Pharmaceutical Collections

Pharmaceutical   |  2014 Sponsors 

Disclaimer: All event dates and/or locations are subject to change; check back frequently for the most up-to-date list of PRC collections events, hours, fees, and list of acceptable materials.

We realize that our program schedule will not meet everyone's needs. We strive to make our events accessible to the greatest number of people in the region we serve. If you are unable to attend, for whatever reason, please consider approaching a friend, neighbor, or relative for assistance.


Americans nationwide once again showed their support for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day program by dropping off more pharmaceuticals than ever this past April 26th.

After seven previous Take-Back Days spread over almost four years, 780,158 pounds (390 tons) of pills were dropped-off at the 6,072 collection sites that DEA and its 4,423 state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners set up on April 26th. This demonstrates the American public’s continued appreciation and need for opportunities to safely and responsibly dispose of unwanted, unused, and expired pharmaceuticals from medicine cabinets, bedside tables, and kitchen drawers and cabinets. When added to that collected at previous DEA-coordinated Take-Back events, 4.1 million pounds (2,123 tons) of pharmaceuticals have been removed from circulation.

The date of the fall 2014 DEA Take Back Day has recently been announced. It is scheduled for Saturday, September 27th from 10 am till 2 pm. These events are free-of-charge, no questions asked, and provide a great opportunity for those who have accumulated unwanted, unused over-the-counter and prescription drugs to safely dispose of them. Check or for updates. .

Contact Michael Stepaniak at the PA Resources Council at (412) 488-7452 or for more information.

Why Hold Pharmaceutical Collections?

There are numerous reasons why prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals become unwanted or unneeded. Many people stop taking drugs due to side-effects, their lack of effectiveness, or quicker recovery periods than anticipated. And medications often reach their expiration dates before they are completely used. But people are also being prescribed and buying more drugs, per-person, than ever before in this country.

On a national level, estimates point to upwards of 200 million pounds of pharmaceutical waste being generated each year. Over the past few years, pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors have been detected in growing amounts in surface and drinking water sources around the country. This issue has been increasingly covered in scientific literature and the mainstream media. A series of Associated Press stories brought the issue to the national spotlight in 2008.

In addition, prescription medications have become the drug of choice for teens and other age groups. Each year, tens of thousands of our children and adults die or become critically ill from overdoses and/or accidental ingestion of prescription medications. Citizens, scientists, political leaders, law enforcement, and health care professionals are expressing concern about the proper disposal of pharmaceuticals; the old, widely-touted advice to flush these materials is no longer acceptable. But few practical and readily-available solutions currently exist for the safe disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals. As early as 2006, however, some waste management boards and sanitary and wastewater authorities began offering pharmaceutical collection events in states around the country including Maine, Washington, Minnesota, and California among others.



Presenting Sponsor










President Obama signed the "Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010" into law on October 12, 2010. The law removes a key barrier to creating statewide programs that allow residents to safely return and dispose of leftover medications. The legislation is intended to support the creation of medication take-back options that reduce prescription drug abuse and reduce the amount of pharmaceuticals getting into the environment. Once the new law is implemented, providers of medication take-back programs will have more options for where and how they set up programs that accept controlled substances, such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Ritalin.

Currently, only law enforcement can accept narcotics and other controlled substances from residents. The intent of this federal law is to authorize other convenient community return locations – like pharmacies – for secure disposal of controlled substances. Currently pharmacy take-back programs (the legality of these vary from state–to-state) around the country can only accept the return of over-the-counter medications and prescription medications that are not controlled substances. However, controlled substances make up about 11% of prescription drugs sold.

Pharmaceutical Collection Program Goals
PRC is committed to continuing to facilitate, organize, expand, and implement sustainable pharmaceutical collections throughout western PA. The overarching goals of this program continue to be two-fold: first, to provide affordable, safe, environmentally sound, and readily-available disposal options; second, to educate residents about potentially serious health, environmental, and social impacts of improper disposal of medications.

PRC firmly believes that a sustainable program which includes regular collection events and a comprehensive educational component is the most effective way to ensure a lasting impact on the environment and quality of life in the western PA.

Pharmaceutical Collection Program Partners
2014 Pharmaceutical Collection Program sponsors, partners, and host communities include:



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  • U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Borough of Green Tree
  • Borough of Munhall
  • Municipality of Mt. Lebanon
  • Robinson Township
  • Mall at Robinson
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy
  • Ross Township
  • North Fayette Township
  • Municipality of Bethel Park
  • Municipality of Monroeville

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Visit the following websites for more information on pharmaceuticals, drug abuse prevention, and pharmaceutical collections: 

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – This site provides consumers with practical information on how to dispose of unwanted medications. Topics include guidelines for disposal, why precautions are necessary, and the environmental concerns associated with the improper disposal of pharmaceuticals.
  • UPMC Drug Information A to Z - The information contained in UPMC’s Lexi-Comp Drug Database product is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals.
  • White House Office of National Drug Control Policy - This site contains a wealth of information regarding prescription drug abuse prevention. Topics include prescription drug facts and figures, and information for parents and youth.

  • Drug Free Pennsylvania - Drug Free Pennsylvania is a non-profit corporation dedicated to reducing substance abuse through anti-drug public service campaigns, media literacy in schools, and drug-free workplace projects in businesses.

Program Contact
Contact Michael Stepaniak at the PA Resources Council at (412) 488-7452 or with general questions or detailed information regarding upcoming collections.  


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