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Big Y to Recycle Rx Pill Vials

Big Y World Class Markets is rolling out a prescription vial recycling program for customers, making it one of the first regional grocery store chains in the country to do so, according to the company. The new program will allow the New England grocer's pharmacy customers to safely and confidentially recycle empty prescription medication vials.

To participate in the program, customers can bring empty prescription containers (some exclusions apply, so shoppers should check with their store pharmacy for details) from any pharmacy to a Big Y Pharmacy and Wellness Center. The recycled vials then go to specific processing centers, in partnership with Sparta, Tenn.-based  Tri State Distribution Inc., for shredding and reuse in other products, thereby avoiding a trip to the nearest landfill.

"With the millions of prescription vials we use each year, we saw an opportunity to positively impact our environment," explained Nicole D'Amour Schneider, director of pharmacy at Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y, adding that the aim of such initiatives was to work with shoppers to “cut down on waste while saving energy."

On Tuesday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Big Y's pharmacies will provide more information about the service and how to take part in it during the chain's monthly Inform and Inspire wellness event, which on this occasion will address Prescription Drug Safety and Drug Interactions.

As part of its own sustainability efforts, Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets Inc. has offered a similar program since 2011.

Family-owned and –operated Big Y operates 63 stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts with more than 10,000 employees. This year, the company is celebrating its 79th anniversary.

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