LAYTON -- A half-ton of unused over-the-counter and prescription medicines are expected to be collected Saturday in Davis County through the biannual "clean out your medicine cabinet" campaign.
A similar effort that day will take place in Weber County. Last year's effort there resulted in 475 pounds of unused medicines being collected, Weber-Morgan County Health officials said.
The temporary collection points, sponsored by local businesses and entities in each county, will be available to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Considering the size and weight of a prescription pill, Weber-Morgan Health officials are pleased with the amount of unused medicine the campaign has been able to collect in the past.
"Anytime you can get it out of the hands of kids, or out of the ground water, you're doing yourself a favor," Weber-Morgan Health Department spokeswoman Lori Buttars said.
Collecting unused medicines prevents them from harming the environment when flushed down the toilet, officials say.
Drop-off bins in Weber County will be available at Weber-Morgan County Health Department, 477 23rd St., and Macey's Food Store at 325 36th St., in Ogden.
Temporary disposal bins will be available in Davis County at Smith's Food & Drug stores in Layton, Bountiful, Farmington, Syracuse and Sunset.
Bins also will be available at the Macey's grocery stores in Clearfield and Clinton and at the Hill Air Force Base exchange at 5845 E. Ave. Bldg. 412, and base commissary, 7451 6th St.
"Davis County has done very well," said Davis event organizer Debi Todd, prevention coordinator for Davis Behavioral Health Inc.
In September 2010, the take-back campaign in Davis County resulted in 654 pounds of unused prescriptions collected, Todd said.
That increased to 996 pounds of medications when a similar campaign took place in April 2011, Todd said.
"Amazing, isn't it?" she said of the amount.
Based on the success at the events, Todd said, she expects that in Davis County alone on Saturday more than 1,000 pounds of unused medications will be collected.
"The word is getting out more about these events and that this is the proper way to dispose of the medications," she said.
All medications collected will be incinerated.
Saturday's event is for households only, Todd said. Medical waste, including medications from hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, group homes, doctor's offices and other medical facilities, will not be accepted at the temporary drop-off points.
The Davis take-back is sponsored by the University of Utah College of Pharmacy, Department of Environmental Quality, Davis County law enforcement agencies, the base and Davis Behavioral Health.
The prescription take-back in Weber County is being done in cooperation with the local health department and Weber Human Services Prevention, said Mary Hazard, Weber-Morgan Health assistant environmental administrator.
For permanent disposal-bin locations, call 800-458-0145.