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Local News

Prescription drug collection box installed at Flossmoor Village Hall

It’s a gray metal box, not quite three feet tall, in place at the main entrance of Flossmoor Village Hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road.

The modest receptacle, which was installed this week, has an important function as a collection box for unused prescription drugs.

  The drug take-back box
  recently installed near the 
  main entrance to Flossmoor 
  Village Hall.
(Photos by 
  Tom Houlihan/H-F Chronicle)

It’s a gray metal box, not quite three feet tall, in place at the main entrance of Flossmoor Village Hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road.

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The modest receptacle, which was installed this week, has an important function as a collection box for unused prescription drugs.

Flossmoor is offering the Prescription Drug Take Back Program in partnership with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office Department and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD). The county-wide program officially started on Jan. 23.

Last fall, Cook County authorized the comprehensive pharmaceutical drug collection and disposal program.

Tod Kamleiter, Flossmoor’s deputy police chief, said the program aims to get unused prescription drugs into a safe place for disposal and also prevent harmful chemicals from entering the environment. When prescription drugs are flushed down the toilet, those chemicals can enter local waterways.

  A close-up of the label 
  describing the use of 
  the drug take-back 
  receptacle.

Anything placed in the receptacle will not be accessible to people on the outside, he said. The county sheriff’s office will empty the contents of the collection box once a month.

Kamleiter said the box will be in full view of a police department video camera 24 hours a day.

Maggie Bachus, the chair of Flossmoor’s Green Committee, said the collection box will have definite environmental benefits.

“On behalf of the Flossmoor Green Committee, we were thrilled to learn that the Flossmoor Police Department was able to secure a drug take back location at our village hall,” Bachus said. “Over the past few years, we have helped advertise various locations for drug take back events, but as a committee we understand the importance of having a location locally.”

During last year’s Recyclepalooza event, many residents asked about how to responsibly get rid of expired or unwanted prescription drugs safely, Bachus said.

“It’s outstanding to know Flossmoor has access to a permanent location” for the drug take back program, she said.

“As a lifelong resident of Flossmoor, I never realized, until I started volunteering for the village, how fortunate we are to have such dedicated police and fire departments that care so much about safety and service to our community. This program is another example of this.”

The MWRD, which manages wastewater treatment plants in the Chicago area, funded the installation of the collection boxes in Flossmoor and other municipalities, Kamleiter said.

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), most abused prescription drugs come from family and friends. The DEA has described unused or expired prescription medication as a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse.

The federal agency states:

  • Pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision. 
  • The majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from family and friends – and the home medicine cabinet.
  • Unused prescription drugs thrown into the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. 
  • Every day prescription drugs are dumped down drains, toilets and in garbage.

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