The Right Way To Dispose Of Medical Waste

Whenever medications need to be disposed of, such as when you must switch medications or if a loved one passes away and the medication is no longer needed, it is important that these medications are not simply flushed down a drain. Most medications can be placed in the garbage to be disposed of in a landfill, but they must be disposed of in a manner that will minimize the risk that they will come in contact with wildlife. The ingredients that are contained within the medications can be ingested by wildlife and cause harmful side effects. As a result, there are steps that must be taken to ensure that these medications are no longer a threat.

Using A Drug Takeback Program

Find out if your community has a drug take-back program. This is an event that is usually held once a year. Find a safe place to store your medications so that it is easier to have them disposed of when the time comes. The takeback locations are usually at a local pharmacy or law enforcement office. While pharmacies only take back legal medications, law enforcement agencies will take back controlled substances as well. The medicine is destroyed in such a way that minimizes the risk that it will harm the environment. Unfortunately, not every community has a drug take-back program. 

Disposing Of Solid Medications

There are additional techniques for certain types of pharmaceuticals. For instance, with pills, remove all of the pills from the original container. Scratch your name off of the original container so that the bottle cannot be used by someone else to conduct identity theft. Then, add a small amount of soda to dissolve the pills in. Add a thickening material, such as flour. Add turmeric or mustard to discourage animals from rummaging through garbage and eating the discarded medication. Place the medication in a separate container and seal the container with duct tape. Then, place the container in the trash.

Disposing Of Liquid Medications

For liquid medications, if there is no drug take-back program, use the same method as with harder medications, but you do not have to dissolve the medicine. Put the medicine in a safe location away from children. When you are able to, take the medications to a designated trash pickup site.

While take-back programs are ideal, because the medical waste is destroyed through incineration, if you do not have access to such a program, safe disposal is the next best option. For more information on how to properly dispose of waste materials, talk to a professional like those at Bobcat Disposal Of Sarasota.