Archived Story

Pokagon Band joins Yellow Jug Old Drugs

Published 9:53pm Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Community members are encouraged to bring unwanted/unused medications to the Pokagon Band Pharmacy now that the facility is a partner in the Yellow Jug Old Drugs program.
This program, operated by Great Lakes Clean Water Organization, collects and properly disposes of unwanted/unused drugs in a safe and approved manner to help keep water clean and untainted by chemicals.
“Currently people tend to throw unwanted drugs in the trash or down the toilet or drain,” said Nate Sagarsee, PharmD, pharmacist with Pokagon Health Services.
“But this process is greener than what we’re doing now.”
The pharmacy is located at 57392 M-51 South, Dowagiac, and operates Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Until now, unacceptable items could only be taken to drug-take-back events sponsored by law enforcement.
Yellow Jug Old Drugs containers and contents are picked up at pharmacies, then transported to a waste-to-energy facility for secure and assured destruction.
“The Great Lakes contain over 95 percent of all surface freshwater in the U.S.,” said Sagarsee. “Given the tribe’s commitment to protect Mother Earth, we are happy to be a part of a solution to collect and properly dispose of unused and expired drugs to keep them out of our water.”
As of January 2013 the program had collected and properly disposed of more than 55,000 pounds of drug waste.
The program began in Michigan in April 2009 and is now available statewide. In February 2012, pharmacies in Illinois and Wisconsin started providing the program. The goal is to have the Yellow Jug Old Drugs program available in all Great Lakes states by 2015.

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