With drug sales outpacing population growth, pharmaceutical waste is quickly becoming a major issue for the environment. The old habit of flushing pills down the toilet is no longer appropriate. Today, unused medications should be properly disposed of at either a drop-off event or permanent collection facility (residents may also want to check with the pharmacy or hospital where they were obtained). Proper disposal is important because new, more advanced technology has detected pharmaceutical compounds in the environment and scientific research has shown that pharmaceuticals in waterways may have a negative impact on fish and other aquatic life. Three local agencies, Placer County, the City of Auburn and the City of Roseville are sponsoring two free drop-off events for their unused and expired medications. The events are open to Placer County residents, including those who live in the cities of Placer County. Residents can bring in any medication except syringes or “sharps”. Residents are asked to black out any personal information but leave the label intact. The drop-off events will be held on Saturday, Oct. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Roseville Sports Center parking lot, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. in Roseville or the Auburn City Hall parking lot, 1225 Lincoln Way in Auburn. Pharmaceuticals and Sharps can be disposed of for free everyday, year-round between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Western Placer Waste Management Authority, 3033 Fiddyment Road in Roseville. These drop-off events are part of a statewide “No Drugs Down the Drain” campaign, a collaborative effort between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards and local agencies like Placer County and the cities of Auburn and Roseville. The purpose of the events and the campaign are to raise awareness about the proper medication disposal and the hazards of out-dated disposal practices. For more information about local events, please call (530) 889-6846. The No Drugs Down the Drain campaign is a public outreach program to educate California residents about the negative impact of pharmaceuticals on fish and wildlife. Flushing or pouring unwanted medications is not considered to be proper disposal. Agencies around the state are holding outreach campaigns and collection events throughout the week of Oct. 4-11, 2008. More information can be found at www.NoDrugsDownTheDrain.org.