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No drugs down the drain, please

State Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley; Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley; and various water and law enforcement officials are scheduled to cut the ribbon tomorrow morning on a new drop-off station for unwanted medicines.

The station – in the lobby of the Elihu Harris State Office Building at 1515 Clay St. in Oakland – aims to collect unwanted over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals to prevent them from being flushed down toilets, washed down sinks or sent to landfills, from which they can end up polluting local watersheds and the Bay.

Studies have found at least trace amounts of various drugs in surface water across the nation, and scientists fear this contributes both to increased bacterial resistance to antibiotics as well as to interference with normal growth and reproduction in aquatic wildlife such as fish and frogs.

Tomorrow’s event is part of California’s No Drugs Down the Drain week; last year, the week’s observance led to collection of about 30,000 pounds of unwanted medicines across the state.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    What a wonderful idea! How about expanding it to include sub-standard marijuana, crack and other substances druggies want to dispose? Maybe later on we can have a “Dope for Toys” exchange.

  • Elwood

    Hey Loni and Nancy:

    How about a waste disposal site at the Elihu Harris building for the cranksters to dispose of the toxic chemicals left over from cooking crank?

    Surely you ultra-liberal ladies would support such a good cause.

  • Ralph Hoffmann, Guest Columnist

    A ribbon cutting? We’ve had a drug disposal site at Walnut Creek City Hall for months, with camera surveilence. We resenve ribbon cuttings for businesses, such as the one for the Medical Marajuana Dispensary, 1291 Oakland Blvd, October 8, 5:30 pm.

  • Tom Benigno

    Concerned:
    You tell them Ralph.