Unused/expired prescription drugs can be dropped off this Friday, May 6

By Chuck Gibson

LOVELAND, OH (May 4, 2022) – Ashley Wheeler is a freshman at Loveland High School (LHS) and a student of Biology and Environmental Science teacher Tonya Nkhata.

Ashley Wheeler’s Drug Take Back Day at LHS flyer (Provided)

Wheeler is hosting the Drug Take Back Day at LHS as her student project entered in the Caring For Our Watersheds contest for Ohio. She is working in partnership with the Loveland Police Department to ensure members of the community who drop off unused/expired prescription drugs will have those prescription drugs properly disposed of by the police department. The Drug Take Back drop off is scheduled for this Friday, May 6, with two separate drop-off time during the day. The morning drop-off schedule is from 6:45 -8:30 a.m. with an afternoon drop-off time from 2-4 p.m.

Wheeler’s message is clear on the flyer she shared around school and the community: Protect our watershed, wildlife and community by disposing of your pharmaceuticals properly. 

The project earned her a spot as one of the finalists in the Caring For Our Watersheds contest which took place during the weekend of April 30th. She was competing for a final prize of up to $1,000.  She was in familiar company. Two other LHS students were among the top 10 finalists in the state as well as two more who already earned Honorable Mentions for their projects.

Locally, the contest was run through the Hamilton County Conservation District. It is a contest called Caring For Our Watersheds which is actually in the United States and Canada. Loveland High School teacher Tonya Nkhata said it goes by state; though not every state has it. It is a statewide contest in Ohio.

“This year I had my students work on project proposals,” said Nkhata. “We submitted those in January. We had three groups chosen to be in the top 10 based on their written part. We also earned both Honorable Mention spots.”

The projects of all five groups were funded for up to $1,000. The grant funded the implementation of their projects to better the environment and watershed in our community. The three in the top 10 went to the Cincinnati Zoo for the weekend competition where they made a verbal presentation of their project.

“Out of that, we won first, second and sixth,” Nkhata said. “All together, they won $2,400 in prizes.” 

Ashley won second earning $900 in prize money. The first place winner was Sonya Yurovski, another LHS freshman whose project was Recycling Contact Lenses. She collected $1000 in winnings. The “Green Team” of Nkhata’s class won $500 for their sixth place finish. Their project was called “Clean up for Candy” where they engage volunteer groups from the high school to clean up after big games at the school. They initiated the effort during basketball season, but expect the big push will come during future football games next season.

“The custodian told us everything from these games ends up in the trash,” Nkhata explained. “So he asked if they could help rescue some for recycling. That’s where they got the idea. They’ve done exceptional work, all of them.”

Loveland Police Department logo (Image Provided)

The “Green Team” gets other students involved. They all get candy bars, thus the name “Clean Up For Candy”. That brings us all the way back to Ashley Wheeler’s Drug Take Back Day this Friday. It is an effort to ensure old and unused prescription drugs are not improperly thrown out where they could end up harming our rivers, streams and wildlife. Any prescription drugs you drop off during the Drug Take Back Day will be properly disposed of by the Loveland Police Department. It’s Ashley Wheeler’s way of “Caring For Our Watersheds”.  

Add her second place finish to the first place finish of Sonya Yurovski, the sixth place finish of the “Green Team” and two Honorable Mentions and you have amazing results from Loveland School students in their first time entering the Caring for Our Watersheds competition.

“Ashley’s project is coming up this Friday so people can bring their stuff by because it is right at the high school. LPD was amazing; they just said we’ll take it, we’ll do it,” Nkhata said. “I am just so impressed at how professionally these students handled this challenge and the creativity they used in coming up with workable proposals.”

DRUG TAKE BACK DAY – Hosted by LHS Freshman Ashley Wheeler

  • Drop off your unused/old prescription drugs for disposal by Loveland Police Department
  • Friday, May 6, 2022
  • Loveland High School
  • 6:45 – 8:30 a.m.
  • 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

CLICK HERE for more on Loveland Schools

CLICK HERE for more about Caring For Our Watersheds