Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and University of Illinois Extension

Chapter 3: How to Hold a Successful Unwanted Medicine
                Collection Event

This chapter contains resources to help you plan and hold a medicine collection event for the public. It includes information on issues you should consider and barriers you might encounter when organizing a collection event. It provides a directory of waste managers; a list of potential partners who may be sources for funding, consultation or publicity; media tips and a sample press release; and day-of-the-event advice. It also discusses some of the regulatory requirements that you may need to consider when dealing with controlled substances and hazardous materials.


The overview of considerations outlines issues associated with holding an unwanted medicine take-back event or starting a program.

The list of potential partners will give you suggestions of organizations and corporations that could help you with various aspects of running a collection event, from funding to publicity to consulting support.

The Northeast Recycling Council’s Operating Unwanted Medication Collections - A Legal & Safe Approach provides advice on all stages of organizing collection events.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources provides Regulatory Guidance for Organizers of Household Pharmaceutical Collections Events. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management developed a Collecting Unwanted Medications Guide.

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