Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Disposal of Medication and Prescription Bottles

The FDA has a set of guidelines on what to do with expired or unused medicine:
https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/ucm186187.htm

As part of the guidelines, there are 15 drugs on the list that are recommended to be flushed down the toilet in case a take-back program is not readily available. To avoid polluting our waters with those chemicals, disposing of those drugs through proper disposal channels should be preferred.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has a list of places where anyone can take medicine back (see link on the page https://nabp.pharmacy/initiatives/awarxe/dispose-safely/ to find a list of local places) and also there are "take back" events organized every now and then by the sheriff.

In Brevard County, Walgreens offers free medication disposal service (no liquid, syringes or inhalers) available to the public year-round. The two locations listed as offering that service are on Wickham and Eau Gallie and in Cocoa Beach

If those are not an option, one should follow the mix/seal/dispose rule described in the guidelines and on the Walgreens spring cleaning your medicine cabinet page.


Prescription Bottles

For prescription bottles, remove label with personal info. Check if you local pharmacy will take them back OR take them directly to SPCA Brevard or a local animal shelter (for reuse with medicine for adopted animals) or a clinic or animal rescue place OR ship them directly to rescue missions like Matthew 25: Ministries or World Medical Mission.

You may also drop them off at Recycle Brevard - we will make them available in our Reuse Room for projects and take them to SPCA/animal shelter when we have volume.

Other types of medicine bottles, like vitamins, we can have in our Reuse Room or collect for TerraCycle. For TerraCycle, we can only accept the check the specific brands of vitamins and supplements in their recycling programs.

Another option to avoid sending those bottles to the landfill is to reuse them at home in fun and useful ways. You can find dozens of different ways to repurpose those bottles - some quite ingenious!