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Groups partner to keep disposed prescription medicine out of Lake Michigan

The Fund for Lake Michigan recently provided a significant grant to Take Back My Meds MKE, to expand the number of drop boxes for the safe disposal of unused medicine and to fund public outreach regarding drug take back.

Medicine flushed down the toilet flows directly to Lake Michigan because it passes through wastewater treatment plants that are not designed to remove drugs. Medicine thrown in the trash often leaches into rivers that flow to the lake. A large and growing number of chemicals related to unused medicine are currently being detected in Lake Michigan near Milwaukee. Recent studies have shown more than 30 such compounds.

“Improper disposal of unused medicine is harming Lake Michigan,” said Vicki Elkin, executive director of the Fund for Lake Michigan. “The Fund for Lake Michigan is proud to partner with Take Back My Meds MKE to take concrete steps to stem the flow of drugs that are showing up in Lake Michigan far too often.”

The $75,000 grant will fund work through July of 2019. Community Advocates, a Take Back My Meds MKE coalition member, will administer the grant.

“The Fund for Lake Michigan’s investment in our work will reduce harm to Lake Michigan and keep unused medicine out of the wrong hands,” said Jon Richards, Coalition Director for Take Back My Meds MKE.

Residents of Milwaukee County can take back their unused medicine on any day of the year at one of 82 locations in the county, many of which are available 24 hours a day. A map of all locations with either a drop box or drug disposal envelopes can be found at takebackmymeds.com.

“Community Advocates Public Policy Institute’s partnership with Take Back My Meds MKE to promote drug take back is an important part of our work to address addiction and the opioid crisis in Milwaukee. We are excited for our new partnership with the Fund for Lake Michigan as we administer their grant on behalf of Take Back My Meds MKE,” said Kari Lerch, Deputy Director of Community Advocates Public Policy Institute.

Fund for Lake Michigan

Lee Matz

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