On Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, Johnson County residents can properly dispose of unwanted or outdated pharmaceuticals and needles. The event will be held in the parking lot of the East Side Recycling Center at 2401 Scott Blvd. SE, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

To protect our community, face coverings are required at this event, per the Mayor’s Order. Please plan to stay in your vehicle and hand items out to staff, or plan to direct staff to where in the vehicle your items are located.

The event is organized nationally by the US Drug Enforcement Agency. The Iowa City Police Department, and the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center partner to offer the local event. Events for pharmaceutical collections in other communities can be found online

Can’t make it to the October 23 event? Find locations near you that accept unused or expired medications year-round at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s website.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the three classes of medication most commonly misused are opioids typically prescribed to treat pain, central nervous system depressants used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, and stimulants typically prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyper activity disorder. Misuse of prescription drugs has led to an increase in emergency room visits, treatment admissions for prescription drug use disorders and overdose deaths over the past 15 years, the agency reported in June 2020.

Pharmaceuticals should be in the original containers with names blacked out or in plastic baggies with no personal patient information.

How to safely transport needles and sharps

Sharps/needles should be in sealed, rigid plastic containers with firmly attached lids, such as coffee cans or laundry detergent bottles. Plastic containers made of thinner plastic - such as milk jugs - should not be used. Needles and sharps that come in unsafe containers - such as cardboard boxes, milk jugs, or plastic bags - will not be accepted. Needles can only be accepted from individual community members. Businesses and non-profit organizations should call 319-887-6160 for disposal options. 

Event information and questions

For questions about the local take-back event, contact Iowa City Police Detective Ryan Wood at ryan-wood@iowa-city.org, or Resource Management Superintendent Jennifer Jordan at jennifer-jordan@iowa-city.org.

Date of publication

Monday, October 18, 2021

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