d you know that each year, close to 5,000 tons of pharmaceutical and personal care products enter the waste stream in the U.S.? Unfortunately, many survive water treatment processes and can end up in drinking water. In addition, improperly disposed medication of can end up in landfills leading to the potential of accidental overdose by animals and humans. Cook County Residents can help the environment and their health by keeping unused medications out of the waste stream. The EPA has asked people not to flush old medications, as trace elements have been found in groundwater.  Instead, medication should be disposed of by taking it to a location where it can be properly disposed of.  In the City of Chicago residents can take their medication to any police station.  Read more about the City of Chicago’s program here: MORE PHARMACEUTICAL DISPOSAL DROP BOXES AVAILABLE IN CHICAGO.

The Cook County Department of Environmental Control also hosts medication take-back events in suburban locations throughout the year.  Announcements for events appear on this website and in community newspapers, calendars and newsletters.