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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg police collected more than 495 pounds of expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications Saturday.

Police set up four drop-off locations as part of the Operation Medicine Drop program, which aims to prevent drug abuse, keep drugs out of children s hands and protect the environment. Flushing or throwing away medicine can contaminate water supplies, authorities say.

During an Operation Medicine Drop event in March, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police collected 131 pounds of medications. The next month, residents handed over 1,011 pounds of medicine to police during another event.

Police said the collected drugs will be properly destroyed.

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