Prescription Drug Disposal: ‘To Flush or Not To Flush?'
Many years ago, flushing unused or unwanted prescription medications down the toilet was recommended as the ‘safe way’ to dispose of them. However, recent studies indicate that flushing drugs down the drain is not an environmentally safe method. Wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals, so they can pass through into the environment.
Another disposal option that was offered involved simply placing the drugs in trash cans. Unfortunately, sending prescription medications to landfill disposal can still adversely impact the environment. Putting old meds in the trash is no longer recommended.
Fortunately, safe disposal options are available.
The City of Melbourne encourages everyone to properly dispose of unused mediations through community 'take back' programs or by obtaining medication disposal envelopes from local pharmacies to mail medications for proper disposal. The 'take back' opportunities are announced as they become available. The disposal envelopes are available at many pharmacies. The program involves purchasing postage-paid envelopes that can be filled and mailed for destruction.
Locally, the participating pharmacies include CVS, Walgreens, and Winn-Dixie, and the envelopes cost $3 to $4. Information about participating pharmacies is available at http://www.sharpsinc.com/locations/