Illinois American Water has become a model for water source protection through proper pharmaceutical disposal. To date, the company has helped set up more than 30 disposal programs and contributed to the collection and proper disposal of several thousand pounds of unwanted medications.

The pharmaceutical disposal program utilized by Illinois American Water was developed by Pontiac High School Township students and their teacher Paul Ritter. The program, P2D2, has been recognized by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Natural Resources as a model for all pharmaceutical disposal programs. The program has helped collect and dispose of hundreds of thousands of pounds of unwanted medications.

“This program gives residents an alternative to flushing their medications, which can be harmful to our water sources,” said Justin Ladner, president of Illinois American Water. “By properly disposing of unwanted medications we are helping to protect our water supply for future generations.”

Illinois American Water was recognized by American Water Works Association (AWWA) with the 2011 Communications Achievement Award for the company’s outreach regarding proper pharmaceutical disposal.  Founded in 1881, AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy for improving the quality and supply of water.  The award recognizes AWWA member organizations for fostering and supporting the development of public outreach programs and integrating public affairs as a core element of utility management.

Illinois American Water, a member of the Illinois EPA Medication Education Disposal Solutions task force, works with P2D2, communities and environmental leaders to place pharmaceutical drop boxes at convenient locations so residents can easily dispose of their unwanted medications. Collected medications are destroyed through incineration. To find a pharmaceutical disposal location near you, click here.