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2/5/2014 12:01:00 AM
Medicine disposal program seeks survey participation
Submitted to Harbor Light Newspaper

Over the past few years, there has been a growing concern about the effects of medicines in our waters. Improper disposal of unused or expired medicines can pose a significant danger to our water resources, children, and community. So how do you dispose of medications you no longer need? This is what we want to know!

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, as part of a grant project supported by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Community Pollution Prevention Grant Program, is launching a survey to gather information on medicine disposal behavior of Northern Michigan residents to help gauge the need for increased disposal options and community education. The results will be used to improve and expand the Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drug Drop-Off Program or POD Program. The POD Program is a multicounty-wide medication drug-take back initiative to provide a convenient and environmentally sound way for residents to properly dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

In the next week, surveys will be mailed out to randomly selected households throughout Northern Michigan. Please be on the lookout for the survey and if you receive it, help us protect our waters and community by taking just a few minutes to complete the survey.

"The goal of the project is increased awareness, access, and use of the POD Program by Northern Michigan community members," said Jennifer McKay, policy specialist, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council. "The survey is a valuable tool to help us gain a better understanding of current medicine disposal practices and the motivation behind different disposal methods. Through this project, we will be able to reduce the quantity of pharmaceuticals and personal care products entering Michigan's surface, ground, and drinking waters, as well as support law enforcement's efforts to keep these drugs out of the hands of people who will sell them, abuse them, and commit crimes while under their influence."

In addition to helping protect the health of Northern Michigan's citizens and environment, you could also win a prize! After completing the survey, you will also have a chance to enter into a drawing for one of five amazing prizes. Prizes include a free pontoon rental for the day, a one hour watersports lesson courtesy of Tommy's Michigan and Walloon Village Marina, a $100 BOYNE Gift Card, or one of two certificates for dinner for two at the Waas-no-de' Buffet courtesy of Odawa Casino.

If you do not receive a survey in the mail, you can still help us out by filling out a survey online at www.surveymonkey/s/MichiganPOD or by filling out a survey at the following permanent POD Box locations: Antrim County Sheriff, Charlevoix County Sheriff, Petoskey Department of Public Safety, and Cheboygan County Sheriff. Those individuals who fill out a survey at a POD Box location will be entered into a drawing to win one of three $50 Visa Gift Cards, generously donated by First Community Bank.

We encourage any resident who wants to help keep our lakes and streams clean and our community safe to fill out a survey.

Special thanks to the local businesses who generously donated the prizes: Tommy's Michigan, Walloon Village Marina, BOYNE, Odawa Casino, and First Community Bank.

For more information about the surveys or the POD Program, contact Jennifer McKay at Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council at 231-347-1181 or jenniferm@watershedcouncil.org.

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