Illinois American Water's model for water source protection through proper pharmaceutical disposal has helped set up 12 disposal programs, including one in Streator, and contributed to the collection and proper disposal of 130,000 pounds of unwanted medications.
The pharmaceutical disposal program utilized by Illinois American Water was developed by Pontiac High School Township students and their teacher Paul Ritter. The program, P2D2, has been recognized by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois EPA and the Department of Natural Resources as a model for all pharmaceutical disposal programs.
Illinois American Water, a member of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Medication Education Disposal Solutions task force, works with P2D2, communities and environmental leaders to place pharmaceutical drop boxes at police departments so people can easily dispose of their unwanted medications. The drop boxes, similar to mail boxes, are placed in a convenient location within the police department and bolted to the floor. Collected medications are destroyed through incineration.
On Sept. 25, the DEA plans its first National Take Back Day for prescription collection. Community disposal programs supported by Illinois American Water include three locations in Peoria as well as sites in Bartonville, Champaign, Chillicothe, Pekin, Peoria Heights, Pontiac, Streator, Urbana and Waterloo.
Additional programs will be set up by year-end, including the implementation of the newest program in Alton on Tuesday, Sept. 28.