The Port Washington Water District (PWWD) will be hosting its fourth annual Pharmaceutical Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the District’s headquarters, located at 38 Sandy Hollow Rd. The District created this event to provide residents on the Port Washington peninsula with an opportunity to safely dispose of their expired or unused prescription drugs. Residents should gather and bring their unused prescription to this event as improperly disposing of them can have a negative impact on the quality of the community’s water supply.
“We are excited to once again bring our Pharmaceutical Take Back Day to the Port Washington community, as it provides our residents with a safe way to dispose of unused medications and pharmaceutical equipment while also protecting our local water supply,” PWWD Chairman David Brackett said. “The preservation of our precious water supply is one of the District’s primary responsibilities and this event is yet another way in which we strive toward that goal.”
Improperly disposing of pharmaceutical drugs and other controlled substances presents opportunities for foreign contaminants to seep into the water supply, raising the potential of groundwater contamination and expense on future treatment needs. Several decades ago, it was common practice to flush unused or expired medications down the drain. For homes with septic systems, this meant creating a concentration of flushed medication in the soil around the home. For homes connected to a sewer system, it meant that the treatment facility had to implement special treatment to remove, or attempt to remove, the potential toxins from the water before it could be discharged.
“Not only does Pharmaceutical Take Back Day serve as an easy way to take measures to make sure these contaminants stay out of our water supply, but it also enables residents to safely dispose of materials in their home that could otherwise be dangerous,” PWWD Commissioner Mindy Germain said. “With both the environmental and personal safety benefits that come from this event, our Pharmaceutical Take Back Day goes a long way toward ensuring the well-being of our residents for generations to come. We encourage our residents to come down and Do Your Part for Port.”
All residents of the Port Washington peninsula with expired or unused medications are encouraged to take advantage of the District’s Pharmaceutical Take Back Day. To help incentivize participation, the District has made the process extremely simple. Residents will simply pull into the District’s parking lot and toss their medications into a large collection bin. Once the event concludes, the discarded medications will be taken by the Port Washington Police and shipped to a certified disposal site.
“We ask that residents take a look in their medicine cabinets, fill up a box of unused medicines and pharmaceutical materials and bring them down on October 23rd,” PWWD Commissioner Peter Meyer said. “Our 2019 Pharmaceutical Take Back Day was a resounding success which saw the District collect 150 pounds of unused pharmaceuticals. This demonstrated that our community values the health of our environment just as much as we do, so we encourage our neighbors to just take a few minutes out of their Saturday for an easy opportunity to give back to their community.”
The District is partnering with several local organizations and municipalities in promoting its Pharmaceutical Take Back Day event, including the Port Washington Police Department, St. Francis Hospital, Residents Forward, the Village of Baxter Estates, the Port Washington Water Pollution Control District, the Village of Port Washington North, the Village of Plandome Manor, the Village of Flower Hill, the Village of Manorhaven and Grassroots Environmental Education.
Anyone who has questions about the event or how to dispose of prescription medications is encouraged to visit the Port Washington Water District website at www.PWWD.org.
—Submitted by the Port Washington Water District