Never Flush Unwanted Medicine
Previously, people were instructed to flush unwanted medicine down the drain. This is no longer advised because we now know that flushing medicine can harm the environment.
Water System Impacts
Wastewater treatment plants and septic systems cannot remove pharmaceutical compounds from the waste water so these chemicals pass through treatment plants or septic systems into Lake Erie, the source of our drinking water. These pharmaceutical compounds also pose a risk to aquatic organisms.
Dispose of Unwanted Medicine With Your Household Trash
Unwanted medicine should be disposed with your household trash after taking a few simple precautions. These precautions will ensure the safety of children and animals and prevent misuse of the medicine.
- Keep the medicine in its original container.
- You may want to remove the label or conceal patient information or drug information with a marker.
- Before placing in the trash, make the medicine unusable by dissolving the pills with water and seal the original container with tape.
Liquid Medicine Precautions
- Liquid medicine should be placed in a sealed plastic bag.
- Place the container in durable packaging that masks the contents such as a brown cardboard box.
- Place the medicine in the trash as close to your garbage pickup day as possible.
Syringes, Sharps, & Bio-Hazard Containers
- Syringes should be inserted, needles pointing downward, into a two-liter plastic bottle (soda bottle) or laundry detergent bottle and tightly sealed.
- Place this container in your garbage, not with the recyclables.
- No sharps or bio-hazardous containers (red containers) are permitted in the landfill; they will not be collected. These containers must be returned to a medical facility.