Aspen to collect unwanted pharameuticals |

Aspen to collect unwanted pharameuticals

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – The City of Aspen wants your drugs.

The city is organizing its first Pharmaceutical Take-Back, offering an environmentally conscious way for residents to dispose of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications.

The event will take place Thursday, June 25 at Connor Park, behind Aspen City Hall, from 3 to 7 p.m. It’s free and open to Aspen residents.

“There are many reasons why people need to properly dispose of their unwanted medicines, but our biggest concern is the protection of our watershed,” said Jannette Whitcomb, city environmental health coordinator, in a press release.

 A recent U.S. Geological Survey study found 80 percent of sampled watersheds contained at least one type of pharmaceutical chemical, with half of the streams containing seven or more. The chemicals are finding their way to the watershed through normal bodily excretion of drugs, but also from people improperly disposing of medicines down the toilet, sink and in the trash, the city explained.

Like most local wastewater treatment plants, the Aspen Consolidated Sanitation District is not capable of cleaning out the thousands of different medicines that may wind up in the waste that it treats. Also, given the age of the Pitkin County landfill and its natural liner, medicines may end up leaching out and find their way into the watershed, Whitcomb warned.

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