Drug Disposal Day nets new award for city

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A city event that lets the public safely dispose of unwanted drugs has earned regional, state and national awards.

Most recently, Denton's Drug Disposal Day won the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling's Outstanding Special Event prize, one of nine awards presented Oct. 4 during the alliance's 14th annual Recycling and Sustainability Summit in Austin.

The honor followed awards from the Greater Dallas Fort Worth Recycling Alliance in June and the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association in September, said Shirlene Sitton, the city's recycling manager.

A judge for the national association's public-private partnership award called the event the most creative use of partnerships and local resources that he'd seen in his years of judging, Sitton said.

The event, designed to reduce the amount of pharmaceuticals entering the city's water system through toilets and drains, lets the public drop off unwanted prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications for proper disposal at no charge.

The collected drugs are incinerated at an approved facility near Houston, Sitton said.

The awards recognized Denton's first two disposal days, in April and October 2010, which recycled 882 pounds of unused medication, said Victoria Hodge, a city employee who coordinates the event.

A third disposal day took place in May, and a fourth is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 29 at two locations: Denton Regional Medical Center's Professional Office Building, 3537 S. Interstate 35E, and Providence Elementary School, 1000 FM2931 in Aubrey.

The event is aligned with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's National Take Back Initiative, which is sponsoring the cost of disposal, Sitton said.

Event partners include the city of Denton, Denton Police Department, Denton County Sheriff's Office, University of North Texas, Denton school district, Denton Regional Medical Center, Brookhaven College and local pharmacies.

For more information, visit www.dentondrugdisposal.com or call 940-349-8019.

LOWELL BROWN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is lmbrown@dentonrc.com.


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