Those looking to get rid of unwanted medication will have an opportunity from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, when National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events will be held around the area.
Medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter drugs, has proliferated in modern society, and that creates a danger to humans and the environment.
The East Bay Municipal Utilities District notes in its latest customer newsletter that flushing expired or unwanted pills, capsules and syrups was once the recommended method of disposal.
But studies now show that this practice creates a pharmaceutical stew in the Bay because the substances cannot be handled by conventional wastewater treatment.
Law enforcement, meanwhile, wants to prevent medications from ending up in the wrong hands, where they could be misused, abused or sold.
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, held in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration, is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
The Albany Police Department is holding a collection at the Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave.
Keep medicine in the original container and leave the drug name intact. Black out personal information, including names, prescription numbers and doctor's name.
Sharps and controlled substances will not be accepted.
Berkeley collections will be held at the police station at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way and at the Mobile Health Services van that will be stationed at Sacramento and Oregon streets.
Kensington will accept all medications, including narcotics, as well as sharps that have been safely put in a container, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Public Safety Building, 217 Arlington Ave.
Kaiser Permanente is holding collections at its Oakland Medical Center, 3801 Howe St. in Oakland in front of the Fabiola Building; in the parking lot across the street from the main entrance to its Richmond Medical Center, at 901 Nevin Ave.; and in Pinole in the parking lot in front of the main entrance of the Kaiser Permanente Pinole Medical Offices, 1301 Pinole Valley Road.
There are also regular drop-off locations that can be used throughout the year.
Prescription drugs are accepted during business hours at the El Cerrito Recycling and Environmental Resource Center, 7501 Schmidt Lane; and in Berkeley at the Transfer Station, 1201 Second St.
More than 371 tons of drugs were collected nationwide during a collection day in April.
Details on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and collection sites are online at www.dea.gov.
A list of East Bay collection locations for disposal at other times of the year is available at www.ebmud. com.