The United States produces roughly 30% of all waste in the entire world, according to some estimates, and the waste comes from a number of different sources. For instance, the average office employee wastes some 360 pounds that could be recycled every year and bottled drinking water containers are a major pollutant in the Pacific Ocean. But one thing that people don’t often consider is medical waste that does not get disposed of properly. Using the correct medication disposal methods is important for keeping harmful contaminants out of the environment and, nowadays, doing so is easier than it has been in the past.
One of the most effective options for safe medical waste disposal is medicine take-back programs. According to the FDA website, they “are a good way to remove expired, unwanted, or unused medicines from the home and reduce the chance that others may accidentally take the medicine.” Essentially, take-back programs allow you to get rid of unwanted or expired drugs with no questions asked. Though it might take a little longer to drive to the actual program, it is a safer option than just dumping drugs in the trash.
Where and when the programs occur will vary from place to place. While some local drug stores might have certain weekends when they allow you to bring in waste, other local government buildings host regular take-back events. The best way to find out when and where you can use a take-back program for safe medication disposal is to call your local trash and recycling service, but a list of events can also be found on the DEA website.
If you don’t have the time to get to a take-back event or simply want to get rid of your medications before the next one (maybe so kids don’t get their hands on them), there are a couple of options for medication disposal in your home. To throw drugs out in the trash, make sure that they are in a sealed container mixed with an unpalatable substance like kitty litter. Or, some drugs can be flushed down the toilet. A list of those that can be found on the FDA site.
The importance of recycling and proper disposal methods are not limited just to the daily newspapers you read or water bottles. In order to prevent pollution and go green, every item that you need to get rid of should be done so safely, particularly drugs. That is sure to be one of the many keys to solving pollution both now and in the future. More like this: askhrgreen.org
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