and pets. Materials should be kept in the original containers whenever possible. If not, place each waste in a separate plastic container with a secure lid and label its contents.
For more information on the household hazardous waste mobile collection service, call (800) 287-9013 or visit http://www.tn.gov/environment/solid-waste/solid-waste_household-waste.shtml.