How to Properly Dispose of Old Medication

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Did you know you are not supposed to throw old medication in the garbage or flush it down the toilet?

It’s true. If you throw it away, you could be endangering other people or animals who may ingest the medication if it is found as well as endanger the environment. If you flush it, trace amounts show up in our water sources. There are a few steps you can take to make sure your prescriptions or over the counter medicine is disposed of properly.

  1. Read the label! Some medications include specific instructions for disposal. If you are unsure, you can always talk to your pharmacist.
  2. Use a give back program. Visit and use their pharmacy locator to see where the closest location is to you.
  3. Properly trash them. If you cannot find a give back program, you can do to minimize the impact of disposal. Empty the bottle or package and mix it with kitty litter or coffee grounds. This will make it much less likely to be consumed by an animal or another person. You should put the mixture in a disposable container with a lid, make sure it’s sealed and throw it away. Also remember to scratch off your name and personal information from any packaging.


Tara LaSalla

Tara is the owner of Green Me Locally which was established in 2010 with a mission to bring awareness to the surrounding community about local eco-friendly businesses, events and sustainable living. She is also a business profitability consultant and specializes in helping companies lower their environmental impact, do good things for people and the planet and become more profitable at the same time. Tara helps companies create simple, sustainable solutions and become totally green while still increasing their profits. Her core belief is that we only have one planet, so it is our obligation to start making changes for the sake of our health and the health of future generations. Tara is known for creating easy solutions for post-consumer waste and the conservation of natural resources. Her clients are inspired and empowered to lead the way to a healthier tomorrow. Tara currently resides in St. Petersburg, FL where she is an active community leader in the form of environmental and marine conservation and education. Her work with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Tampa Bay Watch and other local organizations continues to inspire those around her to protect our natural resources. She holds true to one of Mahatma Gandhi's most famous principles: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

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