TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — Have unwanted medications? The Coalition for Safe Medication Disposal has announced a spring collection event April 28.

The take-back initiative will go from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28 at the Slaterville Fire Station, 2681 Slaterville Rd. (Route 79), Slaterville Springs. Deputies from the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office will be at the event to take outdated or unwanted medications to be safely destroyed.

In a news release, Ed Gottlieb, who is the pre-treatment coordinator at the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility, and chair of the Coalition, said the take-back event or any of the year-round drop boxes is the best and safest way to get rid of unwanted medications.

“Doing so helps prevent illegal diversion, accidental poisoning, and environmental contamination.” Gottlieb said.

“Over-the-counter, prescription, and pet medications are all accepted.” Susan Dunlop, Community Health Nurse, at the Tompkins County Health Department and member of the Coalition, said in a news release.  “Even liquid medications, in tightly capped bottles, are accepted at events and drop boxes.”

Needles and other “sharps” are not accepted. Mercury thermometers and other mercury products are also not accepted.

The regular disposal events, like the one planned for April 28, are one of three ways to get rid of old medications. Local residents can also drop off medications at any of the nine drop boxes across Tompkins County. Some pharmacies will also take back medications.

For more information about this upcoming event and other ways to dispose of medications, visit People can also get information by calling 2-1-1.

The event is conducted in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Take-Back Initiative.

The Coalition also supports current legislation before the New York State Senate and Assembly, the Drug Take Back Act, which if passed would require drug manufacturers to pay for take back. The proposed legislation, co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara, would increase the availability of take-backs throughout the state and assure funding for local efforts.

Featured image: “Meds” by Charles Williams is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.