Hundreds of Pounds of Expired Prescriptions Collected During Events Like This Weekend's

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RENO, Nev. -- Twice a year local law enforcement agencies and community partners hold prescription drug roundups at area shopping centers. It's a way to keep potentially dangerous prescription drugs off the streets and make sure pills are properly disposed of.

"These events are very important because they help protect our environment and protect our children," Auralie Jensen of Join Together Northern Nevada said. Several volunteers were helping at the collection booth outside the Save Mart in Sparks on Saturday.

All types of prescriptions are welcome, no questions asked.

"All we ask is that you drop off the prescriptions in their original bottle," Jensen said. "You can black out your name or we will black it out for you but we need to now exactly what we're taking back because certain drugs need to be disposed of in certain ways."

The locations collect hundreds of pounds of expired and unwanted prescription at these events; there's also an opportunity to properly dispose of used needles.

"There's a proper way to dispose of needles and a lot of people don't know about them" Abigail Polus of the Northern Nevada Outreach Team said. "Washoe County has a takeback program now so if you're a resident you fill up a sharps container and they'll dispose of it for free. This is health and public safety issue and needs to be done right so people don't get hurt."

There are three permanent prescription drug drop boxes in the area: at the Reno and Sparks police stations and the Washoe County Sheriff's Office. Those are available during business hours for prescription pills. Liquids, needles and inhalers are not accepted at those locations.