Have unneeded prescription medicine? Dispose of them safely this month.

Have unneeded prescription medicine? Dispose of them safely this month.

If you’re like most people, there’s probably a few old or expired prescription drugs in your home medicine cabinet. Before you toss them, take a moment to think about where they’re going. 

People mistakenly believe that disposing of medications down the toilet is a safe and efficient way of getting rid of unneeded drugs. While water treatment can remove some chemicals, plants are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals from water. Neither sewage wastewater treatment plants, septic systems, nor drinking water treatment plants are currently designed to completely remove pharmaceuticals from the water.

An effective way to reduce the number of chemicals in our water is by curbing household disposal of pharmaceuticals in our water systems.

On Saturday, April 30, you will be able to drop off those unwanted medications with professionals who will dispose of them safely and properly. The disposal services are free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

The effort is part of “National Take Back Day” conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other government and public safety officials. In April of 2021, there were 420 tons of medications collected across the country on National Take Back Day—that’s a lot of medicine staying out of our local waterways!

Numerous sites across Texas will be collecting old medicine between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on April 30.  If you have old medicine in need of disposal, you can find a collection site nearby by clicking here and typing in your Zip Code. You can also dispose of medications by taking them to a local pharmacy. You can find year-round drop-off locations here.

By properly disposing of your prescribed medications, you can help conserve your local water resources and protect environmental health for years to come.