A festival might seem like an unlikely place to find a medicine collection event. But on July 9th, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and the West Lafayette Police Department hosted a medicine collection event at Wabash Riverfest in Tapawingo Park, West Lafayette, Indiana.

“An event like Riverfest is a fun way to educate people about steps they can take to improve water quality in their community,” said Laura Kammin, IISG pollution prevention program specialist. “Many people know not to flush their unused medicines, but they don’t necessarily know the options for disposal in their area. These events really help get the word out,” she said. Volunteers collected 30 pounds of medicine brought in by festival participants.

Hundreds of families enjoyed the festivities including canoe races, food and music, and educational booths and games. Nearly 200 people engaged in the IISG display and game, Get Rid of Stuff Sensibly, which provides information about what to do with unwanted medicine, electronics, aquarium fish and more. More than 150 kids played the program’s Stop, Droplet and Roll in Pollution game, which educates kids and their parents about the effects pollutants can have on our waterways.

“One of the event organizers came up to us at the end of the day to see what everyone was ‘oohing and aahing’ about, and people seemed to really enjoy the game”, said Carolyn Foley, IISG assistant research coordinator at Purdue University. “I also heard many parents say, ‘I’d never thought about the medicines…’, so I’m hopeful that we did have an impact.”

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