Illinois American Water Encourages Customers to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 23, 2021

Belleville, Ill. (Oct. 20, 2021) – Illinois American Water is encouraging customers to participate in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this coming Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Residents are encouraged to drop off their unwanted medications at approved collection sites so they can be incinerated, which is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended approach for pharmaceutical disposal. Flushing medications down the toilet and throwing them in the trash are discouraged.

Take Back Day events help keep medications from getting into the wrong hands and provide an opportunity for medications to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way instead of being flushed down the toilet or poured down a drain. By safely disposing of medications this helps from pharmaceuticals entering area waterways. Participating Illinois Take Back Day collection sites can be located here.

Rachel Bretz, director of water quality and environmental compliance for Illinois American Water, explains, “This event is a great opportunity for Illinois residents to securely drop off any unused or expired medications. We are encouraging residents to take advantage of the drug take back events because they help protect our environment and waterways.”

Illinois residents who are unable to participate Saturday are encouraged to use local, permanent community pharmaceutical disposal programs to properly dispose of their unwanted medications. Through partnership and collaboration with local pharmacies, environmental stewards, police departments and government officials, Illinois American Water has helped implement permanent pharmaceutical disposal programs across the state. 

The pharmaceutical disposal programs were created through a model developed by Pontiac Township High School students and their teacher Paul Ritter. The program, P2D2, has been recognized as a model for all pharmaceutical disposal programs. Through P2D2’s efforts, millions of unwanted medications have been collected and disposed of properly.

Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville. For more information, visit and follow Illinois American Water on Twitter and Facebook.


About American Water

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable, and reliable water services to our customers to help make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Media Contacts

Terry Mackin

Director of Communications and External Affairs