Permanent Drug Take-Back Kiosk Open to Public

A safe, local way to dispose of unused or expired meds

Travis County Constable Carlos Lopez demonstrates how to use the new public drug take-back kiosk at the Constable Precinct 5 office.
Travis County Constable Carlos Lopez demonstrates how to use the new public drug take-back kiosk at the Constable Precinct 5 office. (Photo by Annamarya Scaccia)

Austin and Travis County residents who want to dispose of unused or expired medications no longer need to wait for the next drug take-back day to roll around. Last Thursday, city and county officials unveiled a new public kiosk in the lobby of the Travis County Constable Precinct 5 office at 1003 Guadalupe, where citizens can discard prescription and over-the-counter drugs all year round. The kiosk, which was installed in April, will help keep the county's waterways clean by giving residents a permanent place to dump medications, Austin Water Assistant Director of Treatment Jane Burazer said at the Sept. 29 press event. People will be less likely to throw drugs down the drain if they have a safe way to dispose of them, she said. A year-round bin will also cut down on prescription drug abuse or accidental poisoning since residents can discard unused or expired medicine at any time, added Austin Resource Recovery Director Bob Gedert, meaning less drugs will be readily available in the home for children or adults to intentionally misuse or mistakenly take.

So far, over 100 pounds of old medication have been disposed of at the Guadalupe Street site, according to Travis County Constable Carlos Lopez. Overall, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has collected over 32,000 pounds of medicine since it began the annual take-back days six years ago.

People can drop off medicine between 8am and 5pm Mon.-Fri. at the Constable Precinct 5 kiosk. There's another drop-off bin at the Forty Acres Pharmacy (100 W. Dean Keeton) that's open until 6pm on weekdays. Only pills, tablets, capsules, blister packs, ointments, creams, inhalers, nebulizers, and liquid medicine will be accepted. Needles, syringes, vitamins, supplements, thermometers, and home-based care equipment are not allowed.

The next countywide drug take-back day is Sat., Oct. 22, 10am-2pm. See the list of sites at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Travis County Constable Precinct 5, drug take-back kiosk, Carlos Lopez, Austin Water, Austin Resource Recovery, Forty Acres Pharmacy

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