GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Saturday, in the Rogue Valley and nationwide, people showed up to their local police department to properly dispose of prescription drugs, meaning they wouldn’t end up in a landfill or at places like the Medford Waste Water Treatment Plant.
Cory Crebbin, Director of Public Works for Medford, says the effects of drugs in water really impact the environment when the treated water is released into the Rogue River.
“The fish themselves can be affected by a very small quantities of these drugs especially the powerful drugs,” said Crebbin.
Grants Pass Department of Public Safety Lieutenant Dennis Ward says turning in medications to keep them out of the hands of children is only one of the benefits.
“You’re dumping prescription medication, and in some cases controlled substances, into our water, that does not improve our water quality,” said Lt. Ward.
The prescription drugs collected from the bins are then sent off to be properly and safely disposed of.
“They’re actually burned at some point, we collect them and send them off for the drug enforcement agency to dispose of them,” Lt. Ward explained.
For those who think throwing medications in the trash is a good way of getting rid of medication, Crebbin said they’ll end up right back at the waste water treatment plant.
“The landfill has a similar anaerobic process happening when they cap the land fill,” explained Crebbin. “And the leached that comes off the garbage at the landfill that actually pipe to the sewage treatment plant to be treated.”
The water treated at the Medford Waste Water Treatment Plant is then released back into the Rogue River, where it is used by communities down stream.