Rush Township

Rush Township leaders aim to clean up water supply with prescription drug collection program

For the CDTOctober 11, 2013 

— Rush Township Supervisor Mike Savage wants people to get rid of their drugs, but he wants them to do it safely.

Savage has been a longtime supporter of cleaning up local water sources. He has worked with environmental groups to not just protect water, but to educate children about the importance of this natural resource. At Thursday’s supervisors’ meeting, he urged people to take another step.

A prescription drug collection program will be accepting unused and leftover medications at the Philipsburg Weis Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 26, and Savage wants people to realize why that is important.

“People don’t think about it, but one of the largest problems for the water supply is what to do with unused prescriptions,” he said.

Supervisor Jack Shannon remembers when that wasn’t the problem. It was the solution.

“It is a concern,” he said. “The story used to be that you don’t want the kids to get them, so you flush them.”

But Savage said that tossing antibiotics and painkillers and other pills into the sewage system lets them seep into the environment with potentially dangerous consequences.

For safety’s sake, it is better to collect medications for safe disposal. However, because prescriptions are regulated, not just anyone can take possession of them. For the collection program, the state police will be on hand to officially take custody of the drugs, Savage said.

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