July 3, 2008

La Crosse County Wins Award for Drug Disposal

By La Crosse Tribune, Wis.

Jul. 3--La Crosse County Solid Waste Department's program for collecting and disposing of unused medication won an award Wednesday for government efficiency and effectiveness.

The Lloyd D. Gladfelter Award is administered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Political Science, and recognizes problem-solving and resourceful ideas generated by non-elected government employees. Jeff Gloyd, the county's special waste manager, won $3,000 for his program for keeping unused medication out of the waste stream. Last year the program received the 2007 innovation award from the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association. He said the money will help with program expenses.

There has been growing concern throughout the country about the hazardous effects of dumping prescribed and over-the-counter medications on surface and ground waters. In 2007, Gloyd developed a plan to collect medications and dispose of them in a licensed hazardous waste incinerator. In its first seven months, the program safely disposed of more than 8,000 pounds of unwanted medications, or about 3.1 million pills.

Gloyd presented his program at the 2007 North American Hazardous Materials Management conference and the 2008 conference of the Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin. More than 30 counties in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa now are following the model he developed.

The award was established with a gift from Gladfelter, a former government reporter for the Milwaukee Journal, through the Milwaukee Foundation Corp. and the University of Wisconsin Foundation.


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