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February 7, 2020

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Stericycle partners with RCAP for prescription drug mail-back program targeting rural communities

Stericycle, Bannockburn, Illinois, and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), a non-profit network focused on improving water quality for rural and small communities across the U.S., announced that they have partnered to pilot a program focused on improving water quality and combatting the opioid crisis in rural America.

In early 2020, RCAP will be distributing 10,000 of Stericycle’s Seal&Send medication mail-back envelopes to rural communities in multiple regions across the United States. The envelopes can be used to safely and sustainably remove leftover medications from home medicine cabinets and the environment. The program allows people to mail back their unused drugs for destruction and disposal by regulated medical waste incineration, thus removing potentially harmful pharmaceuticals from water systems and landfills in these communities.

“The strength of our network is relationships with communities,” RCAP CEO Nathan Ohle says. “We are founded on the belief that partnerships make our work and impact better, and this is the perfect example of finding innovative partnerships that benefit the communities we serve.”

This first-of-its kind pilot will include an innovative approach to reaching and connecting with rural communities on the issue of safe drug disposal. RCAP will be working with six regional partners to distribute Stericycle’s Seal&Send envelopes, along with educational information about safe drug disposal, in water utility bills or via other solid waste programs being coordinated in these communities. RCAP regional partners are located in every state, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“From leftover prescription drugs in the home fueling the opioid crisis to pharmaceutical contamination of waterways and drinking water, safe medication disposal is critical to protect people, the public and the planet,” Stericycle CEO Cindy Miller says. “We are proud to partner with and support the important work that RCAP is doing to protect rural communities from the negative impacts of improper medication management in the home.”

“Our mission at RCAP is to serve rural communities in addressing whatever issues they might face,” Ohle says. “Our work focuses on assisting communities in providing safe drinking water and sanitary wastewater services, and we know the harmful effects that prescription drugs can have on water sources and systems. This innovative approach is a small way to combat a powerful issue confronting communities across the country."