Pharmaceutical Disposal Options

The Drug Take-Back Act begins January 1, 2024

Here's the overview....

On June 10, 2022, Governor Pritzker signed the Drug Take-Back Act into law. Beginning December 1, 2023, every Illinois county will be entitled to at least one medication collection location per 50,000 residents that is financed by pharmaceutical manufacturers. These collection locations will accept both controlled and non-controlled substances free of charge. 

The Drug Take Back Act will become effective and the pharmaceutical industry will be responsible for financing the collection and destruction of drugs under the Act.  They have a 501 (c ) (3) called Med Project or another called Inmar that will be working with local law enforcement to continue the collection programs already in place.  Med Project or Inmar will be reaching out to police departments directly about setting up a new collection kiosk which may replace the Save-A-Star bins.  

After December 2023, SWALCO will no longer be involved in the pharmaceutical collection program and designated Police Departments will no longer have to bring the their collected pharmaceuticals to SWALCO.  

In (9) years, this program has collected 50 TONS of OTC and Prescription waste and roughly 500,000 controlled prescription pills have been sorted and disposed of through this shared effort.

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Unwanted medicines, prescriptions, and supplements are accepted at all SWALCO Household Chemical Waste collection events. However, DEA Controlled Substances are NOT. Currently, the Save-a-Star Drug Awareness Foundation has sponsored the installation of pharmaceutical collection boxes in the following communities in Lake County. Collection boxes are located in Police Department lobbies and controlled substances are accepted. Sharps/Needles are NOT collected during our HCW events OR at any of the Save-A-Star locations. Please check with your village for local options or visit our ODDS and ENDS page for other methods.

Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force provides another excellent resource for facts and statics regarding this topic. Please visit

Walgreens has recently launched a medication disposal kiosk program at select 24-hour locations throughout Illinois.

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Pharma Pill Containers