Celebrate Earth Day by Responsibly Disposing of Old Meds

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

check the dates on your prescription medications

Do you have prescription medicines that are expired or that you want to get rid of? Celebrate Earth Day this week by cleaning out your medicine cabinet and safely and responsibly disposing of old meds!

Throwing old or unused medications in the trash, pouring them down the sink or flushing them down the toilet are all the WRONG things to do. Medicine disposed of in this way can end up in the environment (e.g., in our waterways), as well as in the hands of children, teens and adults who might accidentally or intentionally look to use them inappropriately.

Instead, bring your unused or expired medications to Village Green, any day of the week, any week of the year! Rest assured, we'll see that they are processed appropriately using the MedSafe™ medication disposal system. This method is:

  • Safer for people – you don't have to worry about drugs falling into the wrong hands.
  • Safer for the environment – avoid the "trickle down" effect of improper drug disposal.
  • The smart way to dispose of drugs (and their plastic containers) – for people who care about our planet and ecosystem.

We accept prescription products in almost any dosage, form and type of packaging, but they should be in their original containers. We cannot accept injectables, inhalers, medical devices* or liquids over 4 ounces*, and there are a few limitations on prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs... but we do accept most things.

An estimated 200 million pounds of unused medications are improperly disposed of each year, thereby threatening our ecosystems and overall health. Please don't contribute to this situation!

While you're collecting old and expired medications to dispose of responsibly, here are some extra tips to help you keep your medicine cabinet or storage area in order:

  1. Store prescription items in a cool place. The bathroom is not a great place, since the constant heat from showers and baths can affect the effectiveness of your products.
  2. Check the dates of OTC products before you buy. If you buy a 3-month supply of something, then make sure the date will last you through this time.
  3. Read and follow the instructions on the labels. If the product tells you to keep it refrigerated, then make sure to do that.
  4. If you have purchased supplements and can't remember why you wanted them or needed them, contact a nutrition expert or pharmacist to help you sort them out.
  5. Same goes for prescription drugs. Talk to a pharmacist if you have OTCs or prescriptions that you aren't sure whether you should keep or throw out. And remember, when you want to get rid of old medications, you can bring them in to Village Green for safe disposal, anytime.

For more information regarding safe disposal of prescription drugs, contact Village Green Apothecary at 1 800-869-9159, ext. 5.

*Contact your local household hazardous waste facility.