Flushing medication down the toilet is now discouraged as it poses a threat to human health and the environment. You should dispose of unwanted medication in your household trash by following these steps:
- Keep the medicine in its original container. The labels may contain safety information and the caps are typically child proof. Leaving the content information clearly visible, cover the patient's name with a permanent marker.
- Modify the medicines to discourage consumption. For solids, such as pills or capsules, add a small amount of water to the bottle to at least partially dissolve them. For liquid medicines, add enough table salt, flour or powdered spice (such as turmeric or mustard) to make a pungent, unsightly mixture that discourages anyone from taking it.
- Seal and conceal. Tape the container's lid shut with packing or duct tape. Place it in a bag or container such as an empty yogurt or margarine tub to ensure that the contents cannot be seen.
- Discard the container in your garbage can. Do not place it in the recycling bin.
TakeAway Environmental Return Program
CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens Pharmacy and Rite Aid Pharmacy do not accept customer medications for disposal. They do, however, offer the TakeAway Environmental Return Program for purchase.
Customers can buy a self-addressed envelope from the pharmacies for $3.99, fill with their unused or unwanted medications (excluding controlled medications) and mail them away for secure and safe disposal. Call CVS Pharmacy at 888-607-4287, Walgreens at 800-925-4733 or Rite-Aid at 800-748-3243 for more information.
Use an empty detergent bottle to safely dispose of used needles. You can print a label for your bottle, or order free stickers by calling 800-285-5257. For questions regarding the "Get the Point" program, please call 803-898-0239.
Follow these helpful steps to properly disposing of needles: