Several Fairfield County agencies, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Violet Township are all collaborating to keep streams and rivers clean and drugs out of the hands of those susceptible to abusing them.
They are doing do so by holding a "Drug and Electronics Collection Day" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The collection event will take place at the Violet Township Service Center, 490 N. Center St. at the corner of Stemen Road and Center Street.
The event is part of the larger National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, the goal of which is to divert unused medicine from hitting the streets.
In addition to host Violet Township, Lancaster-Fairfield County Recycling and Litter Prevention, the Fairfield County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office also sponsor the event.
"We're all four collaborating on these collection events,"said Patty Bratton of Lancaster-Fairfield County Recycling and Litter Prevention.
"(Our organization) is specifically involved in the collection of electronics but we all kind of help wherever we're needed," Bratton said.
She said the amount of electronic items collected continues to grow with each event.
"We expect a big turnout," Bratton said.
"Oh, my goodness, last year we (received) a lot of electronics.
"We've been doing this several years and that was the most we've ever got," she said, adding the event last April brought in a whopping 7,000 pounds of electronics.
She said the following electronic items can be deposited at the collection site, free of charge: computers, laptops, printers, cables, mouses, keyboards, discs, electronic clocks, VCR and DVD machines, radios, and cell phones.
Bratton said the "old-type monitors with the big backs" will be accepted for free if they are part of an entire computer system.
Otherwise, they will cost $3 to drop off.
Televisions will cost $1 per diagonal inch. "If it's a nineteen-inch television, it's nineteen dollars," Bratton said.
She said it's important to note that only cash or checks will be accepted.
"We don't have the ability to do credit cards," Bratton said.
A mobile document shredding truck will also be on-site.
"We will (shred) one box of materials for free.
"If you want to shred more than one box, you will have to contact our office," Bratton said.
"We can only handle so much volume off-site," said Bratton.
As for drug collection, Chad Lucht of Fairfield County SWCD said "we seem to be getting more people coming through every year."
Lucht said last April's collection brought in 162 pounds of prescription drugs.
He said flushing meds down the toilet can harm aquatic life and the human water supply.
"Wastewater treatment plants don't have the ability to remove medicines from waste streams before it goes into streams and rivers," Lucht said.
Prescription medicines in pill or capsule form will be accepted, no questions asked, Bratton said.
"This year we're only accepting pills, we will not accept inhalers, liquids or sharps," she said.
People are also advised to take a marker and cross out names on medicine bottles for confidentiality before submitting them for collection.
"It helps when people do that ahead of time," Bratton said.
She advised participants to be prepared before they arrive at the site.
"People don't even need to get out of their cars," Bratton said.
"They just direct us to what they want to remove, pop their trunks, and we'll keep the lines moving."
Lucht said those seeking additional medicine disposal tips, especially since the event doesn't take "over-the-counter meds," can visit www.smarxtdisposal.net for suggestions.
Questions pertaining to the collection of electronics can be directed to Bratton by calling 740-681-4423.