Over-the-counter and prescription medications are not an uncommon sight in most households.
But when they are no longer needed, those pills, capsules, creams, liquids and aerosols can either end up sitting on the shelf for too long or getting disposed of improperly.
Both can create dangerous situations.
The former can increase the chances for accidental poisoning or substance abuse. The latter can be detrimental to the environment.
If you need to dispose of unused or unwanted medicines, be sure not to flush them down the toilet or pour them into the sink.
Those methods can create the potential for harmful chemicals to end up in our lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
There are three ways you can properly dispose of your unneeded pharmaceuticals.
The best way is through a collection program. Many pharmacies and police departments participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back initiatives, in partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. During the events, collection sites are set up and residents can drop off expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs in an environmentally-conscious way, no questions asked. Find an event near you by visiting the DEA website. Unwanted medicines should be delivered to the collection location in the original container, if possible. Be sure remove any personal information from the container.
Another disposal method is through mail-back programs, manufacturer-supported collections for specific medications, or household hazardous waste collections.
As a third option, if necessary, some medicines can be disposed of with other household garbage, according to the EPA. To ensure safe handling, those medicines should be mixed with coffee grounds, kitty litter, or sawdust in a sealed disposable container before placing with other household waste.
For more information or any other questions, please visit Advanced Disposal at www.advanceddisposal.com.