The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced Tuesday that the public can dispose of vaping devices and cartridges at any drop-off location during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday.

The semiannual event, in April and October, allows people to get rid of their expired, unused or unwanted prescription medications at 594 collection sites across New England, according to the DEA.

However, following a surge of illnesses and death caused by vaping, the DEA agreed to allow people to safely dispose of vaping cartridges and devices. The agency cannot accept devices that have lithium ion batteries. If batteries cannot be removed from the devices prior to drop-off, people should find a store that recycles lithium ion batteries.

According to the DEA, Maine agencies collected 27,680 pounds of expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs in April.

Residents in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties can find a collection site by visiting and typing in the municipality and county where they live.

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