Drug take-back a "win-win" for all community members - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Drug take-back a "win-win" for all community members

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People in one panhandle city are coming together in hopes of stopping prescription drugs from contaminating drinking water and local landfills.
In Scottsbluff, drivers rolled up to a collection tent this weekend for the 7th Annual "Great American Cleanup Pharmaceuticals Take-Back."

Kathy Kropuenske with Keep Scottsbluff-Gering Beautiful says over the years community members have dropped off various items from over-the-counter and expired drugs to needles.

Kropuenske says the confidential event is so important for future generations.

"We don't want to see (the drugs) flushed, we don't want to see them go into the landfill," said Kropuenske.

She says after the drugs are collected and separated, some are sealed up and shipped to the west coast where they are properly disposed.

Kropuenske said Keep Scottsbluff-Gering Beautiful was the second organization in the nation to start the drug take-back program.

It started in Minnesota after years of research showed that male fish were becoming feminized because of hormones in the water.

"It's such a win-win for all of us," Kropuenske said explaining how properly disposing the drugs helps everyone. "You just can't believe what we actually drink in our drinking water. As far as prescription drugs, antibiotics and hormones are the biggest that we just cannot get out of the water."
Last year more than 2,500 pounds of prescription drugs were collected and Kropuenske says she expects to surpass that number this year.
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