The EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge is underway with about 40 projects in hundreds of communities across eight states including Duluth, Minnesota
In Duluth, "Medicine Cabinet Clean-Out Day" offers residents free, safe disposal of unwanted medications.
The Earth Healing Initiative has put our local interfaith liaison in touch with Duluth officials.
Hes Rev. Doug Paulson - a campus pastor at the University of Minnesota - Lutheran Campus Ministry.
Medicine Cabinet Clean-Out Day in the Duluth, Minnesota area is April 26.
The drive-thru event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) HHW Facility (2626 Courtland St.) in Duluth.
Gina Temple-Rhodes, the districts environmental program coordinator, said "residents should bring medications in their original containers.
Temple-Rhodes added that mercury thermometers and medical sharps - that are packaged safely in rigid containers - will also be accepted free of charge."
Two previous collections included Minnesota's first-ever medication collection in October 2007.
The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District "collected a total of 591 pounds of unwanted pharmaceuticals from 391 households, enough to fill 6 55-gallon drums," Temple-Rhodes said.
The districts event coordinator - Susie Darley-Hill - said medication is only accepted during special events due to U.S. drug laws.
She said if medication must be disposed of during other times, it can be destroyed, sealed and placed in the garbage."
District environmental program coordinator Gina Temple-Rhodes said the first collection event really showed us that there is a lot of unwanted medication lingering in medicine cabinets all over the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District area.
She said residents told us they had been storing the medications for years because they didn't know what else to do with them. This collection event offers an easy, safe answer to the disposal question."
Western Lake Superior Sanitary District Executive Director Kurt Soderberg said "unwanted medication should not be flushed or poured down the drain.
Soderberg said "although many of us were taught to dispose of medicines this way, we now know that flushing them is not a good idea."