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Persons wanting to dispose of unwanted medications in a safe manner may turn in their excess and unneeded drugs to any of a dozen collection places in Hamilton County and two others in Bradley County from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28.

Tennessee American Water is partnering with area pharmacies, churches and police agencies for its fall "Drug Take Back" event. The unwanted medications will be incinerated, which is the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recommended approach for pharmaceutical disposal. Both flushing medications down the toilet and throwing them in the trash are discouraged.

The purpose of this event is to keep drugs out of the environment and off of our streets. This past spring, more than 2000 pounds were collected and properly disposed.

"This event is a great opportunity for residents to securely drop off any unused or expired medications," said Valoria Armstrong, Tennessee American Water President. "It's important for us to keep these items out of our landfills and water supplies as well as the hands of those who may misuse or abuse them."

Hamilton County dropoff locations

-East Ridge: Walgreens at 5301 Ringgold Road

-Hixson: Walgreens at 5478 Highway 153

-East Brainerd: Walgreens at 2289 Gunbarrel Road

-Harrison: Mt. Canaan Church, 4801 TN Highway 58

-Northshore: Walgreens at 110 North Market Street

-Red Bank: Food City at 3901 Dayton Boulevard

-Signal Mountain Police Department: 1111 Ridgeway Avenue

-Brainerd: Walgreens at 3605 Brainerd Road

-Ooltewah: Walgreens at 9307 Lee Highway

-St. Elmo: Walgreens at 3550 Broad Street

-East Brainerd: Elks Lodge #91 at 1069 Graysville Road

-Soddy Daisy: Walgreens at 121 Harrison Lane

Bradley County locations

-Cleveland: Walgreens at 35 25th Street

-Cleveland: Sheriff's Office, 2290 Blythe Ave., SE

Since 2009 Tennessee American Water has partnered with local pharmacies, law enforcement and drug prevention organizations to offer citizens a chance to safely and conveniently dispose of unwanted, unused prescription or over-the-counter drugs (for both pets and people) and avoid misuse or unintentional harm to families, pets and the environment.

"Properly disposing of medication reduces the chance of teenage experimentation and overdose," said Camilla Bibbs, executive director of the Hamilton County Coalition, a local drug prevention organization.

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