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Pharmaceutical Disposal Ordinance Passes

Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Special to suffredin.org

The Cook County Board unanimously passed my Pharmaceutical Disposal Ordinance on October 26, 2016. This is a first in the nation ordinance to collect unused prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs. This ordinance will help protect the public safety and public health of our citizens. It will also help protect our water by keeping unused drugs out of the water supply.

Today over 10% of all drugs are leftover after treatment with no constructive way to dispose of them safely. While the DEA, individual drug store chains and our Sheriff’s office have attempted to create collection events there has been no unified program. This ordinance creates a Countywide collection program directed by the Sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s office will work with patients, pharmacies, drug manufacturers, law enforcement officials, municipal officials, environmentalist and public health leaders to create a program that is accessible to all.

Thanks to the leadership of Sheriff Tom Dart and his staff this ordinance will expand the network of collection sites that he started 4 years ago. The program will insure that every part of the County and every citizen has a convenient disposal site.

I want to thank the many citizens who testified at our various hearings on this proposal. I am especially thankful to those who shared stories of how unused drugs had impacted their lives through fatal overdoses, thefts and serious illness caused by confusing old drugs for new ones.

I am grateful to MWRD Commissioner Debra Shore and her staff for continuing to point out the environmental dangers of improper drug disposal.

Click here to read a copy of the ordinance.



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